Symbion Power takes mobile computing to the skies with Motion tablet PCs

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Motion Computing, a leading provider of integrated mobile computing solutions, has announced that Symbion Power is using Motion tablet PCs to improve aerial line inspection efficiency and effectiveness. The highly versatile tablet PCs provide Symbion Power with the ultimate productivity tool for computing in a highly mobile environment.

Symbion Powers main work involves flying in a helicopter to carry out engineering and safety patrols of operators overhead line networks. The helicopter is equipped with a thermal imaging camera mounted underneath its nose. While the pilot flies the helicopter, a Symbion Power aerial linesman searches for hot spots, areas of unusually high temperatures which show up white on the screen to alert him of a failing connection. If the power line is not properly maintained, it will ultimately fail and melt. Once the aerial linesman has discovered a hot spot, he calls in a repair team that can be on-site in less than an hour if the fault is severe enough.

Replacing a paper-based system with a highly mobile tablet PC helped Symbion Power to improve efficiency of inspections as well as the geographical location details of the helicopter crew. Prior to deploying the Motion tablets, Symbion Power used maps and handwritten notes to detail inspection results, which were later manually transcribed into a spreadsheet. Using Motion tablet PCs allows Symbion Power to improve both its effectiveness in the air and quality of data collection with advanced inspection applications, digitised maps and GPS software.

Our task was to find a solution that would remove the need for paper maps in the aircraft and to use the latest advances in mapping, data capture and GPS, said Adam Crick, Symbion Powers Managing Director. Inspection data can now be returned to clients on a weekly basis or even daily if needed, where the same process with our paper-based maps could take months.

Due to the added amount of information that can now be attached to an asset during, Symbion Power gathers and includes more information into the system as it conducts inspections. The addition of the tablets results in a significant increase in productivity because automatically generated data can be sent to clients on landing. This efficiency requires fewer staff resources and improves the productivity of each observer, as they can now go from contract to contract without worrying about the data process.

Motion Computing offered the best solution with the performance we needed to run our applications. It fit all of our requirements. The tablets provide us with the map information we need and the tools to make capturing the inspection results both quick and easy. Its robust design and large display makes it ideal for our needs while in-flight, concluded Adam.


About Symbion Power
Symbion Power Ltd specialises in overhead line inspections for the electricity supply industry. The company provides aerial surveys using the very latest technology in thermal imaging and corona discharge cameras, coupled together with an extensive range of visual patrols from air to ground, making Symbion the most cost effective partner in asset management.

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