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Pragmas Asset Identification and Verification Business Process and Toolset improved and simplified

Pragma is delighted to announce improvements to their Asset Identification and Verification (AIV) business process and toolset.

Says Simone Theron, R&D Engineer at Pragma: “Over the past ten years Pragma has been involved with various AIV projects for large utilities, facilities and corporates whose requirements for asset registers were either of a legal compliance nature or for better asset management practices and control. Due to the scale and complexity of these types of projects, we realised that our business process required streamlining and our toolset needed to be upgraded to keep up with technological development.”

Theron continues: “The success of an AIV project is dependent on data accuracy, a thorough business process (identification of assets that are included in the AIV project, the verification of the physical existence of assets, labeling assets and collecting asset-related data) and suitable mobile data capturing devices.”

When embarking on an AIV project, Pragma follows the following process:

  • setup of devices and configuration of asset types, attributes and basic asset tree structure in line with the standards set for the client’s asset register
  • asset data identification and assessments using mobile data capturing devices
  • data quality management to ensure data accuracy and consistency
  • data transfer from mobile devices to database and vice versa, in preparation for asset verification
  • after the initial AIV project, the existence of the client’s assets and the integrity of the client’s asset register are verified at least once a year, or when asset assessments are required.

Theron adds: “Pragma’s previous On Key 4 AIV toolset reached the end of its life. Due to the scope of a new AIV toolset and capacity constraints in the Software Development team, it was decided to evaluate existing third party applications and find a suitable replacement. FieldMetrix was sourced for this purpose. Their tool is cost effective, flexible, has a good offline capability and stable data transfer platform. Functionality exists for capturing GPS coordinates, unlimited attributes and it supports importing of data into On Key via the Interface Tool.”

Pragma tested the FieldMetrix software during a pilot project at a client in the municipal environment. “The pilot highlighted items that were a great improvement on their former tool and others that required further improvement,” says Theron.

Improvements to the previous toolset included a simple, user-friendly and intuitive user interface as well as easy navigation and operation, even for first time users with only basic training Furthermore, the FieldMetrix support team can log into any device remotely and assist with device software issues. It also offers off-line ability whereby asset data is captured off-line when the connectivity is poor and information is synchronised with the server as soon as connectivity is re-established. Also, assets are captured in a hierarchical structure and the asset tree is displayed on the screen – this makes navigation through the asset tree easier. Finally, photos can be taken and saved to each asset as a type of attribute.”

The issues requiring further attention included incorrect login procedure. Says Theron: “There was an issue with the users not logging out of the mobile application after data had been synchronised for the day, as users were unaware that they had to do this. This resulted in the temporary database growing to an unmanageable size and subsequent data loss. FieldMetrix implemented a process to prevent this problem from reoccurring. Missing asset data was also recovered. Another problem was the photo quality. Due to poor quality, photos had to be retaken after the AIV was done. The device’s photo pixel setting was too low and it was discovered too late into the project due to the photo field not being available in the asset report from the start of the project. A photo field was therefore added to the standard asset data report to confirm photo quality during initial data verification. Lastly, captured data could not be edited, as there was no edit functionality. This has been added.’

The pilot project also helped identify additional required functionality that is now scheduled for development by FieldMetrix. This includes an asset configuration interface: configure asset types, attributes and asset tree structure (or import asset tree), as well as an asset verification capability: import existing asset register from On Key (or any other EAMS), verify assets and export asset register ready for importing back into the EAMS. Functionality to add GPS coordinates on demand with X, Y and Z coordinates will also be added as well as functionality to make assets inactive. The completion date and final evaluation before commercial release will be early in 2014.

“Pragma is confident that these new developments will enable them and their partners to do AIV projects very efficiently in future,” concludes Theron.

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