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IBM to develop an AI IoT solution for ageing infrastructure

IBM has announced a collaboration with Sund & Bælt — which owns and operates some of the largest infrastructure in the world — to assist in development of an AI-powered IoT solution to help prolong the lifespan of ageing bridges, tunnels, highways, and railways.

The new industry solution, IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, further extends the IBM Maximo portfolio while providing deep industry and task-specific functionality to help organisations manage, monitor and administer their infrastructure assets.

Organisations struggle with ageing facilities, the difficulty of physical inspections and high cost of continued maintenance. 

According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association 2019 Bridge Report, in the United States, 47,052 bridges are considered “structurally deficient.”

Today’s announcement leverages Sund & Bælt’s operational expertise with IBM’s Maximo Enterprise Asset Management and Asset Performance Management (APM) solutions, to help extend the lifespan of infrastructure and reduce overall maintenance costs.

Maximo for Civil Infrastructure consolidates various sources of data to help clients identify and measure the impact of damage such as cracks, rust and corrosion, as well as displacement vibrations and stress.

Data includes maintenance and design details, near real-time IoT data generated from sensors placed on structures, wearables from workers, stationary cameras and drones, and weather data from The Weather Company.

By implementing predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies using IBM Maximo APM coupled with AI visual recognition tools developed by IBM Research, organisations can endeavour to model, map and monitor each structure.

This can help them perform rapid assessment to prioritize maintenance decisions that target critical repairs, and address compliance issues in order to help them meet regulatory obligations.

“Bridges, tunnels, and roads provide access to family, job opportunities, education and more, but much of this infrastructure is ageing,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager, IBM Watson IoT.

“With Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, IBM is applying IoT and AI technology to help organisations improve the way these structures are monitored and managed.”

Sund & Bælt owns and operates some of the largest infrastructure in the world, such as the Storebælt Link and the 16km Øresund Link between Denmark and Sweden.

“As our infrastructure facilities are ageing and traffic increases, it is crucial for us to take in new methods for keeping the structures safe and operational at all times while avoiding rising costs,” said Mikkel Hemmingsen, CEO at Sund & Bælt.