Can you make boring exciting?
Well, if you’re not sure about that, maybe you can at least make it more accurate and avoid underground obstacles.
Above: The Commander 7 color HDD Guidance Display from Subsite.
That’s the goal of Subsite, a Charles Machine Works Company (think Ditch Witch, American Augers, Trencor), who wants you to use data sharing technology to improve the accuracy and efficiency of HDD.
They’ve introduced a new HDD process called Green Ops, which involves a set of five technological tools. The company says integrating these tools (with the military-sounding names of TMS Plus, Field Scout, Scoutview, Commander 7, and TSR Mobile) into the bore routine “can reduce your risk of striking something underground, while increasing your productivity and profitability.”
Subsite has broken the process down into three parts. In the “plan” stage, you can plan the bore with TMS Plus, Windows-based software that also gives you information on the bend radius of the drill pipe, allows real-time monitoring of progress, and generates a completed survey.
Field Scout lets you walk the bore path with a smartphone or tablet to enter waypoints or obstacles and create a basic bore plan. GPS connectivity shows you the plan on Google Earth (and after the bore, you can view your as-built and bore plan together). In other words, there’s no more walking Google’s earth with a pad and pencil.
The Scoutview software app lets you upload the Field Scout bore plan to the Commander 7 screen for the “bore” stage. The Commander 7 is a 7-inch color HDD Guidance Display for the drill operator, where he or she can monitor the bore live, log bore data, and display bore info when approaching a waypoint or obstacle. Not only is the uploaded bore plan available to monitor while drilling, but also all of the tracker data is viewable.
The final “report” stage features TSR Mobile, which is software that lets you download HDD bore information directly to your mobile phone, tablet, or computer to speed production and cut down on logging errors. It also allows the user to generate an as-built report from the field as soon as the pilot bore is completed.
Subsite admits the process won’t win everyone over—the traditional approach to an HDD bore still has the individual on the tracker directing things to maintain an intended bore path. And, of course, pre-planning with prehistoric pad and pencil.
“Technology advancements coupled with progressive thinking among industry veterans have been pointing to a coming paradigm shift in the HDD tracking process for a while now,” says John Lamerton, the company’s director of Product Management. “Subsite is spearheading the move to this ‘new way of thinking’ with the Green Ops process.”