IBM introduces new technology to help aging infrastructure

IBM has announced that its Maximo for Civil Infrastructure offering has new capabilities that can help with aging infrastructure issues.

The new capabilities will include the ability to deploy on Red Hat Open Shift for quick deployment, management and scaling of hybrid cloud, as well as new artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D modeling annotation tools. These innovations will help engineers gain deep industry and task-specific insights that could help prolong the lives of aging highways, railways, tunnels and bridges.

IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure can process data from sensors, wearables, stationary cameras and drones. It can also pull data from The Weather Company. This data helps operators determine the severity of damage from cracks, rust, corrosion or other factors and can reduce the need for manual inspections, helping lower costs and prioritize infrastructure repairs.

"Tools like AI, predictive maintenance, drones and hybrid cloud will play an important role in meeting the challenge of rising infrastructure costs, and helping these vital structures endure for future generations," said Bjarne Jørgensen, Executive asset management director at Sund and Baelt.

"These solutions can help determine the exact need for maintenance in near real-time to assist organizations in extending the lifetime of structures."

Aging infrastructure is a growing problem worldwide. Over the past 10 years, there have been 78 recorded bridge collapses worldwide, including 12 in the U.S. alone. In 2015, approximately $2 trillion in infrastructure repairs were left unfunded, according to the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card.

"Infrastructure maintenance is a problem that's being compounded from all sides: Bridges are getting older, payloads are getting larger, and the necessary preventive actions and maintenance are often postponed due to lack of funding," Jørgensen added.

"With Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, IBM is introducing a solution that addresses the problem from all sides, using IoT and AI technology to administer more proactive repairs, maintain invaluable institutional and engineering knowledge, and better prioritize resources."

It’s been a big month for IBM, as it announced plans to spin off its infrastructure services unit into a separate public company. IBM also rolled out new partnerships with ServiceNow to use AI to fix business IT issues and R3 to increase blockchain services across a hybrid cloud. Despite it all, IBM saw an overall drop in Q3 revenue.