New Tech Unlocks Efficiency Right Across the Asset Lifecycle

New Tech Unlocks Efficiency Right Across the Asset Lifecycle

Rising demand from the masses combined with the resource scarcity and the ever evolving strive to cut down carbon emissions means we must leverage the potential of our assets towards achieving the desired goal. Efficacy is everything and the proper use of new technology and the Avant-garde software applications – or developing our own – will help us to reinvigorate asset design, operation and, delivery.

At the outset of the project shaping, ground conditions present one of the highest areas of risk and uncertainty to the clients. The conventional method of creating ground models relied on 2D sections, based on inputs such as maps and paper reports, which were then digitized by CAD technicians using a vast array of software packages.

We joined hands with software developer Seequent to adapt their pre-existing package for the mining sector to device Leapfrog Works, a new 3D application for specially designed for the civil and environmental engineering industry. Leapfrog Works utilizes fast radial base modeling functionality which links geological data to the site’s topography, providing users with an intuitive 3D visualization which can be interrogated to analyze ground conditions and hazards. The system is dynamic – means the geological model can be updated by any new data – and can be a part of the BIM model for the entire project, abetting the stakeholders, and the customers.

Once the construction starts, maintaining the digital asset (the 3D model) arrayed with the physical asset as it subsists in the field is inevitable for the effective operation and maintenance. An active two-way connection between field operatives and datasets will empower the involved parties to see relevant information in real-time.

Our asset data interface for field personnel dubbed as Fieldbook – allows decisions to be made on-site about inspections, risks, work management, access, and the environmental conservation while enabling the upkeeping of an active digital twin. This connection between the physical and digital assets means activities on site are safer and more efficient, while back in the office, accurate updates to the model mean it can be used to help optimize performance and banish the pertaining risks.

Most costs are incurred during the operational phase of the assets.

However, the abundance of readily available asset data means that smart infrastructure applications can be used to optimize performance and cut down costs. Data congregated from across the asset, combined with the outside data sources such as customer information or from nearby assets, can unlock new insights into the performance, enabling better decision making by asset operators that lead to excellent results. These outcomes can, in turn, be measured, carry of a positive feedback loop of continuously ameliorating resources.

This is the idea behind Moata, a platform we nurtured to enable asset performance optimization. By compiling and analyzing data sources in real-time, not only do users have an accurate visualization of the asset condition and efficacy; the platform also proffers predictive maintenance, identifying mistakes and potential issues before they arise.

For example in the case of Christchurch in New Zealand, growth and aging infrastructure had incited gutter overflows. We have resolved the overflow issue by applying just 42 sensors across the sewage network to measure water levels, flow rates, and pressures; we empowered the control room personnel to monitor performance and to locate overflow incidents in real-time, allowing them to act in an emergency basis.

Not only did we bring significant efficiencies to Christchurch’s network operations, but an unexpected benefit of the platform was also substantial in the upshot of the devastating earthquake of 2011. Moata enabled users to locate damage, allowing authorities to fix leaks and restore services quickly. The platform could be used across all sectors to gather and analyze various data sources for timely insights and informed decision-making.

Learning from customer experiences and adopting necessary changes are the key to outshining performance. Our team Healthy Buildings, which was formed to ensure safer and healthy buildings, work with managers of commercial and public buildings to maximize noise, temperatures, light levels, air quality, and spatial configurations to promote employee wellness and enhance outcome.

But how one can measure the effect that changing these variables has on employees? Although the critical performance indicators such as the attendance records and profits could help, the time lag means it can be hard to impose these effects directly to the working environment. Therefore we developed Antenna, an application that employees could access via their smartphones. Employees input information on their overall welfare standards and satisfaction ratings and this data can be consolidated to get a real-time understanding of how changing the work atmosphere influence those who use it on a daily basis.

In fact, our industry is increasingly collecting feedback from our end consumers – those who will rely upon our buildings or infrastructure for design and delivery. When designing new stations for the expansion of the Sydney Metro system, we invited station staff and likely passengers to experience publicly accessible areas via virtual reality headsets. The results of these workshops have informed our designs, improving wayfinding, and reducing the chances of congestion as a result.

New technology is already making a significant impact on the way we build, design, and run, and learn from our buildings and infrastructure. However, no one firm has all the solutions, especially given the rich seam of innovation that start-ups and established key players alike are bringing for our industry. It is via connecting innovation to outputs through our Mott MacDonald Digital Ventures ecosystem that we have the most astounding opportunities to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits for all.

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