QEST Platform 5.5 Release

Everyone at Spectra QEST is delighted to announce that QEST Platform 5.5 is now available. This release is so packed with new functionality that there is something here for everyone.

QEST Platform 5.5 migrates ever more functionality to the new QEST Web App technology stack and improves on existing functionality to continue to increase efficiency of construction materials testing field and laboratory operations utilizing the award winning Platform.

Barcode Navigation and Moisture Content Testing Automation

The barcode driven navigation and moisture content testing automation QEST Web App features allow busy aggregate and soil laboratories to drastically improve operational efficiency by removing:

  • The shuffling of paper to locate worksheets,

  • Cross referencing tin IDs against worksheets

  • Transposition errors from transferring dry weights from moisture content testing to individual worksheets

Barcode navigation allows sample portions to be tagged with barcodes when the sample is received and split for testing, a barcode is printed for each test that is to be undertaken on a portion of material. The barcode travels with the material through the laboratory as testing is undertaken. Laboratory technicians need only to scan the barcode to navigate directly to the test of interest and begin recording test results and observations.

When used in conjunction with balance interfacing, which can read masses from digital balances directly into the worksheet, not only is the need for paper reduced but so is the need to transpose data from the balance itself.

If a laboratory test requires that portions of material be tested for moisture content, the moisture content automation feature drastically increases the efficiency of this process.

When performing a test that requires water content to be determined one or more times, the laboratory technician:

  1. Scans a pre-barcoded moisture tin which associates the tin with the next moisture content portion on the test,

  2. Places the tin on the scale and scans it again, which automatically transfers the mass reading from the balance to the worksheet

  3. Places material in the tin

  4. Places the tin on the scale again and scans the barcode one more time. This automatically transfers the tin and wet material mass to the worksheet.

The technician can then move onto preparing the next portion.

The tins with wet material from all tests performed during the day are placed in the oven for drying. After drying is complete, all of the tins are removed from the oven. At this point a laboratory technician:

  1. Removes a tin from the tray and places it on the balance

  2. Scans the tin

  3. Is automatically navigated to the Dry Mass Entry QEST Web App page and the tin and dry material mass is automatically transferred to the appropriate tin

The dry mass capture process is repeated until all of the trays have been scanned and weighed.

The above processes are supported on all tests implemented in the QEST Web App, including all tests implemented prior to this version.

Please contact the Spectra QEST service for assistance in configuring balance interfacing, barcode navigation and moisture content testing automation and streamline your laboratory operations.

Key Australian Standards Aggregate and Soil Tests in the QEST Web App

Support has been added in the QEST Platform for the following key aggregate/soil laboratory tests, including support for equipment interfacing as well as barcode navigation and moisture content automation.:

  • AS 1289.2.1.1 - Moisture Content - Oven Drying

  • AS 1289.5.1.1 - Standard Maximum Dry Density

  • AS 1289.5.2.1 - Modified Maximum Dry Density

  • AS 1289.5.4.2 - Assignment of maximum dry density and optimum moisture content values

  • AS 1289.5.7.1 - Hilf density ratio and Hilf moisture variation (rapid method)

  • AS 1289.5.4.1 - Dry density ratio, moisture variation and moisture ratio

  • AS 1289.5.8.1 - Field density and field moisture content of a soil using a nuclear surface moisture–Density gauge

  • AS 1289.6.3.2 - Penetration resistance of a soil—9 kg dynamic cone penetrometer

  • AS 1289.3.6.1 - Particle Size Distribution by Sieving

  • AS 1141.11.1 - Particle size distribution — Sieving method

  • AS 1289.3.1.1, AS 1289.3.2.1, AS 1289.3.3.1 - Liquid Limits (Casagrande), Plastic Limits and Plasticity Index

  • AS 1289.3.4.1 - Determination of the linear shrinkage of a soil—Standard method

  • AS 1289.3.8.1 - Determination of Emerson class number of a soil

A number of these test methods also come with reports built in the new QEST Platform reporting engine.

US Nuclear Gauge Standardization Workflows

Recording and keeping track of standardization measurements for nuclear density gauges just became simpler than ever. Field technicians:

  • Can carry out the standardization of a gauge per ASTM D6938 Annex 3 on a daily basis using QESTField

  • Are guided to take a new baseline if standard readings are out of tolerance

  • Are warned if standardization readings for the gauge selected for use in testing have not been completed or are not within tolerance

Once a standardization has been completed for a gauge on a given day, the standard counts are automatically imported to any tests carried out on that day.

