Skanska has, on behalf of Telia Skanova, laid 1,250 km of backbone fibre from Örebro to Luleå. The Backbone North cable increases the capacity and security of the transport network to the north—a must for Facebook's large datacentres in Luleå. Trimble's smart app Novapoint GO has been used to streamline and ensure the quality of the construction work.
“It has taken two years to lay the 125-mile-long cable,” says Martin Omberg, project engineer and district economist at Skanska in Östersund.
Colloquially known as the "Facebook cable", the Backbone North cable passes through 26 municipalities. The stretch runs through varying terrain and differing ground conditions such as forest, mountain ranges and waterways. Telia has prioritized high security for the cable, so there are no parts above ground. Most of it is buried along roads, but it has also gone under waterways
Close dialogue required
“The project was challenging in several ways. It required careful planning and continuous dialogue with Telia, various landowners, county administrations and the Swedish Transport Administration.”
“One of the challenges was to communicate obstacles, errors and the need for adjustments throughout production. Quick decisions were necessary to keep up the pace of production,” Martin says.
Novapoint GO for control and monitoring
“We have benefited greatly from Novapoint GO,” he continues. Trimble’s app is developed for construction managers and production personnel who do the monitoring, documentation and control outside of the facility.”
“For quality assurance, the entire route must be continuously documented with pictures. Documenting things with a smartphone camera is something anyone can do, but without a tool like Novapoint GO you don't know exactly where along the route the picture was taken. If, for example, we took 100 pictures along a section, 99 of them would be in a cable shaft that looks the same.”
Quality assurance for the job
“So, when we get together with the customer and look at the pictures in Novapoint GO, we have the advantage of knowing when and where on the route the picture was taken. With so many people involved, we would never have been able to keep order with so many similar images any other way.”
Novapoint GO is a digital diary that can be used for both navigation and documentation. The app is simple and effective and requires no preparation before going into the field.
“Novapoint GO has proven to be a very effective aid in these contexts. The cable route was sectioned and measured every meter along the line, all handled by GO. When the cable route is installed, you can see which section you are in at all times. All the pictures you take are logged with date, time and location,” says Martin.
“When you are back at the office, you can show all log points with pictures and comments on a map and easily display this information in your reports.”
“Above all, this has led to us having a good and quick dialogue with the customer,” he continues.
“We were able to easily take a picture and show exactly where the problem is. In this way, the customer can make quick decisions about how to proceed. For example, the customer might have to quickly decide whether it is OK to cut down a tree or move the cable due to an obstacle.”
Better control over changes
“For our part, Novapoint GO has given us control over changes and additional work, something that we have to charge for,” says Martin.
“It is easy to forget these things when you are out in the field. Novapoint GO has made this task easier to enter comments when and where the change occurs. Otherwise, it's easy to put this off for a few days because it's not a big deal, and then it's simply forgotten.”
Throughout the project, Skanska had several different work teams that worked in parallel on the 125-mile stretch. Many people were involved and spread over a large geographical area.
Makes work more efficient
“Since the cable line is sectioned and you get the section information immediately, you can also use Novapoint GO to navigate to the location in question. An example is when a supervisor needs to come out and see what the issue is about for themselves. Novapoint GO makes this easy.”
“In addition to better change control, Novapoint GO has greatly contributed to streamlining work for Skanska,” concludes Martin.
“We are going to use Novapoint GO in an upcoming project. This project is only 20 miles long, so we hope to be able to use even more of the functions in Novapoint GO, and therefore work even better!”