ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its smart laser measurement solutions to capture, record and export measurement data.
Spike can be used for all kinds of sign and graphics projects – from monuments to channel letters and window film. But what about all of those interstate and wayfinding signs along the highway? You can’t stop in the middle of a highway and take out your ladder. We asked ikeGPS Chief Technology Office Leon Toorenburg to measure an overhead interstate sign with Spike, and his results show that you can achieve accuracies of plus or minus 3 percent.
In order to measure an interstate sign, you need to find a safe location on the side of the highway. This, however, puts you at a vertical angle as well as a horizontal angle. Fortunately, that’s not a problem with Spike because you can correct for angles using the alignment rectangle, which sets the correct surface perspective for measurements.
When testing a large overhead highway sign measuring 16 feet by 11 feet from distances between 90-200 feet away, Toorenburg found that the results were within about 6 inches. For example, when Toorenburg measured the highway sign standing 160 feet away, the measurements captured with Spike were within 4 inches.
In addition to capturing the length, width and area of an interstate sign, you can capture the latitude, longitude and altitude of the sign from your smartphone or tablet. You can then export a KMZ file from the Spike app and import it into Google Earth to map out the locations of each interstate sign. This is especially handy for large projects where you need to fabricate the signs, load the truck and install the interstate signs in sequence.
After a career in biochemical engineering, Mike Reilly was in search of a new business opportunity. Reilly looked at several small manufacturing businesses, he says, but ultimately decided to partner with Signworld, an organization that provides business support to a network of 290 sign businesses in the U.S. and Canada. With the backing of Signworld, Reilly launched Starfish Signs and Graphics, a full-service, custom sign, design and manufacturing company in San Clemente, California.
“We like the culture of the Signworld organization, and it seemed like a good fit for us when we were considering our options,” Reilly says. “Signworld is entrepreneurial with a focus on quality and professionalism. We get a lot of support from Signworld, but we also have flexibility in terms of how we operate and the products we sell.”
As part of Signworld’s support system, it hosts the annual Signworld Convention, where Signworld owners gather for training and a look at the industry’s newest innovations and products. At the 2015 event, Signworld introduced Spike, a laser measurement solution for conducting signage site surveys and estimations, to its owners, and Reilly immediately recognized how Spike could help his sign business work more efficiently, he says.
By simply taking a photo of a signage space with Spike and his iPad, Reilly can capture the entire area’s dimensions. All of the measurements are saved with the photo inside the Spike mobile app, and Reilly no longer has to bother with ladders or bucket trucks, he says.
“When we’re quoting projects, we’re in the proposal stage, so we don’t want to take truck lifts or ladders on-site,” Reilly says. “That requires a huge investment in time and money for a job we haven’t won yet. The combination of being able to get fast estimates that are pretty accurate allows us to get out more quotes with less effort.”
In the past, Reilly tried to avoid using ladders and bucket trucks for his site surveys by scaling a photo of the signage space; however, his former process lacked accuracy, he says. Reilly couldn’t correct for the two-dimensional photo’s distortion, but Spike’s laser rangefinder and alignment rectangle account for all angles.
Typically, Reilly uses Spike on signage projects that aren’t easily accessible, but he also often needs a building’s frontage dimensions. Reilly admits that he could get this measurement without bucket trucks or ladders. However, Reilly finds it more convenient and streamlined to store all measurements in one place with the Spike mobile app.
“Having a digital record helps with organization,” Reilly says. “For some jobs, our customers may not decide to move ahead for six or eight months. You won’t remember that information, and who knows where those handwritten notes will be by then. All we have to do is refer to our Spike photos, and we have all the information we need.”
After Reilly measures a signage space, he exports his Spike photos onto a network drive, where all other project information is saved. From that drive, the Starfish Signs design team can access the Spike files with the area’s dimensions.
This is especially helpful for his designers when they prepare reports for contract installations, Reilly says. Starfish Signs regularly works with national sign companies to install local retail signs. Reilly first conducts the site survey with Spike, and his designers then use the Spike photos with dimensions to create a report for the national sign company. The national sign company uses the report to build the sign, and Starfish Signs handles the installation. Although Spike is an estimation tool, Reilly says the measurements have been accurate enough for production.
“We include those Spike photos in our report back to the national sign company, and those measurements are what the sign company uses to fabricate the sign in a lot of cases,” Reilly says. “No one else goes on-site with a bucket truck and measures directly.”
Now that Starfish Signs has integrated Spike into its business process for the past year, Reilly finds that his shop has become more organized and productive. With Spike, Reilly can focus on turning over more estimates, which positions Starfish Signs for success.
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“Cyient is an industry leader that enables utilities and communication companies to operate more efficiently and effectively,” says Mike McGill, senior vice president of the utilities business unit at ikeGPS. “ikeGPS is proud to serve Cyient’s continual pursuit of better ways to solve tough industry problems. IKE 4 enables utilities, communication and engineering service companies to collect and process field data faster, and we’re excited to be a part of Cyient’s efforts to improve efficiency and workplace safety.”
ikeGPS introduced IKE 4 in early February at the DistribuTECH 2016 Conference & Exhibition. IKE 4 incorporates years of customer feedback and applies the latest technology to advance ikeGPS’ focus on setting the standard for locating and measuring utility poles and communication towers for a variety applications, such as aerial fiber deployments, joint-use audits and construction of aerial distribution networks.
The IKE family of products has been deployed by more than 250 utility companies around the world and incorporates the latest ruggedized mobile hardware and software, including a smartphone-like Android interface. Other enhancements include an upgraded laser and submeter GPS; a 13-megapixel, wide-angle camera; eight to 10 hours of battery life; a sunlight-readable screen; and a cloud service that improves users’ ability to manage, share and integrate data with more than 345 applications and formats, including pole loading programs, such as SPIDACalc.
"We selected IKE 4 because we believe it will enable us to collect higher-quality data in less time and improve our back-office data management," says Kurt Delia, senior manager at Cyient. "We like how IKE 4 integrates with our GIS system and other applications, such as the pole loading software, SPIDACalc.”
To learn more about how IKE 4 deploys wireless and fiber communications faster and safer, join ikeGPS for the webinar Meet IKE 4 – The Evolution of Pole Measurement Tuesday, May 17, at 2 p.m. EST. Register today for this complimentary webinar at https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=mq28s5aj3z29.
About Cyient Limited
Cyient is a global provider of engineering, data analytics, network and operations solutions. We collaborate with our clients to achieve more and shape a better tomorrow.
With decades of experience, Cyient is well positioned to solve problems. Our solutions include product development and life-cycle support, process and network engineering, and data transformation and analytics. We provide expertise in the aerospace, consumer, energy, medical, oil and gas, mining, heavy equipment, semiconductor, rail transportation, telecom and utilities industries.
Strong capabilities combined with a global network of more than 12,500 associates across 38 global locations enable us to deliver measurable and substantial benefits to major organizations worldwide.
For more information about Cyient, visit www.cyient.com.