Bridge owners are facing reduced budgets due to the COVID-19 virus effects of the shutdown and increased pressure to improve the mobility and performance of their transportation – bridge assets. They need innovation to enable them to spend less and improve bridge performance at a greater rate
Intelligent Structures’ purpose is to address the critical global problem of decaying infrastructure and significantly improve the productivity of infrastructure asset management and decision making. Their innovative platform – IntelliStructis a sensor to Enterprise I-IoT information platform for bridge management with a SAAS busines model. Implementing IntelliStruct allows bridge owners to extend the life of a bridge from 50 years to a goal of 100 years or greater. They allow each bridge to “talk” and have its structural performance assessed and operating life cycle improved by utilizing a combination of low-cost sensor networks, combined with big data analytics and machine learning for decision support that enable strong collaboration between people.
The founders Douglas Thomson and Brian Westcott in 2015 saw the opportunity to combine their experience in industrial information solutions, sensors and bridge monitoring to a new platform that utilized IoT Cloud technology to provide a truly innovative platform that would reduce the cost of monitoring and analyzing bridge performance by a factor of 10X and at the same time increase the information analytics and decision support to bridge owners by an increased factor of 10x. Intelligent Structures is a SAAS information technology company providing decision support to bridge owners enabling them to make objective fact-based decisions to optimize bridge life cycle management. “The results are safer and more productive operation of this crucial transportation asset. Doubling or tripling the life of the bridge and saving billions of dollars,” says Brian Westcott, President and CEO of Intelligent Structures
IntelliStruct is an enterprise IoT platform for bridge asset performance management that combines innovative technology from advanced structural health monitoring, solid state sensor development, cloud computing, big data analytics, statistical and machine learning, wireless communication, low power electronics and advanced economic modeling to create an enterprise platform delivering sensor to management policy decision support to bridge asset managers. IntelliStruct is a total integrated solution measuring the state of bridge components, providing bridge and component level analytics, monitoring and control. Managing a fleet of many bridges from 2 to 1000’s and providing enterprise analysis and predictive life cycle asset conditions and predictive life cycle performance. This information is all available to support the policy and budget analysis for optimal productive management of this valuable asset and providing improved service and safety for the citizens that it serves.
An instance explaining IntelliStruct’s capabilities is that of a SMART Bridge in Fort Plain NYS DOT which was a 100-yearold bridge that was rehabilitated but still under load restriction due to lack of measured information on the performance of the bridge. It was difficult to measure actual bridge performance and manage the bridge more effectively. NYS DOT implemented IntelliStruct Bridge Performance Management Platform on the Fort Plain Bridge for structural monitoring, analysis with a digital twin and calibration of performance using live load testing to determine if they could open the bridge with no restrictions.
Working with Intelligent Structures the team used the digital twin to locate areas of highest stress combined with a review of the inspection report to select and layout the sensors on the bridge. IntelliStruct’ was configured and 75 sensors, I-Bridge Modules and I-Bridge Controllers were installed in 5 days as a bridge sensor and computer network. A Live Load Test was performed using IntelliStruct real time monitoring and all measurements archived for further analysis. Using IntelliStruct analytics results show that the measured performance was closely correlated with the digital twin as new bridge structural performance. Results indicate the load restriction should be lifted due to better condition, distribution and composite action load rating factors used in NYS DOT bridge rating program. Continued monitoring and analysis assures the bridge performance is safely operated and changes predicted for the future.
Intelligent Structures has time and again proven that IntelliStruct provides a true innovation and the opportunity to digitally disrupt the management of enterprise bridge fleet performance. The technical and economic benefits of the platform have been proven along with the long-term reliability and ease of installation and maintenance. Intelligent Structures future growth is increasing the bridge managers awareness of IntelliStruct and the options it creates to more productively meet their Federal required Transportation Asset Management Planning (TAMP ) goals and reduced budgets. “We are growing internationally with new partnerships in China, Asia, Europe and Australia / New Zealand. We will continue to add architect engineering firms as partners,” says Brian. “Our product roadmap includes adding additional Smart sensor technology to measure other aspects of bridge performance. Also, a focus on implementing Artificial Intelligence to have predictive maintenance plans and projection of bridge life cycle performance.”
Brian J Westcott Ph.D, President and CEO, Intelligent Structures, Inc.
Intelligent Structures allows bridges to talk digitally (IoT – I-Bridge) and measures their condition. IntelliStruct analytics, uses these measurements and takes a bridge EKG and monitors its health.