Browse through NEXCO’s Newsletters to learn more about what we have been up to! New issues are released monthly with information concerning recent projects and achievements. Go to contact section to subscribe.
Imaging a safer future - No1 - July 2018
NEXCO - West USA is proud to issue its first online newsletter to all of our cherished clients, partners, guests, and acquaintances. Stay updated on our company’s application and development of NDT scanning technology by tuning in to our updates!
NEXCO’s innovative inspection techniques incorporate image various roadway surfaces from a truck-mounted system. We combine visual and thermo graphic data to detect deficiencies within the surfaces. Translating cooled infrared thermography (IRT) into ‘deficiency maps’ helps us to analyze subsurface concrete defects. High-speed scanning is highly beneficial for network-level bridge inspections. Data accumulated at the network level allows bridge owners to identify problematic bridges and further narrow down detailed inspection efforts. Owners also benefit from increased efficiency in maintenance budget allocation.
At highway speeds, lane closures and obstructive forms of traffic control are avoided. Not only does this prevent traffic jams, but it also keeps inspectors and motorists out of harm’s way. Our technology also minimizes the subjectivity that is introduced in traditional sounding techniques, where the inspection results are heavily reliant on the knowledge and experience of field inspectors.
Currently, we are working with FLIR, the global leader in thermal imaging infrared cameras to provide a faster, safer, and more effective way of inspecting concrete bridge decks. Click on the link below to learn more about NEXCO.
In 2017 NEXCO successfully completed the deck scanning of 20 bridges in 7 different districts in Virginia. The project was a part of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). A quick overview of the project was introduced by Jeff Milton (VDOT) during the 2018 National Bridge Preservation Partnership Conference (NBPPC) in Orlando, FL.
Watch the full conference by clicking on the link below to see the state DOT officials’ insights and opinions on IRT technologies.
Imaging a safer future - No2 - August 2018
NEXCO Mobile 360° Imaging System (M360IS)
A Safer, More Intuitive Way of Inspecting Structural Surfaces
NEXCO has developed a new service for inspecting metro tunnel systems. The Mobile 360° Imaging System (M360IS) is a high-resolution 360° spherical video system that allows NEXCO to map structures such as concrete tunnel surfaces. The M360IS renders a VR-view, which enables the user to "walk-through" the stream of high-definition images as if he/she is visually inspecting the site themselves.
Visual inspections can be made faster and safer with the System. Once the M360IS maps the site, either mounted on a vehicle or carried as a backpack, the inspector can examine the video from the comfort of their desk. During tunnel inspections, this feature is especially invaluable since it minimizes the time that inspectors are exposed to potential danger. Once the data set is created, inspectors can identify problem areas on their computers and focus-in on areas that may need further analysis on-site.
NEXCO is currently working to establish georeferencing capabilities for the M360IS which will associate each individual pixel of the image to real-world coordinates. To learn more about the M360IS, click on the link below, or find our brochure in the Downloads section under the News tab.
Driven by our wish to improve the infrared scanning technology, we performed a comprehensive research project in 2014 aiming to analyze which type of infrared camera is more accurate to inspect concrete structures. In this research project, different models of μ-bolometer and cooled sensor infrared cameras were compared to evaluate their accuracy in application to bridge deck scanning.
In the laboratory phase of this research project, stationary infrared images of test concrete pieces were taken from 3 different angles. The resulting images were analyzed using our proprietary software, IrBAS, to assess the efficiency of each camera. It was found that the cooled sensor cameras, especially the InSb ones, detect delaminations better than the μ-bolometer cameras. Even from a 45° angle, the cooled sensor cameras were able to clearly detect delaminations while the μ-bolometer cameras produced false detections. This effect can be easily explained considering that the cooled sensor cameras have a higher sensitivity than the μ-bolometer ones. As a conclusion, in laboratory conditions, cooled detector infrared camera performance was better.
Click on the link below to download the laboratory test research report if you want to know all the details on this project.
