AI-Powered Solution for Managing and Monitoring Aging Infrastructure

An IBM IoT drone is used to inspect infrastructure assets for signs of infrastructure damage. Photo courtesy of Sund & Bælt

IBM (Armonk, New York, USA) is collaborating with Sund & Bælt (Copenhagen, Denmark), owner and operator of some of the world’s largest infrastructure, to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution that would prolong the lifespan of aging bridges, tunnels, highways, and railways. The merger was announced at IBM Internet of Things (IoT) Exchange 2019, a three-day event held in Orlando, Florida, USA that focuses on the latest innovations in AI and IoT. 

The new IBM–Sund & Bælt solution, which has been dubbed IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, is designed to help organizations manager, monitor, and administer their infrastructure assets. This new technology builds on the existing IBM Maximo software that helps organizations manage such assets as buildings, vehicles, and equipment recording details, and also leverages Sund & Bælt’s operational expertise. 

According to IBM, Maximo for Civil Infrastructure consolidates various sources of data, including maintenance and design details, near real-time IoT sensor data, wearables from workers, stationary cameras and drones, and weather data. With this information, clients can identify and measure the impact of cracks, rust and corrosion, displacement vibrations and stress, and other forms of damage to existing infrastructure. The technology can also model, map, and monitor infrastructure to help asset owners and operators predict potential maintenance issues. 

According to Kareem Yusuf, general manager of IBM Watson IoT, the collaboration between IBM and Sund & Bælt has the potential to be mutually beneficial to both companies, as well as to infrastructure stakeholders. 

“With Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, IBM is applying IoT and AI technology to help organizations improve the way these structures are monitored and managed,” says Yusuf. “Sund & Bælt’s industry expertise coupled with IBM's 30-year investment in Maximo capabilities for the management of physical assets and  IBM's Maximo Asset Performance Management portfolio, can be leveraged to help organizations with their maintenance and operation of aging infrastructure worldwide.”

Aging infrastructure is a growing concern for many asset owners both domestically and internationally. With that in mind, companies such as Sund & Bælt have a vested interest in making sure bridges, tunnels, and other assets are efficiently maintained. 

“As our infrastructure facilities are aging 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,” says Mikkel Hemmingsen, chief executive officer at Sund & Bælt. “Collaborations with world leading tech-partners such as IBM can help us secure the future operation of our link, and at the same time we are pleased that the know-how from our operation can benefit organizations in the industry around the globe through this new IoT solution.”

Source: IBM,