Product Profile

Product Profile - POSM PortablePOSM Software recently introduced new software for use on push cameras that allows contractors to inspect small diameter laterals for crossbore intrusions. Called POSM Portable, the inspection software does what POSM’s mainline inspection does but at a lower cost and with a simpler setup.

As crossbores continue to spark concern in underground infrastructure, software that can be used on the push cameras to inspect smaller diameter laterals is essential to determining whether there is a potential problem underground before sewer and drain blockages are cleared out. Plumbers and drain cleaners are typically the service providers that handle minor blockages of sewers and drains — knowing whether there is a crossbore in the mainline or lateral is critical to the safety of all before proceeding.

This need was the impetus for POSM to develop POSM Portable, unveiling it in summer 2013. Using its POSM Pro as a starting point was a no-brainer as it offers many of the features the contractors need in this application.

“We have a lot of customers who use our main software, POSM Pro, to do lateral launching for crossbore elimination projects. A lower cost of our collection software was needed to collect NASSCO Lateral Assessment and Certification Program (LACP) video inspection data from lateral for crossbore projects,” said POSM Software president Robert Katter. “They try to use the mainline lateral launchers as much as possible because they are inspecting the mainlines and all the laterals at each house to ensure there’s nothing crossing into the sewers. The push cameras have become more and more important and there are a lot of areas where you still can’t launch into.”

POSM software is used to collect, store, analyze and share pipeline inspections and GIS data. In use in many areas of North America, the software is a user-friendly option for sewer, storm drain, manhole and pipeline inspection and data collection software.

Katter said historically push cameras will have some sort of onboard recording device, allowing the contractor to inspect and code the laterals. But there was a problem. “They were getting incorrect addresses lining up and there wasn’t any GPS integration. Our goal was to develop a simpler version of our software that didn’t have all the robust features used for mainline inspection but allows the customers to use the exact same information that is being used in the camera truck. The video is synchronized to the location header information.”

POSM Portable was originally developed for the push camera inspection in gas crossbore elimination projects, a very specific market segment. “We worked with different contractors and engineering companies over the years to develop customized templates and software for this process,” he said. “Originally, our customers would use our office software to import videos from their push camera systems when the mainline inspection trucks could not launch the entire lateral or it was not possible to use a mainline lateral launcher.”
Katter said when POSM was working with these clients, customers wanted to be able to use these custom-designed templates but also capture video from the push cameras in real time, just like the CCTV trucks. “The data could then be synchronized into the office server software for QA/QC and analysis,” he said. “One of the biggest factors of capturing from the push camera system was keeping the components to as few as possible and the price low. Eliminating the overlay and requiring the input of the camera distance simplified the setup of the system. By just requiring a video connection to the camera and using the camera’s built in distance overlay or even markers on the push cable, a reliable video is captured that ensured that it was at the correct address.

“Originally, our office and server versions of the software were used to collect this data in the field but this required the user to store the information on an external drive and then add it to the session. Observations and pictures were then added after the inspection was performed. To speed up this process and ensure videos were always attached to the correct session (inspection information), the POSM Pro software was changed to function only for push camera capture.”

While the software was designed specifically with crossbore inspections in mind, the potential for its use is more widespread, Katter said. “Any customer with a push camera, jetter camera or pole camera who desires to collect video inspection data can use this,” Katter said.

POSM Portable is based off the same platform as POSM Pro so no matter which version you purchase, customers can be trained in the exact same way. “One of our unique features is that you can customize every aspect of it, including the headers, which is the information contractors start out with when they begin an inspection and record their observations,” Katter explained. “The headers can be changed to include 200 different fields, which you can modify.”

POSM Portable unlocks all template capabilities with NASSCO PACP, LACP and MACP included. “Using our USB Video Encoder, the software can run on a laptop or rack-mounted computer to collect inspection data. Most push cameras have a distance encoder already incorporated into them. By using only a software text overlay, the amount of hardware to setup a system was reduced to a single USB video encoder.”

Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.
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