Automation of civil infrastructure

Photography: Rijkswaterstaat

The Netherlands has dozens of traffic tunnels and hundreds of movable bridges and lock complexes. These types of civil infrastructure are used every day, quite intensively, by road traffic as well as shipping. They therefore have to meet high safety requirements.

Many of these requirements are met using the technical installations of the infrastructure. Consequently, the technology is complex and diverse, especially since much of this infrastructure is controlled remotely. Technolution Move has the expertise as well as the experience for an integral approach to the technical installations for civil infrastructure.

Complex systems

It is a great challenge to create systems of such complexity We prove that our systems meet the set requirements during the realization of technical installations for civil infrastructure; even if the infrastructure is currently in use. The intended lifecycle of the installation plays an important role in this situation. After all, a technical installation would normally have to be able to function for several decades. What is more, during this period, these complex systems also have to be able to grow and evolve in order to keep up with the newest requirements!

Managers of civil infrastructure are therefore looking for ways to standardize and, where possible, centralize the technical installations. This makes it possible, for instance, to replace or renovate parts of a system at different times, without affecting the integral functioning of the system. Renovations and improvements can thus be executed more easily.

The development of a new approach for technical installations is urgent since lots of renovation processes for civil infrastructure are currently being initiated. The initiatives for the development of standard building blocks for different parts of systems are an example of the new approach.

Photograpy: Rijkswaterstaat

Integral approach

Standardization and centralization of the technical installations are made possible by an integral approach. This requires a broad knowledge, not only of the IT and OT technologies and network infrastructure used, but also of the control systems, platforms, centralized and decentralized applications, sensors and actuators, and especially of the manners in which all these systems are applied and controlled.

An integral approach also demands expertise in order to combine commercially available systems with network systems to create one functioning system that meets the set requirements. Technolution Move has experience with all these technical aspects. Moreover, we have lots of experience with assignments during which we take long-term responsibility for the entire system as technology and system integrator.

Engineering approach

In addition to our knowledge and experience, it is crucial to be able to follow a structured engineering approach during the design process (systems engineering). Only then it is possible to ensure that specific aspects are represented in the design throughout the system. Technolution has more than sufficient experience with structured systems engineering. We do not only apply this when designing parts of the system for civil infrastructure, but also when developing complex industrial devices, such as electron microscopes and analysis equipment for quality control in microprocessors.

Flexible SCADA system

Operation, monitoring and control are crucial with the automation of civil infrastructure. For this end, Technolution has developed a flexible SCADA platform that adheres to the national standards for bridges, locks and tunnels. This system fits seamlessly in the approach described above. It is operational in the new Gaasperdam tunnel, and it also will be implemented in the Maasdelta tunnel and the Holland tunnel.

Danny Vroemen, International Business Developer at Technolution
Our expert Danny Vroemen
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