When WinCan first released a software package into the sewer inspection industry in 1990, they were able to boast that they “created this market“. 30 years and over 8,500 installs later, WinCan sits proudly at the top of the drain inspection survey market, and has been a popular feature on Scanprobe’s flagship pipeline inspection camera, the Maxprobe, ever since it was released back in 2015. And at Scanprobe we’re not ones to rest on our laurels when we’ve got a good thing; we strive to develop the next big thing…
As readers of our blog will have seen, a mere 3 years later and we have released our company’s and the industry’s first ever mobile app to connect up to a drainage camera, mina Survey. Released in September 2018, it was initially only available to iOS device users, until February 2020 when a much enhanced mina Survey was released onto the Android platform. So our loyal legion of customers who weren’t on Apple were now able to take advantage of this new technology. But this blog post is meant to be about WinCan, so why are we talking about mina?
Because the mina Survey app allows WinCan survey users to deliver a WinCan report directly from the control box, to the mobile device, and then to their customers or colleagues in minutes, at no cost. Whilst the PC software requires a paid subscription, if you create a WinCan report on a Maxprobe camera system, you can get a fully formatted PDF report, (with photos, diagrams, digital drawings and survey information) in a matter of minutes, all through the free mobile app. The feature has proven hugely popular since it was released, because, well, it saves both money AND time.
With WinCan being the industry standard, it made a lot of sense to enable mina to support their reporting function. A lot of our customers that use WinCan tend to have a support team back in the office to read, format and deliver the results of a pipeline survey to the end customer, and this process from survey to office to customer causes delays. Thanks to WinCan and mina Survey working together, this delay can be minutes, rather than days.Vernon Pain, UK Sales Manager
How to make use of WinCan with mina is very simple, all you need to do is follow these steps:
- Download mina from the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Perform your WinCan survey.
- Enable your mobile device’s Personal Hotspot.
- Connect to your device via the WiFi screen on the Maxprobe.
- Finalise your WinCan report.
- Open the mobile app.
- Click “View and share Inspection System reports”.
- Click “Request report”
- Follow the instructions on the screen.
- When the report has been received, press “More” to rename and view it, or “Share” to, well, share it!
This means you can supply a WinCan survey to your customer whilst still on site, without needing to format all of your data into report or pay for any additional software packages. All because you chose to purchase a Maxprobe push-rod camera system from Scanprobe, and unleashed the power of mina Survey.
It’s 2019, not the Wild West, but yet somehow cowboys are still a problem in today’s society. Only in this case it is cowboy firms who are looking to trick the consumers with un-necessary work and fabricated activity. And as the public are unlikely to know the great extent of the pipework residing beneath their property, it can be easy to confuse them with terminology and insist upon them that certain repair works must be carried out. Especially if the reason they have called a company out is an emergency and they “just want to get it sorted”.
Much like taking your car to the garage to have a simple oil change, only to be told that you need to replace all four brake-pads and calipers, as well as refill the air freshener, whilst you weren’t expecting to hear that, you haven’t investigated for yourself, and how would you? After all, they are the specialist in this field. So ultimately you begrudgingly accept this additional and unexpected cost in order to get your vehicle back, but always wondering if there was actually a problem with the brakes. Funnily enough, the drainage industry is very similar, as very rarely do you come across a member of the public who owns a drainage camera and frequently surveys their property, instead just assume that when it flushes, its gone somewhere else.
The problem comes when you hear of various stories where another company has been called out, either to supply another quote for repair/restoration works, only to survey the pipeline with a camera system to discover that the ‘cowboy’ quotation contains faults and issues that aren’t actually present in the pipeline at all, and whilst where it might simply need a jetting to clear a blockage, the ‘cowboy’ quotation cites the need to “use a mechanical cutter to remove a root intrusion, then fit a patch”. Members of the Facebook group “Sewer men and proud” will recall frequent posts where their members highlight such fraudulent activities that they have come across where the customer has been given a quote for £thousands when upon their survey they have quoted £hundreds.
Using mina as part of your customer service can help restore customer’s faith, through 3 simple stages:
1) PROVE that there is an issue by showing the customer a live video of the inside of their pipeline on your iPhone or iPad
2) EXPLAIN the pipe network and where any work will need to take place using a digitally designed survey map on top of a Google Maps image
3) DISCUSS the issue(s) with the customer at the time of the survey, and provide them a full and thorough report there and then.
If any corrective work is required, they will have the confidence that you have performed a thorough survey and are more likely to ask you to go ahead and carry out the works. The more companies using mina to help the public understand what needs to be done and why, the less room there is for cowboys to trick them. Download mina today for free from the App Store to get started, and if you have an existing Maxprobe or TrapJumper control box you can arrange through the Scanprobe Service Team (email@example.com/scanprobe) to get a free update to enable the wireless connectivity and get the BRAND NEW mina survey reporting software. All new units come with this as standard.
Before you ask, no, Maxprobe Print is not an ‘inappropriate joke generator’, but it is still very much “un-PC”, and is the latest development fresh out of Scanprobe Techniques for 2019 designed to save customers both time and money. Sounds too good to be true right?
Just as with the TrapJumper and our mobile application mina Survey, Maxprobe Print has been developed with the end user in mind, and looks to make their job that little bit easier. After all, it’s 2019 and we, the human race, are just as impatient as we were last year, if not more so. The news of the likes of Amazon using drones to deliver products same day has only served to heighten the consumers delivery expectations, as soon as we know we want it, we want it there and then. So why in this day of streaming TV shows and films to your mobile phone, and even taking & making phone calls on your watch, should you have to wait for a engineer to take their pipeline survey away on a USB key back to the office, for someone at a computer to process the survey amongst the rest of their workload, and then send it back to the customer? Maxprobe Print is the answer.
