Sygma Solutions Now Partners With Mala For Locating Hard-To-Find Utilities

Sygma Solutions is the leading provider of training for underground utility location equipment in the UK and is proud to partner with Mala, the manufacturers of the Easy Locator. The Easy Locator uses ground penetrating radar and is thus able to locate non-metallic buried utilities down to a depth of as much as 4 metres, depending on the individual model. Many types of machine can only pinpoint metallic utilities and are unable to locate non-metallic utilities, but the Easy Locator can find both with equal ease. This has become increasingly important, as more and more services are using plastic and non-metallic pipes.

Professional surveyors are aware of the problems of locating non-metallic utilities, and ground penetrating radar is the only technology that does not rely on electromagnetic radiation from the utility and does not need a physical connection to the utility either. The Mala system has an easy to use interface, and the settings are almost totally automated, which means that very little input is required from the operator. There are two antenna frequencies which are optimised for both resolution and depth of the utilities. The design of the Easy Locator makes transportation easy and also requires minimum set-up time. It has a hinged shaft which enables it to be folded down so that it will easily fit into the back of an estate car for moving from one site to the next.

The monitor on the Easy Locator is very simple to read, even in direct sunlight, and the interface is controlled by a single turn and push dial rather than a keyboard. The Easy Locator SHALLOW antenna is used for targets as small as 3cm in diameter and will work to a depth of 2.5 metres in many soils, while the Easy Locator MID finds targets as small as 5cm diameter and will work down to 4 metres depending on the soil type.

There is also a Rough Terrain Cart option which has larger wheels so there is a bigger gap between the antenna and the ground which helps to avoid small stones and other objects in the path of the unit. The Easy Locator is considerably less expensive to buy than other GPR systems and also provides higher data resolution and greater depth penetration than others. It also reduces random noise which results in unrivalled data quality.

Sygma Solutions is the only Mala approved service and repair centre in the UK and provides a full service for just £350. As a result of recent expansion, Sygma can now provide servicing for any type of radio detection equipment giving a complete service and calibrations solution for all location tools. The company also provides a loan service for contractors having their equipment serviced, so that there is no resulting downtime.

Sygma Solutions also has available 5 almost new Easy Locator IXM units for hire. These use the very latest software and supporting GPS and 3D grid option.

A large part of the business of Sygma Solutions is utility detection training. The company runs full day and half day courses with training aimed specifically at the CAT and Genny in order to improve operatives’ awareness of cable avoidance techniques and ensure they operate in a safe and cost-effective manner. The courses also cover the limitations of the equipment in use.

Every course begins with classroom work covering the reasons for using buried pipe and cable locators including guidance on how to comply with HSG47. Buried service plans are shown and discussed so that operatives understand the different formats. Electromagnetic theory is covered, and then the various functions of the CAT and Genny are discussed with emphasis on the Genny use, and checking that the equipment is functioning correctly.

Attendees are then taken out on site and taught the importance of visual checks before undertaking any work. They learn how to use both the CAT and Genny in all modes and the benefits of using the CAT and Genny in combination including the use of dual frequencies. Sygma Solutions also provides an opportunity for operatives to go for the nationally recognise Level 2 utility mapping qualification enabling them to gain a CSCS card.