Visual Bridge Inspection

Identifing Cost Savings

Cost-saving insights from the BKwai platform that were invisible to the human eye

Written by Sonja Abhyankar, Head of Product at BKwai

When a monitored asset such as a bridge or a protected structure has moved so much as to be visible to the human eye, the time for preventative action has often passed and costly remediative intervention will be needed. The bridge will be closed for repairs. The protected structure has to be repaired.

Despite this, most monitored assets are visually inspected according to a fixed timetable. Although this offers a bespoke approach, seasonal and minute movements can be missed. And if a significant movement happens just after a recent inspection, it can be years before it is spotted.

As a result, movements that indicate an underlying problem are spotted late, or unnecessary interventions are made when the movement is in fact seasonal or temperature related, and is no cause for concern. In both cases, excess and avoidable costs are incurred.

BKwai’s solution

BKwai’s platform combines current and historical InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite data to provide a wide geographical view of what is happening to an asset and the ground around it, as well as sensor and survey data to provide very localised measurements. Historical data from the last five years is available, creating an unprecedented depth of insight.

Thousands of sensor readings from the site, satellite readings and images along with environmental and other high-volume data streams can be collected at high sampling rates.

It is deployed in the cloud and automatically ingests data from all relevant sensors, regardless of type or manufacturer, allowing simultaneous visualisation in one place.

Even the slightest movement between inspections can be detected and potential problems prevented. This helps asset owners understand trends, correlations and the root cause of these movements, and whether they need to intervene.

This can generate significant cost savings. A Deloitte report found that analytics-enabled initiatives generate a three to seven percent increase in ROI due to the extended useful life of the assets.

Cost savings through early intervention

Engineers working on the construction of a major shopping centre within a four-storey Grade II-listed facade are using the BKwai platform to monitor movement of the protected assets.

BKwai’s constant monitoring allows them to see how site activities are impacting the condition of monitored structures.

Instead of having to rely on manual surveys and graphs plotted by a human, engineers can access intelligent visualisations and data analysis that allows them to precisely interrogate what is happening on the site. The system highlights issues, creates alerts and notifies engineers via email or SMS, so they no longer need to spend days buried in excel spreadsheets looking for concerning readings.

As a result, engineers can spot on-site issues before they arise and need to be repaired, as well as ensure planning compliance.

Cost savings by avoiding unnecessary work

BKwai’s platform is used to calculate how a bridge moves with respect to temperature, seasonal environment, wind, loads, construction activities and many other activities. It’s machine learning can spot patterns and outliers in data far faster than a human.

Engineers have been able to see that the bridge does move, but that movement has occurred seasonally in the same way for the last five years as a result of temperature shifts.

This removes the need to do costly remedial work, as well as the disruption that would be caused by closing the bridge.

Cost savings from alerts for movement

Engineers working on the construction of a major stadium development within a grade 2 listed location are using the BKwai platform to monitor movement of the historic structures and ensure compliance with planning rules. Configurable alerts trigger email or SMS  notifications when any set movement parameters are breached, long before they would be visible to the human eye.

A simple traffic light system makes the risks easier to evaluate, alerting you to any potential crisis points way in advance.

Movement across the site can be viewed on 2D and 3D maps and using satellite imagery. Each individual sensor or array of sensors can be quickly and easily interrogated to view historical changes.

As a result, intervention can be made before the protected assets move so much as to cause damage, avoiding the cost and delays of repairs, as well as expensive regulatory fines.

To find out how BKwai can enable you to make smarter construction and asset monitoring decisions please contact us