Costain has announced it is collaborating with RedBite Solutions Ltd, a Cambridge-based software company, in using a mobile asset management tool to tag and manage highways assets.
The tool, RedBite Asset, is a smartphone centred asset management programme which provides each asset with a tag, so that it can be uniquely identified and a unique page where all data relating to that asset is located. The technology is being trialled on the A160 Port of Immingham Improvement Scheme, which involves upgrading three miles of single carriageway into dual carriageway.
The tool incorporates RFID technology, QR Codes and GPS tags to identify individual assets.
They say the pilot began in May 2015, led by Graham Starkey, the Building Information Modelling Coordinator on the £88.4m project. The aim of the deployment is to test the suitability of tagging assets in a highways environment.
“Managing and tagging assets using intelligent software has many benefits, not only in helping to locate and deploy equipment during the construction process but, more crucially, in monitoring an asset once it has been handed over to the customer,” said Starkey.
Contain says using such software provides access to full historical asset data while onsite and the ability to instantly add new information to create accurate, real-time asset records. In addition, asset owners can be alerted when faults are reported against particular assets and asset records can be viewed and edited by different parties in collaboration.
In terms of BIM, they say using RedBite’s asset management software gives operators access to a great range of information, or BIM data, in the field. The initial pilot will also help to establish what data is necessary, useful and deliverable to mobile workers, as well as answer questions about optimal positioning, installation methods and maintenance of the tag itself.
“BIM is so crucial to what we do and its deployment is now a prerequisite to winning work. The more information we can gather about a particular asset in the field will ultimately help the customer manage those assets,” said Graham.
As part of the project, the team agreed to tag existing assets between a stretch of the A160 between Brocklesby Interchange and the first (New Habrough) roundabout. The assets include lighting columns, signs, pavements, culverts and gullies. New assets will also be tagged where possible.
“We retro-fitted tags to some assets with the objective of establishing the optimal methodology for tagging the assets and estimating the potential cost of tagging assets across the existing highways network,” said Starkey.
“With such heavy usage on the assets, wear and tear is inevitable. By utilising and refining a system where we can record and maintain a large amount of data on a range of assets, we can potentially deliver huge benefits through increased accessibility to and accuracy of the state of those assets,” he added.