News & Resources

04 Jun 2019

Field Stories | Moving Like a Pro with Field Flow

by: Alex Fitch

When I look at the open ocean, I notice that the waves seem to roll effortlessly over the surface of the water, never stopping. They move around and through anything in their path without a hint of stress. Field data collection can be that easy using Field Flow for IKE. Using a sine wave pattern to move from pole to pole, unnecessary movement is eliminated to create a seamless flow between poles. The efficiency of movement allows you to collect faster than ever.

You’re probably wondering how it’s possible. I get it. How can the path you walk affect how well you do your job? The answer lies in the repetition. Over 1,000 poles, 30 extra seconds spent walking at each pole becomes over 8 hours. A full workday can be wasted walking.

I could start with a list of bullet points on how to do this, but the importance of it would be lost. Instead, with a map and a story, learning how to move in the field is simple.  Study the map. Read the story. Repeat in the field. It becomes effortless, like a wave.


The Map


The Story

Marcus is a fielder. At least he is today. Some days he gets to be an engineer. Some days he gets to be a barista at the office coffee machine too. Today though, he is a fielder. His coffee came from 7-Eleven. His boots came from Murdochs. Both feel especially good this morning.

He gets to the line of poles he is collecting data on. Did he leave off at 11987 or 11986? He fires up the IKE and gets into position on the wireline side to start collecting. A quick check tells him it was 11986. He chooses the job and he is off.

From his first position, 45 degrees away from the wire and 40 feet from the pole, he captures the first IKE Photo. The target ring turns green. The laser is center mass on the pole. Like all his IKE photos, it’s a nice rectangular shot that includes the pole, in all its glory, from base to tip. Then he moves on to backspan. New day, new job, and he has to capture backspan to connect today’s work to yesterday’s. And last week’s.

Backspan done, he walks directly to the pole for position two. There he quickly moves through the custom form, navigating picklists like an accountant navigates spreadsheets. The data he needs to collect at this pole changes job to job. For this job, he needs pole tag, class, all of the equipment, wire specifications, lights, and location. Everything he needs to have IKE Analyze give him a completed pole in SpidaCalc. He used to dread having to collect that data, then move it all into the pole loading analysis software himself. It took forever. Now, it’s easy.

Walking directly away from position 1, he heads to position 3. He is looking directly back at the pole, with position 1 hiding behind it. A second IKE photo captures the other side of the pole. A forespan measurement connects him to the next pole. Nice to know they can copy it over. He never liked how they used to have to collect both forespan and backspan for every pole.

He walks back to the wireline side to a spot roughly 90 degrees away from both position 1 and position 3. One more IKE photo for good measure and pole 1 is done! No effort wasted. On to pole 2.

He walks a few feet towards pole 2, gets in position 1 and repeats the process. Before he knows it, 20 poles are done and it’s time for lunch!

Lunch hour comes and is gone faster than the turkey sandwich his wife made him. He doesn’t mind. The winding path between poles helps the day go fast. He wonders what it looks like from above. Like a ski racer making perfect turns between the gates in slow motion. After 10 more poles, he is headed back to the office for afternoon meetings and some data review.

Sometimes field data collection isn’t glamorous, but it is an excuse to get outside and enjoy a nice day. It feels good knowing that he is able to collect poles at twice the speed he used to. All because he started using IKE Analyze and Field Flow.


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