Refining sensor Geo-data for improved asset monitoring
06 Aug 2021
Fugro has teamed with engineering consultants Movares on a dynamic new approach to asset monitoring aimed at enhancing the whole-life performance of bridges, tunnels, and other critical infrastructure. Smarter Geo-data from targeted monitoring using state-of-the-art sensors and guided by expert structural insight will reduce maintenance costs and extend service life.
Breakthrough in sensor use
Although the use of sensors to measure structural movement and stability, and to detect change, is not new, the challenge for clients is extracting maximum benefit from the Geo-data.
Fugro and Movares are making a difference with a step change in the strategic targeting of live asset monitoring. With Fugro providing powerful sensor technology and expertise in converting raw measurements into usable Geo-data, Movares brings their knowledge of structural dynamics to refine the targets and performance indicators of that Geo-data acquisition to enhance the value to asset management. When monitoring bridges, for example, what should be measured and where? And how can that be translated into actionable information that will benefit an asset owner or manager?
Now, reliable Geo-data can do more than simply populate a generic data model; it can provide real insight into the predictability of a live asset, to make a real difference to infrastructure management and provide greater control and certainty over cost forecasting and predictive maintenance.
“We are enabling predictive maintenance using sensors to give clients better control of programming and costs for extended lifespans”
Business Manager at Movares
Predictive, sensor-driven maintenance
The breakthrough has paved the way to 'predictive maintenance' with sensors, in line with the clients’ focus on improving work programming and budget control, and extending asset lifespan.
Infrastructure owners face major challenges now that many bridges, for instance, are nearing the end of their service life. Asset managers must be able to demonstrate the safety and viability of an asset with reliable information on residual life and that it meets performance criteria. Closely allied to this is the need for the tightest possible control over maintenance planning – knowing when major maintenance, renovation or replacement will be necessary. Sensors can best provide this crucial information, improving the basis for making accurate predictions and decisions about asset management.
Predictive sensor-driven maintenance for life extension and programming
Insight into structural behaviour
Easily deployed on a range of assets, from bridges and tunnels to locks and quay walls, Fugro’s sensor technology provides continuous Geo-data collection to form an accurate picture of structural behaviour.
Sensors clearly show the consequences of use over time, such as the impacts of heavier loads or loads exceeding the design criteria, and their implications for safety and service life. They can also differentiate between dynamic impacts: for example, whether a bridge deck problem is the result of vehicle axle loads or due to bias in the distribution of freight volumes.
Monitoring from building completion
The greatest benefit is seen when monitoring sensors are installed during construction. Asset managers can identify and measure trends from the very start of the operational phase, maximising insight into the process of degradation and allowing proactive control and planning of interventions and cost.
Increasingly, today’s contracts include a maintenance period of 15 to 20 years or even more. By planning for sensors to be installed during the construction of a bridge, for example, the term contractor can add significant value to its tender by offering the client all the life-cycle benefits of predictive maintenance based on sensor Geo-data. These many advantages include fewer failures and unplanned repairs, less disruption to road users, lower maintenance costs, and an extension of useful life.
Translating sensor Geo-data into actionable information is our added value (Image courtesy of Peter Bontan, Movares)
Giving clients control of their assets
Clients are under pressure to keep tight control of budgets for replacement and repair, facing additional challenges if unexpected problems and costs arise.
Through a more strategic and adaptive approach to Geo-data acquisition and analysis, Fugro and Movares can provide certainty over the necessity and timing of interventions, and accurate, relevant Geo-data for prioritising spend where there is greatest need.
Did you know?
Fugro has over 350 specialists working on innovation in Geo-data measurement and analysis
About the author
Ronald Plugge is Fugro's Director Monitoring