Point Cloud Utilization to Streamline the Motorway Maintenance — Joint Development of New System "InfraDoctor"
Shutoko Engineering Company Limited
InfiPoints,Services & Consulting
InfiPoints,Services & Consulting
Shutoko Engineering Company Limited (hereinafter “Shutoko Engineering”) developed a brand new system, InfraDoctor — streamlining the work for maintenance and reconstruction of motorways and structures using geographic information and 3D scanned point cloud data — in collaboration with Aero Asahi Corporation and Elysium Co. Ltd.
A large portion of existing infrastructure in Japan, such as motorways were constructed during the period of rapid economic growth starting in the 1950s, and the rate of aging structures is increasing rapidly. It is believed that the repair, reinforcing, and reconstruction work will only increase while Japan will face a shortage of engineers due to decreasing birthrates and an aging population.
Shutoko Engineering oversees maintenance work of the Metropolitan Expressway including inspection and repair/retrofit designs. They were facing a business challenge on how they can maintain the safety of the three hundred kilometer expressway and surrounding structures efficiently, maximizing their limited time and resources.
Shutoko Engineering has accumulated know-how and data on the maintenance of motorways and structures. It has the systems to streamline work by levering big data, and supporting and rationalizing engineers’ work, creating construction plans, and consulting stakeholders early and often.
Shutoko Engineering knew they would need additional expertise if they wanted to tackle their business challenges. They built a consortium to develop a bespoke system with Elysium, the leader in 3D data translation and geometry-handling technology, and Aero Asahi Corporation, the expert in technology obtaining and analyzing 3D scanned data of expressways.
The consortium concentrated their expertise and technology in their own specialized fields, which led to the completion of a brand new application, InfraDoctor — InfraDoctor was developed to support infrastructure maintenance projects in their entirety while minimizing the lead time of all the work work of infrastructure — in such a short lead time.
InfraDoctor facilitates the maintenance work of motorways and structures mapping various data points obtained from 3D scanning with MMS (Mobile Mapping System) such as point cloud data and omnidirectional videos, to the geographic information in GIS (Geographic Information System). InfraDoctor can then check the current status of infrastructure virtually, generate drawings from point cloud data, and more.
Leveraging the technologies developed for InfiPoints, Elysium developed InfraDoctor features to measure distances and angles of motorways, conduct various virtual simulations, and generate drawings from point cloud data.
It is important to grasp the distances between various points on motorways including surrounding structures and overhead lines for infrastructure work. It has been standard practice to calculate based on 2D comprehension drawings, or to measure physically on site.
InfraDoctor adjusts this practice allowing users to measure virtually between any two points. This is ideal especially for areas where traffic is heavy, where it is highly elevated, and where it requires complex scaffolding.
2D drawing generation normally consumes an enormous amount of time to create motorway CAD data because it needs to be done one by one from scratch based on their measurement results. It is often even impossible because there are no drawings available for old motorways and structures.
Leveraging the technology developed for InfiPoints, InfraDoctor generates CAD data and 2D drawings from point cloud data, which dramatically shortens the necessary lead time to create CAD data.
Creating safety regulation maps, showing road closures and lane regulations, are necessary to create before any work begins on a motorway.
With the newly-developed data processing technology, InfraDoctor allows civil engineers to quickly create drawings from point cloud data and geographical information. Furthermore, it also simulates the controlled area in a virtual environment and details can be confirmed beforehand.
Shutoko Engineering is heading to launch their full-scale operation by the end of 2015 once tests of actual inspection and maintenance work has been completed. In the future, they are planning to utilize InfraDoctor whenever their consulting team supports municipalities and other organizations in their inspection work.
Furthermore, infrastructure is being developed rapidly in Asian countries, and there are growing demands for a system to facilitate maintenance work. Shutoko Engineering sees this as their new business strategy by providing solutions utilizing InfraDoctor on an international stage.
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