Let’s build a new era of sustainability

The next pressing issue facing regional and local governments is the environmental impact on our dangerously deteriorating infrastructures. Throughout the world, civil engineers are sending a clarion call to repair our stressed and aging infrastructure before we face another looming disaster. That’s why we created IBM® Maximo® for Civil Infrastructure.

The problem

Over the past few decades, governments have spent trillions of dollars 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, nor the many older structures crucial to everyday life and commerce — highway overpasses, roads in eroding flooding zones, transmission towers battered by extreme weather. Ponte Morandi in Italy collapsed when it was struck by lightning in 2018. In 2020 torrential rainfall in Central Michigan caused the breach of two aging dams along the Tittabawassee River. Weakened also by a heavy storm, a large portion of California’s Highway 1 tumbled into the ocean this past January.

Civil engineers, operators, and those in the public sector 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. Factor this in with anticipated extreme weather incidents and we can expect our infrastructure to continue to deteriorate.

As of today, in the US alone:

  • 9.1% of bridges are structurally deficient
  • Poorly maintained roadways cost 6.9 billion hours in traffic delays
  • Broken water mains leak 6.9 billion gallons of treated water every day

The solution: a new approach to asset management

While mostly effective, manual inspections take an extraordinary amount of time to complete and can lead to unnecessary waste and emissions. To ensure that infrastructure is operating at peak efficiency, a new asset management and maintenance approach is needed. One that protects critical civil infrastructure through preventive and targeted measures. Infrastructure managers need an intelligent asset management 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

IBM Maximo for civil infrastructure solutions

IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure is a specialized enterprise asset and performance management solution that augments the ability of civil engineers using AI and IoT technologies. It was developed in collaboration with civil engineering firms like Sund & Baelt and Autostrade per l’Italia, two organizations undergoing their own digital transformations.

See how Autostrade transformed roadway maintenance with AI and IoT technologies »

IBM Maximo 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 offering consolidates numerous sources of data from sensors, wearables, cameras and drones — and even data from The Weather Company. It uses this information to model, map and monitor each asset. The input is then analysed to help identify and measure cracks, rust, corrosion, vibrations and stress that provide early warning signs of potential risks.

Learn how Melbourne Water is improving storm management with AI-powered computer vision enabled by Maximo Visual Inspection »

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 rapid pre-emptive responses
  • 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

Sund & Baelt owns and operates some of the largest infrastructures in the world. They came to IBM looking for a new way to modernize their maintenance inspections to preserve the health of their assets and operations. After implementing IBM Maximo Civil Infrastructure and other strategic technologies, they were able to achieve so much more: “This is where it really gets interesting,” says Bjarne Jørgensen, Executive Director of Asset Management and Operations at Sund & Bælt. “Our own Storebælt (Great Belt) Bridge has been built for a lifetime of 100 years, but with the right use of data and digital solutions we expect to increase the bridge’s lifespan by 100 years. By increasing the lifetime, we are also decreasing our total carbon footprint.” In fact, for their excellent achievement in this area, Sund & Baelt were awarded a national sustainability award in Denmark and nominated for VentureBeat’s AI Innovation Awards, which recognize leading-edge applications of AI.

IBM provides consistent leadership to infrastructure management professionals in the energy, utilities, transportation and civil infrastructure domains. We continue to invest in infrastructure management, collaborating with our partners to build a thriving ecosystem of solutions. That’s why operations leaders around the world choose IBM Maximo. IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure is one example of how we have collaborated with industry leaders to help resolve pressing problems. Whatever difficulties we face together, IBM will always remain committed to overcoming the world’s challenges and forging a better future for us all.

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