The laser scanning resulted in a point cloud for each tunnel. The point clouds are so detailed that they almost resemble a black and white 3D image of the tunnels.
The project in Montenegro confirmed that video recordings and high resolution digital images are effective screening tools to optimise the planning of detailed inspections. They should not stand alone, however, as some defects cannot be effectively observed without being close to the structure, but digital images can be used in the office to prepare and plan detailed inspections, support structural assessment and provide input to reporting.
Repeating a full video inspection at regular intervals is also an effective way to monitor changes in the condition of infrastructure that are often large in size and a challenge to access in details.
Also, it will soon be possible to detect some defects by means of automated image processing. This may include:
In future, all of the above information will most likely be handled, documented and communicated by means of a BIMS.
The main advantage of implementing an asset management system incorporating the special features of BIM on existing infrastructure components, compared to a traditional AMS, is the fact that a direct and intuitive link between the components and the related information can be obtained by means of a 3D model.
The project in Montenegro was an example of a rational way to establish a functional 3D-model for existing assets.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, systems that are based on an alphanumeric object identification system are expected to die out. We - and our clients - need to be prepared for this.
The future will reveal more about how AMS and BIM can co-exist and be combined to provide a more effective and rational way to handle the huge amounts of information related to infrastructure components from the first conceptual studies through commissioning and operation to final decommissioning.
One thing is certain; establishing 3D models is essential if we are to be prepared, reap the benefits and move existing infrastructure into the new digital age.