Let’s build a new era of restoration

How a global crisis inspires us to strengthen the world’s foundation

By | 4 minute read | July 2, 2020

At IBM, we’ve been examining many of the problems that face the world today, and we’ve been developing solutions to help overcome them. We believe that the next pressing issue facing regional and local governments could be our dangerously deteriorating infrastructures. Throughout the world, civil engineers are sending a clarion call to repair them before we are faced with another looming disaster. As a result, we’ve announced the launch of IBM® Maximo® Asset Management for Civil Infrastructure.

Civil engineers are well aware of the dangers

Over the past few decades, governments have spent a lot of money to build civil infrastructures – modern superhighways, breathtaking bridges, and even smart sidewalks that collect data about pedestrian traffic. But as much as we’ve paid to erect these structures, we haven’t invested enough to maintain them. The Gardiner Expressway in Toronto became unstable and crumbled. Ponte Morandi in Italy collapsed. A section of I-85 in Atlanta was reduced to rubble by a fire. Civil engineers are all too aware of the problems, and they fight for the funds to correct them. But according to the American Society of Engineers, there remains a USD 2 trillion funding gap over the next decade in the United States alone. This means that we can expect the infrastructure to continue to deteriorate.

As of today:

  • 9.1% of bridges are structurally deficient
  • Poorly maintained roadways cost 6.9 billion hours in traffic delays
  • 6 billion gallons of water are lost every day1

How did we get where we are?

A lot of factors come into play. First of all, when reinforced concrete was introduced, engineers believed it would last over 1,000 years. To their dismay, the material started showing signs of wear and tear after only a decade of use.

While we recognize and accept the issue of concrete deterioration, we need a simple, cost-effective way to investigate structures to determine which areas require immediate attention. Many civil infrastructure companies have relied on specialized talents, such as mountaineers to scale their massive bridges. Others have used time-consuming manual processes to assess their extensive networks of aging structures.

We need a new approach to asset management

While mostly effective, these manual inspections take an extraordinary amount of time to complete and they are sometimes very dangerous. They’re also very expensive. To offset this expense, a new asset management and maintenance approach is needed: one that protects critical civil infrastructure through preventive and targeted measures. What infrastructure managers need to protect their assets is a comprehensive solution that leverages new technologies to:

  • Improve how they analyze and prioritize their assets continually.
  • Improve how they manage current infrastructure.
  • Identify where they need to make repairs and replacements more efficiently.
  • Ensure technicians are executing in an effective and safe manner.

Sund & Baelt of Denmark and Italy’s Autostrade are implementing strategic new technologies that accelerate the investigation process, enabling them to identify risks based on factors such as climate, design, age and use. These new approaches will also assist them in scheduling the appropriate maintenance. The benefits they’ve obtained from their innovative techniques are now available to other civil engineering organizations.

Introducing IBM Maximo Asset Management for Civil Infrastructure

IBM Maximo Asset Management for Civil Infrastructure is a specialized enterprise asset and performance management solution that augments the ability of civil engineers using IoT technologies and AI. It was developed in collaboration with civil engineering firms like Sacertis and Sund & Baelt, an organization that is undergoing its own digital transformation. IBM Maximo Asset Management for Civil Infrastructure is a next-generation maintenance program that helps organizations more effectively monitor the structural health of assets such as bridges, tunnels, highways, dams, grids, and railways.

Once in place, the platform consolidates numerous sources of data from sensors, wearables, cameras and drones — and even data from The Weather Company. The system uses this information to model, map and monitor each asset. Then it analyzes the input to help identify and measure cracks, rust, corrosion, vibrations and stress that provide early warning signs of potential risks.

Using this solution, the organization is able to perform rapid assessments that:

  • Help meet compliance and regulatory obligations.
  • Optimize maintenance and provide early warnings of deterioration and damage.
  • Help enable a quick, preemptive response.
  • Contribute to the greater safety of the general public.
  • Reduce the high cost of inspection and repair.
  • Extend the lifespan of assets.

Leaders in every industry rely upon IBM Maximo®

IBM provides consistent leadership to infrastructure management professionals in the energy, utilities, transportation and civil infrastructure domains. We continue to invest in this infrastructure management, leveraging the knowledge of partners to build a thriving ecosystem of solutions — and that’s why operations leaders around the world choose IBM Maximo. IBM Maximo Asset Management for Civil Infrastructure is one example of how we collaborated with other leaders to help resolve problems. Whatever difficulties we face together, IBM will always remain committed to overcoming the world’s challenges and helping to forge a better future for us all.

Learn more about IBM Maximo asset management solutions.

Learn more about IBM Maximo for civil infrastructure.

 1Source: 2017 Infrastructure Report Card (US) https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/americas-grades/.

 

 

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