To save New Yorkers time and money every day, E-J Electric Installation Co. used Bluebeam Revu on a major train signal upgrade project.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) train signal system is outdated. It is the same fixed-block signal system used when the subway system opened in 1904 and is prone to signal failures that cost New Yorkers time and money every day.
However, a tool like Bluebeam Revu in the hands of Senior Project Engineer James Inglima of E-J Electric Installation Co. can save his company, and the entire city of New York, valuable time.
Contracts went out to install voltage sag correctors at all of the signal switchers, a time-consuming operation due to the immense scale of the NYC subway system.
E-J Electric Installation Co., one of New York’s largest electrical contracting companies and a regular contractor for the MTA, won the work to install sag correctors across 96 stations.
This is where Inglima comes in to do the job with Revu, Bluebeam’s PDF based platform for editing, marking up and sharing blueprints. Inglima’s task was to survey signal switchers, take pictures and document measurements, then create blueprints for the installation of the sag correctors.
Traditionally, a job like this would require at least two days for each blueprint, but the team decided to try Revu on a tablet to see if they could save any time. The performance was so positive that even Inglima, a fan of Revu, was surprised by how much time they saved.
“This unique job was perfect for [Revu]. For the amount of detailing in sketches in this thing, the equipment down there, it’s perfect for going out and doing sketches instead of having to bring a clipboard and hand sketching it with a ruler and doing all that,” Inglima said.
“Being able to import pictures is huge, so we can take pictures of existing situations, and that way I can direct my foremen where I want them to be or how I want them to install something. I just use the existing picture and I could show it right on there.
“We did 96 stations in 96 working days,” Inglima said. “I was able to use the signature tools that day, and everything got signed and sent out for production immediately. There was no turnover time, there was no going back to the office. I reckon we saved ourselves another 96 days.”
Inglima said that other installers have been doing using a pens, paper, rulers and coloured pencils for years.
“I show up with my tablet, and I’m in and out… it took me eight hours for the first one, but once you get it, 15-20 stations in, I’m done in five hours,” he said.
“We supplement a lot of our drawings now with sketches that we do in Revu.”
There are still many challenges ahead for the NYC subways, but at least for Inglima and E-J Electric Co., they’re taking advantage of the cost-saving solutions that modern technology offers and making the daily commute of millions of New Yorkers that much faster.