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Testing Software

In 2008, the release of BS 7909 (code of practice for temporary electrical systems for entertainment and related purposes) required all power systems installed for these uses to be appropriately certified.  Up until this time, if testing was carried out, it was often based around the guidance of BS7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations) which is not really best suited to the Plug and Play types of electrical system commonly found in the entertainment and event industries. 

The release of BS7909 enabled the industry to be able to request inspection testing and certification to a known standard; also to expect paperwork based upon a model form shown in the document.  Additionally it ensured that those specifying and installing temporary power systems had an appropriate method to follow.

For the summer of 2012, HPES Technical Solutions Ltd were requested to carry out testing of many hundreds of temporary electrical systems.  A need was identified for a method of collecting and collating the detail of power and distribution systems.  Our previous method which had relied upon notebook computers was not appropriate due to site requirements of 5 point PPE (including gloves).  The anticipated (and realised) risk of bad weather would also have made use of traditional computers impractical. 

The use of tablet style devices in waterproof pouches was a solution identified by our team.  We designed a method to ensure that work was carried out appropriately and that our staff would be inspecting and testing each system in the same way.  An IT specialist was selected and contracted to create an application for our preferred Android devices (Samsung 7” tablets) and our method was put into place. 

Each tablet is connected via a local cell phone or WiFi network to a server.  This ensures that information collected is instantly passed to our administration team.  The method ensures that loss of, or damage to a tablet in the field will not cause issues; the most data that can be mislaid is the most recent part of the system visited.  A very important consideration when power shut downs for some areas can be very time consuming and costly to arrange.

Use of the custom built application on the tablets results in forms being accurately and legibly completed.  A degree of comfort is provided to all from the knowledge that the signatory has entered all details and there is no means of altering the information. 

The final form is issued as a PDF document and is named to ensure that it can be accurately traced to a specific part of a specific system at a specific event when looking at the file name.  Additionally, the serial number applied to the file name, taken from within the body of the document, provides a fully unique identifier for the form.

Our solution is one of which we are proud and we are constantly able to update and refine points as required.  The investment was large but justified by the turnover of work it enables HPES Technical Solutions Ltd to achieve.