Tuesday 31 July 2018

Finland: Digitalisation assists in the development of road paving works

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This summer, the Finnish Transport Agency is again leading (and has led) fascinating pilots promoting the digitalisation of road paving works. The aim is to use digitalisation to improve the efficiency of the planning and implementation of road surfacing works and enhance the quality of the end product. The pilots will provide rapid insights into what is now possible and sketch out a development path towards the future.

Several pilots were carried out last summer. For example, SL Asfaltti Oy conducted a ”Real-time mass monitoring system pilot”. The aim was to investigate how to combine output data from an asphalt mixing plant’s ERP with data from a mass monitoring system to provide aggregate data enabling any participant in surfacing works to monitor the information they need in real time. In addition, the possibility was investigated of automatically providing an output data report in accordance with the customer’s expectations.

Similarly to the other trials, the pilot provided insights into how such solutions can be implemented and make both the customer’s and contractor’s work more efficient. Information on all of the completed and ongoing pilots is available here.

“The Finnish Transport Agency hopes that even companies that are not yet involved in our various pilots will read the reports and present their ideas for technological development within the sector. New working methods can seem arduous to begin with, when systems are just being developed and introduced, but it is already clear that digitalisation will bring new efficiencies,” says Katri Eskola, Procurement Expert at the Finnish Transport Agency.

Manufacturers of asphalt compactors will demonstrate their expertise at Orimattila

The compaction of the fresh, asphalt mass laid on a road is one of the crucial phases of asphalt paving. Last summer, NCC Industry Oy completed a pilot, ”Compactness monitoring during roll compaction”, which investigated how the quality of compaction work can be verified and reported to the customer, using a measurement and control system.

This summer, we will continue work on this important topic by organising a broader study and pilot, in which the companies providing the technology can demonstrate their own equipment on road works in Orimattila, in late July and early August.

Each operator will be assigned its own area, in which it will conduct compacting work with its own equipment. The Finnish Transport Agency will conduct a study of the site, with the report being drawn up as Master’s thesis for Tampere University of Technology.

“Our thesis student will monitor the outcomes and record what each actor has done at each site. Drill samples will be taken from the sites and examined to determine how well automatically reported compaction data corresponds to gaps traditionally measured from drill samples,” says Eskola.

Asfalttikone ABM Ltd, Real Machinery, Wihuri Ltd Witraktor, Volvo and Wirtgen have announced their participation in the Orimattila pilot. The pilot has raised interest in the industry and representatives of the Swedish Transport Administration will visit Finland to follow its progress.

The pilot forms part of sub-project three of the Finnish Transport Agency’s digitalisation programme (Proactive management of the road network’s condition). The pilots have been completed in cooperation with companies, under road surfacing contracts tendered out by ELY centres.

(Source: FTA)

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