Investing in the Leica GS18 I to deliver market-leading solutions
At family-owned VA Gruppen AB, part of the recipe for success is learning new technology and continuously investing in innovative instruments to deliver market-leading solutions to their customers. Their recent investment in Leica GS18 I, a versatile GNSS RTK rover with Visual Positioning, has proved this principle and made a positive impact on the surveying speed, amount of data captured and workflow processes in their daily surveying tasks.
VA Gruppen’s success: expertise, dedicated staff and latest technology
VA Gruppen AB is a leading family-owned company with a high level of expertise in construction work and designing, building and maintaining water utility facilities. They complete their own surveying in-house for projects like digging pipes, finding that it saves costs and is more efficient for them and their customers.
“We discovered that it is more flexible when we have our own surveyors and can prioritise jobs instead of waiting for a surveyor from an external company,” explains Martin Holmqvist, Head of Measurement at VA Gruppen.
Headquartered in Trelleborg, Sweden, they currently employ approximately 170 employees. Their dedicated and detail-oriented staff play an important role in the company’s success.
Another factor is VA Gruppen’s commitment to learning new technology and continuously investing in innovative instruments that will allow them to deliver market-leading solutions to their customers. To complete their surveying tasks, they use the Leica Nova MS60 MultiStation, the Leica Aibot UAV solution and the GS18 I.
The integration of the versatile GS18 I into their survey equipment toolkit has made a big difference in the daily work of employees like Oliver Vingren, who works as a Measurement Engineer at VA Gruppen.
“There are projects where I have been able to halve the time thanks to the possibilities of Visual Positioning,” confirms Vingren.
Measuring with images offers expanded opportunities
Just like the GS18 I, Vingren is relatively new to VA Gruppen. He completed his survey engineer training in the spring of 2020, including internships where he used Leica Geosystems equipment. Vingren enjoys many aspects of the surveying profession, including working both in the field and the office and the chance to work with tools like the GS18 I that make capturing measurement data easier and more comprehensive.
The GS18 I’s Visual Positioning technology is accomplished through the combination of a camera, GNSS and IMU, allowing surveyors to both measure with a tilted pole and take measurements from images. These two features greatly expand the potential to measure points that are difficult or dangerous to reach. With the help of Leica Captivate field software, Vingren can measure points taken from recorded images directly in the field.
Simply put, the Leica GS18 I gives Vingren the opportunity to measure exactly what he sees. Attaching the GS18 I to a surveying pole and pairing it with the Leica CS20 controller running Captivate, Vingren forms an effective one-man army on his measurement missions.
“The opportunity to capture and measure the site with Visual Positioning provides several important advantages. It is fast to capture an area with images and easy to measure points that are obstructed. In terms of safety, I can eliminate all climbs into trenches. If the camera’s line of sight reaches the point, there is no reason for me to go there,” Vingren says.
Holmqvist expands on these benefits: “With the data from the GS18 I, we are able to later measure pipes that are already buried. It is also good to be able to walk along a pipe trench and provide images of the slope edge to the customer. It creates a better experience and is more efficient for the surveyor."
Seamless software and cloud solutions add more benefits
On cold, rainy, three-degree January days when Vingren needs to survey a site, he is grateful for the quick, comprehensive measurement capabilities of the GS18 I that get him back to the warm office, ready to review his data – data which is richer than in the past.
In the office, he switches from Captivate to Leica Infinity, which allows him to measure points or further process the data and create a point cloud.
“In the point cloud, there is an incredible amount of information, which leads us to another advantage of the GS18 I,” explains Vingren. “If I need to do a volume calculation, pick out specific coordinates or something else, I do not need to go out and take new measurements.”
Leica Geosystems’ cloud solutions also enable Vingren to visualise, validate and share captured data with his collaborators and stakeholders.
“All the information I need can be extracted from the existing material, and if I need to share any information with my colleagues I can easily do it via Leica ConX. The faster we get all the information, the faster we can solve the task for our customers,” Vingren concludes.