Business is brisk for SA-based Practical Programs.
The scanning specialist's DataViewer software is being used
to provide up-to-date engineering drawings that dramatically
improve the safety of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
DataViewer can turn have a tonne of technical drawings into
a briefcase full of CDs, and provide CD keys that automatically
update an entire database of drawings.
The result is increased efficiencies in off-site maintenance
and support for a fleet that includes RNZAF's Iroquols helicopters,
currently in service in East Timor.
Before the DataViewer implementation, each aircraft type
had only one set of engineering drawings, held on aperture
For security reasons, the cards containing this sensitive
and complex information were not permitted to leave the base,
making off-site aircraft maintenance difficult.
The new system let Air Force personnel view thousands of
electronic drawings using just a standard computer, RNZAF
DataViewer project leader Flight Sergeant Paul Taylor said.
?For aircraft flying into East Timor they don't have
the infrastructure to hook up to a high-bandwidth connection
and view the latest documentation over a secure internet
connection." he said.
?The alternative is costly, inefficient communication with
the base in New Zealand.
"A lot of maintenance is outsourced, so non-Air
Force personnel can also now have easier access to the
correct information for maintenance."
The customisation needed to meet the RNZAF requirements
had expanded the commercial applications of DataViewer within
the civil aviation and other industries, managing director
Richard Bates said.
" There's a requirement in a lot of industries to manage
documents in areas where people don't have internet access,
such as industrial environments, crop planes or commercial
aircraft - anywhere people don't have access to a phone line," he
"Planes are constantly being modified.
"Some airlines employ full-time staff just keeping
manuals up to date with the latest modifications.
"Without every tiny detail, a technician could
be working without the correct knowledge.
"DataViewer makes sure that even without an internet
connection, they're viewing the latest version."
The project follows a string of successes for Practical
Programs, which recently outclassed several multinational
companies to win a $100,000 contract to implement a business
document management solution for Air Services Australia.
Development of DataViewer has been backed by SA IT&T
industry incubator Playford Centre, which provided a
$160,000 venture capital package that included funding
for research and product development, as well as export
The company is now seeking further investment for its push
offshore, which so far includes 19 European distributors
in countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Spain, translating
its software into several other languages, and exhibiting
at the next CeBIT expo/
?More then 700 DataViewer licenses are currently installed
in Australia and New Zealand and we are anticipating
increased demand for our services in line with industry
Gertner expects the desktop market to grow by 23 percent
to $US700 million ($1.3 billion) by 2003.
Photocopy of the article...