Case Studies

How Can BIM Software Locate Bridge Faults?

Chengdu’s Second Ring Road is the city’s largest municipal construction project. The road is over 28 km long and 8 lanes wide.

After completion of the first construction stage, it had only 6 overpasses.

Renovations were completed within a year, with simultaneous design, revision, and construction work resulting in the construction of 2,128 piers, 2,323 caps, and 6,785 piles by the hands of over 4,000 workers.

When the road was opened in May 2013, it was the city’s only express road devoid of stoplights. It serves over 200,000 people each day, significantly relieving traffic congestion.

Second Ring Road is managed and maintained by the Third Office of the Chengdu Urban Road and Bridge Management Bureau.

The Challenges

From the very beginning, the Bureau faced many challenges. The public held misconceptions about the construction of and investment in the Second Ring Road.

Additionally, after completion, the public became highly reliant on the road. As a result, delays in maintenance and management, and inaccurate or untimely public announcements caused serious social issues.

A large number of companies were involved in the construction of the Second Ring Road. Plus, there was an overabundance of construction-related data. As-built data was difficult to find and correspond with completed bridges and roads.

With bridges exceeding 20 meters in height, workers had trouble conducting examinations of box girders and piers.

Meanwhile, without the right tools, there was often a long delay between discovery of a problem and the implementation of a solution, to the extent that transportation was affected.

In order to ensure the regular operation of the Second Ring Road, as well as public safety, the project management authority decided to employ technological solutions to improve road management and maintenance.

The Solution

After comparing multiple options, the Road and Bridges Bureau chose Chengdu RYD Information Technology Co. Ltd., a Dassault Systèmes partner, to conduct comprehensive IT solution planning for the Second Ring Road, summarize and optimize business workflows in the road’s management, and create a proposal for an asset management information system.

This proposal recommended the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes, specifically the CATIA & ENOVIA applications, integrated with SuperMap, a local GIS software program.

By integrating BIM and GIS, the system achieves informational, visualized, and modern management; digitalized and virtualized infrastructure; and mobile monitoring and maintenance.

The Results

Four RYD engineers took three whole months to convert 1,300 drawings into an internally and externally identical 3D model with clear detail on a scale as large as a bridge pier and as small as a rain gutter.

The model included as many as 16,000 bridge components, each with its own serial number, allowing workers to quickly and accurately locate problems.

Using handheld mobile devices, workers can quickly gather data and submit damage reports at any time or location, upload data to the cloud, and reference 3D models and technical resources related to their tasks.

Managers can use their mobile devices to view and assign repair tasks, enabling rapid problem management.

The leadership team can view, search for, and inspect maintenance statuses at any time or place.

This system has resulted in huge benefits:

  • Speed has increased 8 times
  • Labor efficiency has increased 8.3 times
  • Financial efficiency has increased 4.42 times
  • Quality assurance has doubled

Moreover, the entire process occurs online, achieving environmental conservation goals by going paperless.

It truly creates high-efficiency, high-level, high-quality, and low-cost asset operations management, and makes another step towards smart city management.

This is also a case study for other cities looking to implement a highly detailed management system for roads and bridges.

Following completion of the first phase of the Second Ring Road Management System, documents and as-built data have become fully digitized. This system can accurately locate problem areas, bringing the Chengdu bridge and road management system to into the “cloud management” age, which drew interest from major media outlets.

Related Resources

Civil Design Innovation – White Paper 

Civil Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience

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Source: blogs.3ds.com/perspectives/bim-software-bridge
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