Sund & Bælt marks anniversary with international bridge partnership

The world’s largest suspension bridge, Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – as is Denmark’s Storebælt fixed link. To mark the occasions, representatives from Japan visited Sund & Bælt today.

The visit is part of the preparations for a co-operation agreement that the two bridge companies will enter into later this summer in Japan. The agreement builds upon the good relationship that has already been established between the two companies with regard to the exchange of know-how into the operation and maintenance of large infrastructures.

Sund & Bælt is in the process of a technology leap that is set to bring about more efficient and intelligent operation and maintenance of, among others, the Storebælt Bridge. The aim is to digitise the operation of the facilities using drones, robots and sensors in order to deliver savings on operations without impacting quality and accessibility for the many customers that drive across Storebælt on a daily basis.

The experience of using technology for maintenance is of relevance to the company behind the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.

“New technology is important so that we can ensure the optimum service life for our major bridge facilities while keeping costs down.  Sund & Bælt has come far in the process of using technology to digitise operations such as inspections, which are now largely carried out digitally instead of manually. We would like to hear more about Sund & Bælt’s experience because we have the same requirements at our facilities,” says Masahiro Nishitani, Director of Engineering Management at Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Limited, the company behind the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.

Sund & Bælt’s Technical Director, Lars Fuhr Pedersen, believes that Denmark can learn from the Japanese approach to operating infrastructure facilities.

“Our Japanese sister company is very strong in process and methods and is firmly focused on quality in their maintenance. We can draw on their methods when we come to determine the structure of the huge amounts of data we will obtain from our facilities so that we can predict when maintenance is required”, says Lars Fuhr Pedersen.

Sund & Belt’s digital venture is not just a matter of process optimisation. By making the Storebælt Bridge a focal point for the development and application of new technology, Sund & Bælt will be able to share experiences and know-how with both Danish and international partners, including the largest suspension bridge in the world.

Further information:

Lars Fuhr Pedersen, Technical Director, Sund & Bælt: lfp@sbf.dk or mobile + 45 29 40 62 26.

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