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Topcon survey equipment streamlines our workflow


Craig Miller, a Director at Perth-based Vision Surveyors, outlines the increase in productivity and efficiency the company has achieved thanks to the latest in survey technology.

Established in 2004, Vision Surveys specialises in land development and strata titles, employing four survey crews. In recent years, the company has invested in the latest technology from Topcon and is seeing dramatic improvements in time saving and in-field efficiency as a result.

“We’ve undergone major upgrades to our survey equipment twice in the last four years,” Mr Miller explains. “In 2010, we got talking with the team at Aptella and they were able to demonstrate some of the latest Topcon technology for us, which was a huge improvement on our setup at the time.”

Vision Surveys updated their total stations to the robotic Topcon GPT 9003 series in 2010. “Our surveyors noted a significant shift to their in-field processes as it gave them a lot more independence to complete tasks with a one-man survey,” he added. “The upgrades to field controllers also came in line with the technical abilities of the surveyors using CAD packages.

“As a company, the upgrade helped us with time management and scheduling of jobs, with more flexibility to work as either a one-man or two-man crew allowing us to take on more work.”

In 2013 Vision Surveys undertook a second major upgrade to Topcon’s latest PS robotic total stations, HiPer SR GNSS rovers, Tesla data collectors and MAGNET Field and MAGNET Office Tools.

Mr Miller notes a number of benefits the new technology has delivered for Vision Surveys. “The feedback I get from the survey crews is great – they really enjoy using the new Topcon equipment and find they are more efficient and get more done in their day,” he said.

Vision Surveys also utilises Aptella’ national CORS network, AllDayRTK. By removing the need to setup and maintain a base station, AllDayRTK delivers Network RTK accuracy quickly and efficiently.

“AllDayRTK eliminates the need for our surveyors to manually set out control using landmarks, taped distances or ground references,” Mr Miller said. “When carrying out alignments for subdivisions, they can take the Landgate SCDB data out into the field and, using AllDayRTK, quickly orientate themselves and allow for the location of control marks in a much more timely fashion.”

Mr Miller said that he values the expertise and support the company receives from Aptella. “Over the years we’ve developed an excellent working relationship with Aptella. They are always prompt to respond whenever we need any maintenance – the service we receive is excellent and goes far beyond what you would expect from an equipment service and supply company.

“As with any survey equipment, it’s always out in the field and subject to tough conditions and tough treatment,” he continued. “Whenever we do have any downtime with a system, Aptella is always quick to respond with replacement units so that we can carry on working and deliver the project on time for our clients.”

During the upgrade process, Mr Miller noted that the Vision Surveys team has always had good product training from Aptella to help the transition to run as smoothly as possible “They helped to train our survey crews both in the field and in the office to ensure they are up to speed with the new systems in minimal time.”

Vision Surveys also employs some students who are studying for their licences. Part of their course, Mr Miller explained, requires them to carry out projects with GPS, specific field techniques, or experiment with some of the newer technology such as scanning. “Aptella has been great in providing their time and knowledge to our graduates. Not only is this hugely beneficial to our students, it is also a great asset to our company as the students develop their learning and experience with the latest technology,” he said.

By Gina Velde

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