Of course, the standardization data is also accessible from the equipment item for review by quality and project managers.

The following nuclear gauge types are supported in the standardization functionality:

  • Moisture-Density Gauges

  • Thin Lift Capable Gauges

  • Dual Purpose Gauges

Field Density Project Based Numbering

The QEST Platform now supports project-based numbering for all field density testing. This means that field density tests can now be incrementally numbered on a per-project basis for simpler tracking and identification of these tests on a given project.

When in use, the same numbering system is used to identify individual tests on reports, including the identification of retests.

These numbers can be used in summary of field density testing in management reports and throughout the platform.

This functionality is available for the following tests:

  • Nuclear Field Density [ASTM D6938]

  • Nuclear Field Density - Metric [ASTM D6938]

  • In-situ Density - Sand Cone Method [ASTM D 1556]

  • Nuclear Field Density [AASHTO T 310]

  • Asphalt Density by Nuclear Method [ASTM D2 950]

  • Nuclear Field Density [ARIZ 235]

  • Nuclear Field Density [BS 1377-9 Clause 2.5]

  • Sand Replacement [BS 1377-9 Clause 2.2]

  • In-situ Density of Bituminous Material by Nuclear Method [UK In-House Method]

  • Nuclear Field Density [AS 1289.5.4.1]

GPS Coordinates Capture in QESTField Workflows

The following workflows can now capture GPS coordinates for the test location:

  • Density by Drive-Cylinder [ASTM D 2937]

  • Density by Sand Cone [ASTM D 1556]

  • Michigan Nuclear Density [ASTM D 6938]

  • Nuclear Density (Metric) [ASTM D 6938]

  • Nuclear Density (Metric) [ASTM D 6938]/COE Pickup

  • Nuclear Density [ASTM D 6938]

  • Nuclear Density [ASTM D 6938]/Coe Pickup

  • Nuclear Density + Est./Ext. Mod. Proctor [ASTM D 6938, D 1557]

  • Nuclear Density + Est./Ext. Std. Proctor [ASTM D 6938, D 698]

  • NYSDOT One-Point Nuclear Density [ASTM D 6938, GTM-10]

  • Asphalt Sample Pickup

  • Aggregate/Soil Sample Pickup

Improved Bulk Checking Functionality

More improvements to the batch update functionality, originally introduced in QEST Platform 5.3, mean it’s now possible to selectively mark multiple tests on a work order as checked in a single operation.

This allows for easier management of checking off of field tests prior to the completion of laboratory testing, for example.

This applies to all tests that can be present on a work order, from QEST Web App tests to user documents to legacy QESTLab tests.

More Reports in New Reporting Engine

Migration of legacy functionality continues, as the following reports for the UK region have now been brought into the new reporting engine that was released with QEST Platform 5.4.

  • Plate Loading Test Report

  • Equivalent CBR by Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Test Report

  • Equivalent Shear Strength by Hand Vane Test Report

  • In-situ Density by Nuclear Method Test Report

  • In-situ Density by Sand Replacement Test Report

  • In-situ Density of Bituminous Material by Nuclear Method Test Report

Inter-Laboratory Transfers for All

The Inter-Laboratory Transfer feature, originally introduced with QEST Platform 5.4 is now available for all aggregate/soil tests, including legacy QESTLab tests.

The Inter-Laboratory transfer feature allows a work order containing samples with QEST Web App tests to be transferred from one laboratory to another and back again in order to more efficiently share testing resources. Once work orders are transferred, tests completed in another laboratory are viewable but read-only in other labs.

If only a subset of samples (or sub-samples) need to be transferred from a work order, a copy function allows these samples to be quickly and easily copied to a new work order for transfer. The new work order and samples are linked to the original and it is always possible to track where each work order is.

Laboratories that samples are transferred to can complete the work, sign the reports and transfer the work order back to the originating laboratory for report distribution and invoicing. Alternatively the laboratory performing the testing can distribute reports and invoice if necessary. The Inter-Laboratory transfer feature will work with the processes in use at your organisation.

Availability and Purchase

Please contact Spectra QEST to take advantage of the improvements in QEST Platform 5.5.


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