Quick Inspection Times
With a scanning depth of up to 100mm, it is not only incredibly accurate but can provide a cross-section strength estimate in just 40 seconds.
Easy to Learn and Use
Made with repeatability, reproducibility and reliability in mind, the PortaSCAN® is easy to learn how to use, and even easier once you get the hang of it.
Improve Defect Spotting
With the investigative part of the inspection, you can identify potential defects across the full height of the pole, not just where the drilling or sound testing occurs.
The PortaSCAN® measures variation in timber density by quantifying the X-rays that are reflected from within the pole itself and comparing to sound timber from the pole itself. At any height along the pole you can then complete a cross-sectional “circumference” scan to understand the effect on loss of strength at that point and to locate the area of most decay.
As the asset base ages, the risk of failure increases. That is why the need for fast and reliable wood pole inspections is more prevalent than ever before. The demand placed on telegraph poles is also greater than initially expected upon installation due to more power, telecommunications and streetlighting needed by society today. The cost of a pole failure is higher than ever before. Not only does it become news coverage, but many people will spend time without power, streetlighting will be reduced and catastrophic failure can be a risk to human life. Inspections can help prevent unnecessary or unexpected pole failures.
This is where the PortaSCAN® comes into its own. The portable density gauge identifies variations in wood density without having to drill boreholes into the asset. It works by shooting a pencil beam of low-energy electromagnetic rays into the timber surface and measuring the variation in energy that is returned. By doing so, the device estimates the amount of good timber remaining. We then use that information, along with other inputs about the pole, to derive an estimate of remaining strength.
More Benefits and Features
Lightweight and portable
The lightweight design of the PortaSCAN® makes it a practical NDT device for inspectors to use. Conductfull pole inspections without becoming completely exhausted from the heavy tech.
Whole timber structure can be scanned
Look underneath the surface of the timber you are examining in greater detail with higher accuracy that other tools in the market. Being lightweight, the PortaSCAN® can also inspect pole tops and crossarms from the ground.
No destructive drilling
While only a few boreholes in a pole has minimal effect on the structural integrity, it can add up when there are multiple holes within a 300-500mm length of pole. Not only that, but the serviceability of wooden utility poles can also be reduced when drilling through the treated barrieri, even when putting treatment chemicals in the holes. With the PortaSCAN® there’s no drilling and no detrimental effect to pole integrity.
The output is available immediately to the Asset Inspector and can be recorded for later retrieval. This means that when a defect is located, the operator can focus on that section to further quantify its size and effect on structurable stability.
The PortaSCAN® meets Commonwealth and State legislative safety requirements, including all Standards and Codes of Practice related to portable gauges. We help you through the entire application process and use templates to make it easier.
Adaptable to your needs
The PortaSCAN® has a range of configurable settings that means you can adjust business rules to alert at-risk poles depending upon your risk appetite.
The switch from Gamma rays to X-rays makes the latest model PortaSCAN® safer and simpler than previous models. By only emitting a collimated beam radiation when the unit is performing measurements, the PortaSCAN® emits no radiation otherwise.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a scan take to complete?
On average, scanning a pole takes about 3 minutes to complete. There are several factors that impact the time taken to scan a pole such as if the pole is sound and there are few anomalies picked up, it can take around a minute.
However, if there are notable defects located, and you also perform a half-speed circumference scan, you may spend 3-4 minutes focussing in on the defect then about 40-60 seconds on the cross-section scan.
Does the PortaSCAN® replace borehole drilling?
Yes! Aside from being a hit and miss technique, drilling also damages the pole under inspection. If the pole is already weak, drilling can exacerbate the problem. With the PortaSCAN® you can take measurements that are effectively lots of drill holes. All with no residual effect on the pole.
How much does it cost?
The PortaSCAN® can be purchased or hired. To buy outright the device costs AUD$60,000 plus GST. Rentals cost AUD$7,000 plus GST per month, with long-term rentals being much cheaper.
We still have units working after 10 years of service, especially considering the hard life they lead in the back of a vehicle. If you’re testing about 5,000 poles per year, over 5 years it works out at $2.40 plus GST per pole.
How much training is involved to use the device?
The training to operate the PortaSCAN® effectively and safely takes a few days to complete. We cover safety first, how the PortaSCAN® works, and most of the time is spent hands-on in the field. Separately, depending on the State/country there is also radiation safety training. While we also cover safety elements in our course, our goal is to ensure all operators really understand how the PortaSCAN® works and obtain the best results on each pole.
In this regard we revisit you a few months later for follow up and also provide an additional day’s refresher every year so that no bad habits creep in.