Once the engineer has completed their survey, using their Maxprobe Print enabled Maxprobe they can choose whether to send the survey report to their mobile device as a PDF and then share however they please to their customer or colleagues. This can be via any sharing application that, in this example, the engineer has on their mobile device, so this could be WhatsApp, Dropbox, Google Drive, or simply their email application or send to a wireless printer. From here to their customer or colleagues in a matter of minutes, Maxprobe Print cuts out the middle man and speeds up the entire process, whilst also making storage of their report even easier and less likely to live on the customer’s kitchen table or in a stuffy filing cabinet.
Empowering the engineer to deliver the pipeline inspection survey to the customer whilst still on site is just one of the benefits of Maxprobe Print, as we haven’t mentioned the survey reporting packages on the Maxprobe. Seasoned Maxprobe users will know that the WinCan survey reporting platform has been embedded into the system since 2015, but still requiring the user to purchase the office software from WinCan in order to process the WinCan survey before distributing. What the development of Maxprobe Print delivers is the ability to create a full WinCan report without the need for a PC or any additional software, not only saving time as mentioned above, but also saving money too. But for those who currently enjoy the WinCan embedded experience using their PC, fear not, as this function is still very much a feature of the Maxprobe range.
How Maxprobe Print works is also incredibly simple and helpful for the engineer, as should they choose to send the report back to their mobile device before sending to their customer, the report is stored within the mina app. Using the survey map drawing function (did we mention this is also free?) within the mina app adds even more value to your packaged up report, as once you have generated a quick but detailed survey map, you can send this drawing to the Maxprobe, and Maxprobe Print will package it up with your survey report before sending this to your mobile device. Your WinCan or mina report will now have your drawing embedded within it, and coupled with your detailed report it will near on eliminate any confusion about the survey that has been completed.
We said Maxprobe Print has been developed to save customers both time and money, and we weren’t lying!
The terms “expensive” and “not fit for purpose” are generally polar-opposites, and so the differences are likely to be many, much the same as if we had replaced the term “not fit for purpose” with “cheap”. But whilst “expensive” is an emotive term generally used when talking about a lot of money in comparison to another option, “not fit for purpose” is damning; it cannot do the job we need it to. This then falls into the category “waste of money”, no matter how comparatively less.
So how can you make sure that you are spending money wisely when it comes to a push rod camera?
At Scanprobe Techniques, to date we have invested over £1,000,000 and 4 years into the development of our Maxprobe push rod camera systems as we focus on manufacturing and supplying a product that we can be proud of, and importantly our customers can rely on. We are always calling on our 30+ years of experience in the CCTV inspection systems industry to ensure that our products not only talk-the-talk but also walk-the-walk, and this comes from interacting with our customers and reacting to their comments and concerns. This is why we are continuously updating and adapting our flagship product, the Maxprobe, to optimise it for efficient use in the field, and we have taken particular care to these areas:
These cameras are going into some dark and murky places, and unfortunately the level of which cannot be guaranteed. Not a problem, as with our 600 TVL colour camera and our brightness-adjustable 5th generation SMD LED lighting you are able to adapt to whatever you encounter. Not to mention the ability to capture snapshots and of course the self-levelling camera, all of which ensure that once you have located the issue in the pipe, you are best prepared to identify and rectify it.
Now, this element should not just be viewed as “just a cable”, as it is vital in terms of delivering the video from the camera to the display, but also (and commonly forgotten) it needs to be durable enough to not only withstand the variable terrain that it is pushed through, but also it needs to be flexible yet strong enough to handle being pushed up to 120 meters without kinking or curling up within the pipe. If either of these happen, your 120 meter length rod is not fit for purpose, and so our Maxprobe range has a variety of different diameter cables to ensure the distance you need is the distance you can get.
Being able to see what your push rod camera is detecting is clearly important, and not only does the Maxprobe boast the largest monitor in the industry, but it is also perfectly sunlight readable to the point where you could shine a torch directly at the screen (we’ve done this, it’s how we demonstrate it!) and still see your camera image perfectly. No longer will you need to position a jacket over your head and then over the monitor to block out the sun!
Position of the Sonde Controls
Whilst the controls for the Sonde are commonly found on the camera head under the skid on the Sonde itself, ours is helpfully located on the framework of the reel, so it can be turned on and off quickly and simply. Whilst this can seem a frivolous benefit, we understand that our push rod camera systems are not always being used in the most friendly of situations so ease of use for the operatives and also keeping the switch away from danger of damage have been considered.
How do you want to record/report your survey findings? With the Maxprobe push rod camera you can generate a WinCan survey (we are the only U.K. based company who can offer WinCan Web included), pre-built survey template, on-site audio report, the Maxprobe can do all of these as standard. And the operation of this software is user-friendly and straight forward to follow.
Not all drainage systems are the same, be they industrial, commercial or residential, and so along with having a range of skids to suit the pipework you are surveying it is also important to have a range of push rod camera systems. The flexibility and manoeuvrability of the Maxprobe Lite all the way up to the distance and durability of the Maxprobe 120 means we have everything you need to make sure the investment that you make in a Scanprobe push rod camera system is a good one.
Do you have a push rod camera requirement and would like to discuss this with us. Contact our sales team today – firstname.lastname@example.org/scanprobe