Employees use iPads to enter data during a routine bridge inspection.

IPads boosting efficiency, reducing printing costs

Alpine Shire Council has become one of the first Victorian councils to use Apple iPads for routine asset inspections.

An innovative iPad application has been developed that allows employees to easily enter data for bridge inspections.

A similar application for footpath inspections will be operational by the end of February while a road inspection application is anticipated to be developed in the coming months.

IT Manager Craig Collings says the application will boost efficiency and accuracy of inspections.

“This application provides inspectors with a simple interface to quickly and accurately record bridge inspection data,” he said.

“The GPS capabilities of the iPad are utilised to make it simple to pinpoint which bridge the inspector is currently at.

IT Manager Craig Collings shows Mayor Cr Nino Mautone, Manager Planning and Environment Heather Green and Manager Engineering and Assets Andrew Taylor the iPads.

"This is particularly important in areas with a large number of bridges, especially considering we have approximately 150 bridges that we regularly inspect.

“Data is then loaded on to our works database with orders generated for necessary repairs highlighted by the inspection.

Mr Collings said that Council had been investigating the potential of iPad technology for several areas of the organisation.

“During late 2010 our IT and GIS department investigated the potential for iPads as an asset inspection device,” he said.

“This followed a successful trial in 2010 where iPads were used to save paper and printing resources.

“This has resulted in all councillors being provided with iPads, which has dramatically reduced printing costs.

"The savings from reduced printing costs will more than offset the purchase cost of the device.”

A screenshot of Council's iPad bridge inspection application.

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