Drones and Artificial Intelligence deliver substantial savings on Storebælt

Sund & Bælt has deployed a new PAI (Photographic Asset Inspection) product which builds on Artificial Intelligence to streamline operation and maintenance of largescale infrastructure facilities. This delivered savings of DKK 35 million in 2018.

Although the Storebælt Bridge was completed more than 20 years ago, innovation still continues. In recent years, Sund & Bælt has been focusing on the digitalisation of largescale infrastructure projects in partnership with external technology partners. The annual accounts for 2018 testify to the fact that the new technology is paying off. Using new technology, Sund & Bælt achieved savings of no less than DKK 35 million on operation and maintenance in 2018

Sund & Bælt aims to deliver further savings of 2 per cent per year on operation and maintenance over the next five years.

New algorithms predict concrete repairs

Drones, robots and sensors are all examples of the stronger focus on technology initiated by Sund & Bælt in order to generate efficiency benefits. Over the past few years, drones have been flying around the Storebælt Bridge, photographing the concrete. The images and data are stored in Microsoft’s Azure platform, where a new product, known as PAI (Photographic Asset Inspection) can identify damage to the concrete through algorithms.

“Concrete doesn’t just develop that way overnight,” says Mikkel Hemmingsen, CEO, Sund & Bælt. “It’s a very slow process. The art is to predict what damage needs to be addressed long before the need arises.”

Sund & Bælt is made aware of where the concrete requires attention, which means that fewer engineers need to clamber around the bridge to inspect it.

The PAI solution is used in Sund & Bælt’s daily operations and maintenance of major infrastructures. Specifically, the application of the new solution has resulted in more efficient and improved inspection of the Storebælt’s Bridge’s concrete surfaces.

Sund & Bælt to share new AI solution with the rest of the world

Sund & Bælt’s digital venture is not just a reflection of its process optimisation. By making the Storebælt Bridge a pivotal point in the effort to develop and deploy new technology, Sund & Bælt’s ultimate ambition is to share the solution with other bridge and infrastructure owners across the world.

The PAI solution will only become more effective through common use and can easily be used on a wider basis. The algorithm, which distinguishes between and analyses the various concrete surfaces, will only be strengthened when more users contribute images of concrete surfaces. Data learns from data. This provides a platform for Sund & Bælt to build exciting partnerships with Danish and international colleagues.

Photographic Asset Inspection in Sund & Bælt

Drones at the Storebælt Bridge


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