UK’s Balfour Beatty has used secure data collection platform eviFile on its Greater West rail electrification programme.

The usage of the software as a service (SaaS) platform is said to have generated seven-figure cost savings for the company over 12 months.

Developed over an 18-month period, eviFile can capture, manage and share digital data using smartphones and tablets.

It is designed in accordance with the principles detailed by the Home Office in The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) digital evidence guidelines.

All field operatives can use their device cameras and GPS capabilities to record inspection information, which is securely captured with time, date, geographical location, user and device orientation.

Data captured by the platform can be used as evidence in case of legal disputes.

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Balfour Beatty used the platform on the overhead line electrification project of a 65km  rail track between Bristol and Cardiff. The work is a part of the Network Rail’s £5.58bn Great Western route modernisation programme.

“We see mobile site-based technologies as a key way to gather richer data, faster and more cost efficiently.”

The contractor replaced its paper-based approach with eviFile’s digital progressive assurance methodology to increase efficiencies.

It enabled the company to expedite data capture and its transmission to field engineers, managers and Network Rail.

eviFile also offers a tamper-proof audit trail and is integrated with other associated systems to automatically upload completed inspection test plans at the Greater West programme’s database.

Balfour Beatty rail director of electrification delivery Peter Webb said: “We see mobile site-based technologies as a key way to gather richer data, faster and more cost efficiently.

“These marginal gains lead to significant efficiency savings, which our project with eviFile proves, as its use has enabled us to save seven figures in costs over a 12-month period.”

eviFile managing director Luke Allen said: “Rail is necessarily a highly risk-averse sector, but eviFile meets and exceeds the levels of assurance and evidence major contractors are demanding.

“We were able to give Balfour Beatty a rigorous approach to site data capture and workflow improvements which saved time and money.”