A laboratory company has saved time totalling around 40 hours per week after adopting CoreRFID’s CheckedOK software. The system has enabled BHP Laboratories to automate reporting of its on-site tests to check the load-bearing strength of roads or other construction projects.
It has eliminated paperwork and automated the calculations that were previously carried out by office staff, enabling full reports to be produced in minutes, and also enhanced client service.
BHP provides engineering and scientific testing services to clients throughout Ireland and the UK including pharmaceutical and food companies, local authorities and the construction industry. Founded in 1978, it now employs over 50 people at its laboratory in Limerick.
BHP adopted CheckedOK in 2021 for use with its CBR (California Bearing Ratio) tests, which are carried out routinely on new developments ranging from housing and leisure schemes to solar and wind farms. The tests measure the pressure required to penetrate a sample of substrate soil and check the ground can support the loading on which the development is built.
– Enda Quinlan, BHP Laboratories
Previously BHP engineers would record measurements on site using pen and paper and then take the documents back to the office, where other staff would input them, carry out the relevant calculations and record the results on Excel spreadsheets.
Test results are now collected on site using a tablet and automatically uploaded into CheckedOK, which analyses them and automatically generates reports to view via a browser.
CheckedOK is the market-leading inspection software in the lifting industry. CoreRFID adapted the system to meet BHP’s needs and developed an interface to the company’s SQL database to enable it to integrate with its existing systems. Details of new jobs are loaded into CheckedOK which then alerts the database when the job is complete and automatically provides information to prompt production of an invoice.
Freeing up staff time
According to Enda Quinlan, BHP’s logistics and site services manager, an engineer on the road may carry out 15 full tests or 20 half-tests per day, and each full test could take around 30-35 minutes to process, while a half test could take 15-20 minutes.
Enda says: “The old system was very labour-intensive. Now instead of office staff doing all the work, the report is generated automatically and all we have to do is review it before it is sent to the client. By removing the paperwork, it has freed up time equivalent to around one full-time member of staff, enabling the team to get on with other tasks.
“It has also speeded up client service – the report can be with them in as little as 15 minutes from the tests completing – and the invoice is sent at the same time.”
‘Huge potential’ for efficiencies
Munzi Ali, Managing Director of CheckedOK, said: “BHP’s experience demonstrates the huge potential for efficiencies in the laboratory sector, which is particularly important at a time of skills shortages when companies need to make the most of their existing team members.
“Even where equipment captures readings or test results, there is still often a need for further analysis and reporting, and to manage testing regimes to ensure items are checked at regular intervals and comply with safety regulations.
“CheckedOK automates the entire process – from producing reports to managing a fleet of assets – and can be adapted to suit tests or inspections of any type.”