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Australia Contracts AI Management Tool

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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For the first time in its country’s history, Australia has awarded a contract to software systems developer Dynamic Infrastructure for the maintenance of dozens of bridges and infrastructure assets in Horsham Rural City Council in the state of Victoria.

In participating in these maintenance projects, Dynamic Infrastructure has teamed up with engineering and consulting firm IF3 Pty Ltd, to win the contract and provide the council with a multi-year maintenance license.

According to reports, contract came about through the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program, which is aimed at tackling the large number of old and deteriorating bridges. Through the program, the government plans to use the initiative funds for various infrastructure upgrades and even full replacement projects to improve access for local communities and facilitate better vehicle access.

Mlenny / Getty Images

For the first time in its country’s history, Australia has awarded a contract to software systems developer Dynamic Infrastructure for the maintenance of dozens of bridges and infrastructure assets in Horsham Rural City Council in the state of Victoria.

To observe the issue in numbers, Australian and New Zealand transport agency collective Austroads reports that the current annual maintenance expense for the 33,500 bridges in Australia is slated to cost around 100 million Australian dollars, while the replacement costs could run to billions of dollars. In addition, bridges already decades old in the country are subject to an additional load of about 5.6% annually.

Last September, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, announced funding for 205 projects.

Regarding Dynamic Infrastructure’s recently awarded contract, the company plans to employ its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, which provides live, cloud-based, risk analysis of any bridge or tunnel and will automatically alert changes in maintenance and operating conditions long before they’re able to develop into large-scale failures.

Specifically, SaaS auto-processes past and current inspection reports’ photos and other existing visuals, identifying future maintenance risks and evolving defects. The incorporation of this AI technology is projected to create huge annual savings for infrastructure owners, operation and maintenance engineers, and contractors.

“Australia is making enormous efforts to use new technologies to manage and maintain its transportation network,” said Saar Dickman, CEO of Dynamic Infrastructure. “These moves offer huge potential for our company due to their sheer size and large number of infrastructure assets that need to be maintained.”

Dynamic Infrastructure hopes to close other licensing agreements in various parts of Australia in the coming months.

AI in Industry

Back in April 2019, technical advisory services firm ABS (Houston), working in collaboration with Google Cloud and software company SoftServe (Lviv, Ukraine), utilized AI to detect corrosion and coating breakdown on both offshore structures and ships.

The project’s findings revealed that AI accurately detected and assessed issues that are often found during visual inspection. Moving forward, researchers believe the AI technology could be used to examine images over time, to better understand coating breakdown and corrosion trends.

In September, the 4D Hybrid Autonomous Robot project intended for use on metal surfaces in land and offshore projects made its debut. The project was developed by Prima Industrie (Italy) and was funded by European Commission Horizon 2020. It also involved 12 other industrial players, operating as technology suppliers and end-users.

Created with aerospace, oil, gas and power generation industries in mind, the 4D Hybrid was designed to perform detection and reparation of metal vertical surfaces on land and offshore environments.

Geared with two rubber belts, the track-designed robotic vehicle is reportedly able to tackle slippery vertical surfaces, keeping contact with exteriors using a powerful vacuum-based adhesion system placed at its center. The tracks are then able to move the robot in a back-and-forth or rotating fashion, even on its main axis.

Additionally, the 4D Hybrid can work in the presence of dirt, water, on various conditions of metal surfaces and in environmental temperatures varying between 3 C and 35 C.

3D Printing Media Network reports that through the use of an integrated 3D scanner (Artec Space Spider commercial scanner), the 4D Hybrid can reconstruct the surface and individuate various corrosion and defects on a metal surface. After locating these issues, a cold spray gun also integrated into the hybrid system, designed during the project by SUPSI, will deposit a new metal coating onto the affected surfaces. It is also noted that the coating used can be on both stainless steel and aluminum alloys.

Regarding possible dispersion, the hybrid is also equipped with a power recovery system that sucks up powders and carries them back to the top of the maintained structure.

And just last month, Norwegian technology company Eelume Subsea Intervention debuted a six-meter-long, snake-like robot with intentions to serve the deep-sea oil and gas industry. The autonomous disruptive technology, referred to at Eelume, is designed to perform maintenance, inspections and repair on underwater infrastructure to make work safer, cheaper and less polluting.

According to Eelume Subsea Intervention, Eelume was designed after a decade of research on snake robots in collaboration with independent research organization SINTEF. However, the technology originally established itself in 2015 as a spin-off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The following year, Eelume Subsea Intervention formed a strategic partnership with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil (LOOP product development program) to ensure the technology’s alignment with subsea experience and technology.

The company reports that the underwater technology is basically a self-propelled robotic arm designed to live permanently under water, where they can be mobilized around the clock, regardless of ocean currents. Having constant access to continuous inspection, maintenance and repair capabilities near the subsea installations without the need for surface vessels means greener, safer and less costly subsea operations, ESI says.

The Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway supported the development of the robotic technology.

   

Tagged categories: Australia; Bridges; Bridges; Infrastructure; Maintenance programs; OC; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Technology

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