Lights, cameras, action
30 November 2018
Electrical safety for a West End Theatre company involves testing in situations where access is tricky. Seaward explains how their engineers work in these restrictive situations.
WHEN WHITE Light needed testing equipment for some of its more complex projects, the AV and lighting specialist knew Seaward would have the perfect solution.
Starting life as a lighting rental shop for London’s West End theatres in the 1970s, White Light has expanded to become a leading technical solution specialist. The company now counts theatres, concert venues and broadcast studios among its areas of expertise and prides itself on supplying the equipment, knowledge and support to help its customers achieve the most out of their projects.
Technical support manager at White Light Nick Sheridan said, “We were looking for a device we could use in some of our venues where access is tricky – think small theatres and tight sub-stage areas, which typically involve testing at height or in confined spaces.
“Our engineers visit challenging spaces on a daily basis and our clients expect work to be carried out quickly and efficiently – so it’s essential that our equipment is reliable and accurate too.”
The company was already familiar with Seaward devices, using the PrimeTest 50 and 250+ to test rental equipment – so purchasing an Apollo 500+ was a natural choice.
Nick continued: “We’ve been let down in the past by unreliable or unstable machines and a lack of manufacturer support – but Seaward has always been the standout brand for reliability and professionalism.
“I like that the team are experts in their field. It means they really know their stuff and put huge amounts of thought into product development.”
Since its launch five years ago, the original Apollo series has been a firm favourite among users, consistently outperforming the competition to secure its position as the best-selling downloadable PAT tester on the market.
The Apollo+ series builds on the success of its predecessor with a range of new features and improved functionality, including updated software designed to speed up testing times.
Its lightweight design and long battery life made it the ideal solution for Nick’s engineers – providing them with the freedom to test in restrictive working environments.
Nick said: “Our engineers are big advocates of the Bluetooth scanner!
“We often need to work on site for long periods of time, or overnight – so having the option to send results back to the office is hugely beneficial.
“Not only does it give us peace of mind that the data is backed up but it also helps us speed up the reporting process.”
Apollo+ models are boosted by new accessories, including an external rechargeable battery pack – welcome news for high-volume users who are now able to recharge their devices on-the-go, extending their operation time.
There’s also enhanced interface functionality, including customisable operator permissions, advanced search options and the ability to quickly navigate results.
As with the original series, Apollo+ devices feature Seaward’s easy-to-use PATGuard software which includes Time Manager, a popular feature available on Apollo devices for the first time.
Nick explained, “A large proportion of what we do as a department involves high volume equipment servicing.
“This is incredibly specialist and requires a lot of record keeping – and unfortunately there aren’t any turnkey systems or products to give us the tools we need to create accurate reports for our customers quickly.”
Nick experimented with different methods but struggled to keep up with the sheer amount of data involved in these projects, finding it impossible to keep on top of without a dedicated admin team.
Now, thanks to the Apollo+, Nick thinks he’s finally found a solution.
He explained, “We’ve been beta testing the use of the Apollo+ as a multipurpose tester and reporting tool for jobs involving more than just regular PAT testing – sometimes even jobs where no electrical testing is required at all!
In fact, Nick has created his own unique test sequences, allowing him to enter any data into the Apollo+.
Nick continued, “We can now store all information under one record, one ID and, together with PATGuard3, reports can be generated so quickly and easily that we have already reduced both the amount of data being stored and the speed at which this data is processed.
“Reports that previously took us weeks to complete only take one or two days – now I can receive the data, validate it and generate the report without even needing to look the engineer in the eye!”
This is great for Nick’s busy team of engineers who can now focus on the job at hand without worrying about completing lengthy paperwork or filling in databases.
In fact, Nick has even set a target to reduce overall admin time for medium to large scale projects by around 75 per cent – and he’s confident the Apollo+ will help him achieve it.
Seaward’s expert team has been on hand to support Nick and his team throughout the set-up process.
Nick said, “Advice and support is available whenever we need it – and the team has been extremely helpful in ensuring we get the most out of our devices, offering solutions and ideas for dealing with specific scenarios.”
Seaward UK field sales manager, Richard Slade, added, “It’s always encouraging to hear from customers who have seen a real benefit and difference to their work thanks to our devices.
“We listened carefully to customer feedback when developing the Apollo+ range – and it’s clear this has paid off for White Light.
“We put our customers at the heart of everything we do to ensure our devices slot seamlessly into their operations and provide the very best testing experience.”
Nick agreed: “There are many ways the Apollo+ helps our engineers carry out their day-to-day tasks but most important it gives them the freedom to concentrate more on the job at hand – and deliver the quality that customers have come to expect from us.
“This is our busiest service period historically and will be the ultimate test to see if our investment has paid off – I’m confident we won’t be disappointed.”
For more information, visit: www.seaward.co.uk