Trimble’s R10 and R8s GNSS systems, along with Trimble Business Centre software, have helped Bangalore-based Abel Engineering Consultants in enhancing surveying capabilities, resulting in efficient workflows and better returns on investment.
Sometime back when Bangalore-based Abel Engineering Consultants, an infrastructure design and survey services company, took up the rural water supply project for Sonbhadra district in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, it wasn’t sure whether it would be able to cover such a vast area in a time-bound manner. However, contrary to its expectations, the company successfully managed to survey 15,000km in less than four months. This, and a lot more, was made possible by Trimble technology.
“We offer services in road, cadastral, water and wastewater, and other infrastructure projects. Surveying is an essential part of our company’s operations,” says Ajitadev Pandit, CEO of Abel Engineering Consultants, which was started with just five employees in 1992, and currently has a staff strength of 75.
Surveying for infrastructure-related projects can be tricky. The men in the field have to sometimes spend days in unfamiliar areas, enduring harsh weather conditions, with critical equipment to manage. The job doesn’t end there, and the most important part of the process is to come back with accurate and actionable data. “We are looking to double our staff in the next three years. Apart from other factors, technology upgradation has helped us tremendously in achieving our targets,” adds Ajitadev.
The turning point in Able Engineering Consultants’ operations came in 2017, when the company, after due deliberation, decided to move to the Trimble platform. “We offer services like topographical land survey, LIDAR and photogrammetry in transportation, urban planning and water sectors. Earlier, project control networks were established using total station diverging, which was time-consuming and poor in quality. However, after using Trimble technology, we were able to establish a sub-centimeter control network in less than one fifth of the time required earlier,” says Adinath Pandit, Director of Able Engineering Consultants. The story since 2017 has been that of better turnovers and happy staffers.
Soon after first witnessing the benefits of technology upgradation, the Bangalore-based company acquired Trimble’s R10 GNSS system with HD GNSS technology. “The idea was to take our operations to the next level. So, we bought Trimble’s R10 GNSS system,” adds Adinath. R10 makes the collection of more accurate data faster and easier. Built with powerful technologies integrated into a sleek design, the unique system provides surveyors with a powerful way to increase data collection productivity in every project.
“R10 provides improved protection against sources of interference and spoofed signals. It can be connected to Android or iOS mobile devices running supported apps via Bluetooth. The cutting-edge Trimble HD-GNSS processing engine enables surveyors to measure points more quickly, and the R10’s ergonomic design and lightweight means that it is convenient to handle and easy to carry anywhere in the field,” says Amit Saxena, Regional Sales Manager-Geospatial, SAARC Region at Trimble.
Trimble R10’s xFill feature makes it a highly compelling product as it enables surveyors to maintain high-accuracy positioning when there is a problem with the RTK connectivity. In such a scenario, the receiver utilizes the satellite-delivered Trimble RTX correction stream to provide xFill positions.
Before acquiring R10, Able Engineering Consultants had bought Trimble’s integrated GNSS system, R8s, which is a flexible, scalable system that allows its user to build a system tailored to his job requirement. “When Abel Engineering Consultants first approached us with the problems they were facing in collecting data from the field and processing the same in their back office, we recommended them R8s GNSS receiver and Trimble Business Center (TBC software) to resolve these problems,” adds Saxena.
R8s has a configurable receiver that is scalable for future needs. The device is available in post-processing, base only, rover only, or base & rover configurations. It collects data through satellite tracking with Trimble 360 receiver technology. “The survey quality was enhanced due to data acquisitions with a multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS system, which eventually resulted in sub-centimeter accuracy. Initially, we acquired three R8s receivers and within a year bought three more,” recalls Adinath.
Trimble technology, apart from streamlining workflows for Able Engineering Consultants, ensured that the company could efficiently work on multiple projects simultaneously. “Our products helped them in reducing the amount of time required to do a job and bringing down the overall cost. Perhaps that is why they were able to simultaneously take up multiple projects and do justice to each one of them,” says Saxena.
“A big advantage of Trimble technology is that the entire equipment, field software and TBC office processing software work seamlessly on a single platform. As far as data processing is concerned, I can assure you that TBC is one of the best software available in the market today for processing GNSS data,” says Ajitadev.
Able Engineering Consultants are currently involved in three major projects. “These include Coimbatore City 24×7 Water Supply Scheme, Sonbhadra Rural Water supply scheme and Hyderabad Model Corridor Roads. In Coimbatore, we surveyed 2,000km of pipeline alignment followed by hydraulic modelling of the entire city. In Sonbhadra, the entire district was surveyed and around 15000km of rural roads were covered in less than four months. For Hyderabad Model Corridor Roads project, we carried out a detailed survey to enable smart road design. The technology upgradation helped us in taking up multiple projects simultaneously across the country. For instance, along with Sonbhadra project, we are working on Ramgarh water supply scheme,” explains Adinath.
Increased efficiency in data processing
“Before exploring TBC, Able Engineering Consultants were using multiple products in their back office for data processing. With TBC, the company was able to get rid of different products and subsume them into a single product. TBC is available in different modules. They started by using basic modules, but with time became advance users,” points out Saxena.
Among other things, TBC offers customizable templates, simplified selection tools and automated plotting functionality. The software allows its user to manage, process and create customer deliverables for all survey tasks with just one software package.
“Over the last three years, we have experienced higher returns on investment as Trimble products help us in efficiently carrying out tedious jobs well within time, while achieving high quality. Last year alone, we saw a 35% increase in ROI. We thank Trimble for introducing us to their products,” say Ajitadev and Adinath.