Seaward Electronic, the market leading manufacturer of PAT testers, have launched a new app for the manual logging of PAT test results. This free app has been designed to work with the Seaward Primetest 50 & Primetest 100 PAT testers, making record keeping and basic reporting quicker and easier.
The official launch of the new app is Thursday 18th September, however we got a sneak preview and have given it a full review here.
What does it do?
The app allows users to record test results carried out on their PAT. Individual appliance numbers can be entered, along with an appliance description. There are several great features that make this a really useful app, including a barcode scanner function which uses the phone’s camera and also the option to print pass or fail labels to the Seaward test & tag pro printer.
Once test results are saved, they can be exported via email and a basic report can then be printed out. The report, whilst limited, is laid out clearly making it easy enough to open and print out the test results (label printing not available for iOS).
The barcode scanner feature utilises a separate app to get your camera phone to work as a barcode scanner. You’ll be prompted to install this if it’s not already on your phone. Whilst the scanner function can be a little slow, it does work well.
Entering details of the asset is quick and easy. Having entered the appliance ID, add a short description and Select Class I, II or mains lead from the symbols provided. Next you enter a pass or fail, using a green thumbs up or red thumbs down icon and add the test results as required. For users of the Primetest 50, only a pass or fail is selected as this tester does not give results. Finally, choose a retest period, current options are 6, 12 or 24 months and then enter your test results.
The standard menu for entry of test results includes readings for the different tests as follows:
- Earth Bond
- Earth Leakage
- Earth Bond
Each test has one or two default values as quick select options, as well as being able to enter a specific test result.
The app can also utilise the camera in the phone to capture images of the appliance, ideal if you wish to record a visual fail. Once you have entered your test information, you have the option to print a test label. The app has been designed to work with the Seaward Bluetooth test & tag pro printer, saving you a lot of time when it comes to producing pass or fail labels.
On completion, test results can be saved and are displayed in a list. This list can be filtered to show passed appliances, failed appliances, bookmarked appliances or all. In addition you can filter on the asset ID, last or next test date or the test result.
To print out test results, you need to export the data. The app will create an xml file, which you can attach to an email. All you need to do is email the file to a PC, or MAC, with a printer, open the file and print off the results.
Speed & Ease-of-Use
The app is very intuitive, it has a nice basic layout that is easy to follow and makes the data entry quick. Once test data is entered, printing a label or saving the data is done at the touch of a button.
We tested the app using an Android phone with a Seaward Primtest 100 and an IEC lead. The time taken to scan the barcode, carry out the tests, enter the details and save the result was less than a minute. This did not include the time you would take with a formal visual inspection, which can vary from appliance to appliance, or the time taken to print a label which is around 5 seconds.
Room for Improvement
There are a few areas where the app could be improved. Currently there is no recorded visual test, only the electrical tests. Given that most appliances fail at the visual stage, the addition of this test is, in our opinion, very important.
It is possible to enter a failed test result and still have the green pass indication active. Whilst the icons do not appear on the report and the test results will still show as a fail, it would be better if the app automatically defaulted to the fail icon as well.
It’s worth noting that this app is currently only designed for use with the Seaward Primetest 50 & 100 PAT testers. The Primetest 250 manual tester has been missed off the list on the first release. Whilst we wouldn’t expect Seaward to include other manufacturers’ testers, it would be nice to have the option to manually enter other models. Maybe this will be an in-app purchase for future releases.
It would be good to see a risk assessment calculator for assistance when it comes to determining the retest period. This way, both duty holders and test operatives would be able to better utilise the app. Also, Seaward have another free app, the Lead Limit Calculator, which could be incorporated as a part of this one. This would save time switching between the two when calculating resistances of longer leads.
The user settings don’t allow the changing of the company name, which shows as Seaward Electronic Ltd on the reports. Maybe a future update will make this customisable.
Data cannot be exported into PATGuard Elite software at this time, however as this is just version 1.1, maybe we’ll see this with a future update.
This is a great app and ideal for those with basic systems who want to increase productivity and offer a better level of reporting to their customers. It’s a fast & intuitive, so you won’t require a training course in how to use it, or hours of trawling through a manual to work out what does what.
When we wrote this review, the app was on version 1.1 and there is plenty of scope to improve the functionality with additional features. Current features, including the barcode scanner, save you having to fork out for extra equipment. Whilst the test & tag pro label printer does come at an additional cost, around £329.00 + VAT, the labels are inexpensive at £21.00 + VAT per roll of 400. This works out at only 5 pence per label. Label printing is currently only available for Android.
As it stands, you get a lot of functionality for free. There is no doubt if you’re currently using the Seaward Primetest 50 or Primetest 100, this will be a great enhancement and will speed up your testing process.