Every day millions of Australians use the roads for business or pleasure. Transport is an underpinning logistic of almost all businesses and organisations in some form, whether it’s the shipment of goods, movement of people or just employees driving to work.
For this reason, its vital that roads and railway tracks whether local, regional or national are effectively maintained for use. Improper construction and maintenance of such infrastructure can lead to costly results both in physical damage through abnormal wear or fatal casualties due to inadequate safety. Many organisations and business around the world are hence implementing paperless inspection systems to help monitor the construction and maintenance of their infrastructure.
Digital systems can be used for construction inspection, maintenance audit, safety checks or quality assurance control. Thanks to their diverse customisation capabilities, paperless solutions can cater to multiple different transport inspection types through the same digital application. This only requires tailoring existing checklist templates in most cases to comply with industry or organisational regulations, but the checklists can also be constructed entirely from scratch. The ability to tailor such checklists also means that highly effective information can be captured the best possible way. For example asset or road wear can be monitored through picture taking and image annotation, whilst rail control signals might take use of RFID scanning. Through integrating mobile device functions with the inspection application, many digital inspection providers are allowing transport organisations to gain a better inspection efficiency and proficiency. Rail and road infrastructure can also benefit from several other inspection features on digital applications. The ability to track reports or equipment over time provides a history of wear, usage and many other useful metrics. This is highly useful for maintenance teams who can hence pre-order replacement parts or understand how potential repairs might be affected in the future. Metrics and data is also useful for transport management and advisory boards who can with this information make better strategic decisions over whether to replace equipment or rail track, resurface areas of highway or invest in new infrastructure elsewhere.
Digital inspection solutions that are part of a broader computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) often allow easy integration with existing business intelligence or ERP systems. Access is provided via web-portal login which of course is available 24/7, further bettering the current filing cabinet storage system. As digital solutions are hosted either via private in-house servers or the cloud (SaaS), the package can dramatically reduce the floor space dedicated to maintenance and inspection. All that is required in most cases is a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to power an entire inspection/audit/safety check/quality assurance ecosystem.