In the field tests the cameras were attached to a moving vehicle to perform inspection on Haymarket Bridge's southbound shoulder. The inspection was performed at a constant speed, 30 mph. The locations of defective areas were already known, making the site ideal for testing the capabilities of the cameras. It was found that cooled sensor infrared cameras captured high quality images while μ-bolometer cameras captured blurrier ones. The higher quality of the pictures taken with the cooled sensor cameras result in a better analysis of the data without false detections; however, the blurry pictures of the μ-bolometer cameras provoked some false detections of delamination. This phenomenon can be explained considering that the cooled sensor cameras have a shorter exposure time than the μ-bolometer ones. As a conclusion, in actual field inspections, cooled detector infrared camera provided more accurate detection. The analysis results were also compared with conventional methods like hammer sounding and chain dragging. Although the results were not a perfect match, the detections through infrared images are certainly comparable to conventional methods.
Click on the link below to download the field test research report if you want to know all the details on this project.
Imaging a safer future - No3 - September 2018
The 50th annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association (MWJA) conference was held in Hilton Omaha from September 9 to 11 to discuss how trade and international partnerships can grow between Japan and Midwestern states. Five U.S. Midwest State governors and three Japanese prefecture governors, as well as representatives from prominent Japanese companies such as: Kawasaki, Toshiba, Honda, Toyota, Kikkoman, and Mitsubishi were in attendance.
Masato Matsumoto, NEXCO-West USA's President and CEO, was invited to the conference as an Executive Panelist to discuss "Transformation in Infrastructure". He presented the partnership between Lindsay Corporation and NEXCO's which has succeded in bringing the RoadZipper System to Japan. This transaction has been instrumental in strengthening U.S.-Japan ties by sharing knowledge and innovative technology.
The U.S. and Japan both face the problem of an aging infrastructure. Government agencies must overcome procurement regulations, which is one of the main obstacles to facilitating the application of innovative technologies/products to the transportation infrastructure. Therefore, sharing technology, knowledge, and innovative solutions is critical for international cooperation and success in the global market.
NEXCO offers a simple method of scanning roadway surfaces at high speeds while ensuring precise data collection. The SmartEAGLE (Asphalt Pavement Scanning System) uses both laser and visual camera systems mounted on a vehicle providing users with Cracking, International Roughness Index (IRI), and Rutting information.
The SmartEAGLE allows for a more versatile approach to roadway surface analysis. Its compact nature and easy-to-mount rig to a truck means that airport runways, bridge decks and highways with any high-traffic concrete surface can be surveyed with ease and accuracy.
Click on the link below to download the SmartEAGLE brochure.
Imaging a safer future - No4 - October 2018
NEXCO-WEST USA TO PRESENT AT IRF GLOBAL CONFERENCE
The IRF Global Road2Tunnel Conference & Expo
The IRF Global Road2Tunnel Conference & Expo is an event where research, development and investment intersect to build a worldwide network of civil engineers committed to advancing techniques in road infrastructure. The conference will be held from November 7th, 2018 to November 9th at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort. Topics discussed throughout the three days include autonomous vehicles, asset management, road safety and the future of public-private partnerships (PPP).
NEXCO-West USA will be in attendance at the conference. We encourage you to visit our booth to learn about our most recent advances in non-destructive testing (NDT) for bridge, road and tunnel inspection. Find us in Booth A44! To locate our booth, enter the exhibition hall and proceed along the wall to your left; we are on the fourth row and the second poster presentation you will see, adjacent to Highway Care from the UK. We will be presenting the state-of-the-art solutions that secure NEXCO-West USA’s reputation as the global leader in NDT structural inspection technologies.
Nexco West USA's Tunnel Scanning System
A Revolution in Tunnel Inspection
The use of line cameras in conjunction with IR cameras to detect water infiltration and efflorescence results in a dual imaging system that supplements and validates each other’s datasets while also allowing for a greater level of analysis in non-destructive tunnel inspection. The placement of our cameras allows for a nearly 360-degree vision of the tunnel, ensuring that the greatest amount of information can be captured during a single scan. The compact nature of the design allows it to be transported, set up and taken down with relative ease.
Under current, conventional methods in tunnel inspection, it is neither efficient nor safe to manually survey an entire tunnel. Using NEXCO’s tunnel scanning system valuable man-hours are saved and inspector safety is maximized.
Click on the link below to download more information about TSS.