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 - No 14 - August 2019
The second generation of internet-based applications, Web 2.0, is characterized by more user-generated content and the growth of social media. Social media facilitates the sharing of information, knowledge, thoughts, and ideas in various means, and it has become a place to bring awareness as well as to democratize emerging technology. Our feeds relay emergent topics in the fields of transportation, civil engineering, and NDE.
Stay tuned to how we apply our NDE technology on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. See shots from the field and finds from our NDE data. Finally, get insight from our engineering experts on inspection practices, transportation policy, and more.
Make sure to follow us on your preferred social media:
NEXCO-West USA attended the Minneapolis, MN Digital Summit conference to broaden our marketing knowledge base. We were fortunate to listen in on several well-informed presentations. As a result, we renewed our encouragement to implement new ways to get the word out about our causes: increasing highway safety, reducing long-term project costs, improving structural life-cycle efficiency, and more readily delivering relevant data into structural owners' hands.
Historically, NEXCO-West USA has been a developer of innovative imaging methods. Taking what we learned at the summit, we strive to not only develop, but also ingrain our technology into inspection practice across the US. We believe that our mission and values can help catalyze the transition from conventional inspection practices to rapid digital inspection practices.
To review our previous newsletters, conference presentations and technology, please follow the links below:
Imaging a safer future - No 13 - July 2019
Lane closures and work zones are a nuisance for both commuters and the workers who work within them. In our heads, however, we understand that it is a necessary evil... Somebody has to maintain the roads and bridges we drive on. While the workers who keep our roads safe are our unsung heroes, the work zones themselves may be more 'evil' than we realize.
According to the FHWA, a work zone crash occurs roughly every 5 minutes in the United States. Just setting up a work zone increases the chance of an accident by roughly 25 percent. Every week, 12 fatal work zone crashes occur that can result in the death of workers, passengers, and/or pedestrians. If we can save even one life through the work that we do, it would make it all worthwhile.
There is one group that we know we can help. Bridge deck and road pavement inspectors currently employ hammer sound and chain drag methods to detect delaminated pavements. Visual inspection is used to map cracks on the roads. These require lane closures, increasing the risk of a fatal accident occurring for both inspectors and drivers. NEXCO-West USA's Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS) accomplishes both delamination and crack mapping without the need for lane closures. The DTSS is able to scan the road at highway speeds, utilizing infrared thermography and high definition visual technology. Because there is no need for lane closures, this would be creating a safer working and driving environment. DTSS could be the difference between having a healthy road and an avoidable tragedy.
Click the link below to view the DTSS brochure.
From September 4 - 6, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering - IABSE - is holding its international congress on the topic "The Evolving Metropolis", in New York City.
NEXCO-West USA's paper, entitled "Bridge Health Monitoring by Infrared Thermography", was approved by the Scientific Committee and will be discussed by an expert panel on September 4, during the "Camera-Based SHM Bridge Techniques" session. Though Infrared Thermography (IRT) has been implemented in Japan to scan the underside of bridges for the past 20 years, the technology has found a new home in the United States due to its capacity to accurately generate images at highway speeds.
The session will offer an in-depth technical description of our technology as well as details on the successful validation projects in Virginia and Pennsylvania. IABSE NY promises to be a place to exchange knowledge of the latest technologies and an opportunity to advance the discussion on affordable and sustainable solutions to tackle the problems of our aging infrastructure.
Click below to view the IABSE website
To review our previous newsletters, conference presentations and technology, please follow the links below:
Imaging a safer future - No 12 - June 2019
NEXCO-West USA team provided a demonstration campaign aiming to offer a proof-of-concept evaluation pertaining to the capabilities of its Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS) over the Vicksburg Bridge, in Louisiana.
The infrared scanning process was gotten during day and night hours, a standard approach the company adopts to minimize any possible noise and to increase the likelihood of getting the closest actual delamination scope. The data was obtained in one day and the deficiency analysis for the entire 12,974' bridge was concluded in one week.
Bridges are crucial nodes within the largest arterial road. DTSS provides the means for a faster and safer condition assessment as it does not require lane closures. When the technology is properly applied, it provides more accurate deliverable, more effective decision-making as well as better allocation of financial resources for repairing, if necessary.
NEXCO-West USA joined Nondestructive Testing workshops
German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)
NEXCO-West USA sent two engineers to the capital of Germany, Berlin, from June 12 - 18 to attend the Nondestructive Testing workshops organized by the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). NEXCO continually aims to acquire the latest in NDT knowledge, encouraging its employees to be creative and open to new ideas in tackling today's structural inspection problems.
We are confident in our own IR inspection technology, but we also acknowledge that there is always room for improvement; not only in the technology itself, but also in its application. NEXCO believes that great service can only be provided when the workforce grows with NEXCO, because after all, the people are the company.
To review our previous newsletters, conference presentations and technology, please follow the links below:
Imaging a safer future - No 11 - May 2019
During May NEXCO-West USA conducted a validation test to ratify the capabilities of the Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS) on a bridge crossing the Mississippi River between the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. The unique design of this cantilever bridge combines two structural types, truss and girder.
In just an hour, NEXCO-West USA engineers successfully inspected the whole bridge without any lane closure. The data analysis is conducted off-site, eliminating the inspector's exposure to the traffic. The DTSS evaluation determines the deficiencies reliably and follows the strict guidelines defined in the last edition of the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection
Evaluating bridge deck conditions swiftly and accurately is increasingly critical to optimize the appropriate time, span and approaches for preventive maintenance and repair.
Click the link below to view the DTSS brochure.
NEXCO-West USA will be attending the International Bridge Conference (IBC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland. This event, sponsored by the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), will be a great opportunity to discuss about the last advances in the bridge inspection field.
With more than 125 exhibitors expected to be there, this offers the perfect venue to network across the bridge community. The Conference Registration Desk will be located on the Ballroom Level of the Gaylord Resort and is open:
Monday: 7:00am-6:00pm - Tuesday: 7:00am-5:00pm - Wednesday: 7:00am-3:00pm
Please visit us at booth 335 located in the corner near WSDOT booth.
Imaging a safer future - No 10 - April 2019
NEXCO-WEST USA ATTENDS BRIDGE AND TUNNEL INSPECTORS' CONFERENCE 2
MODERN SOLUTIONS FOR MANAGING AN AGING INFRASTRUCTURE
The 2019 Bridge and Tunnel Inspectors' Conference, formerly known as the PNW Bridge Inspectors' Conference (PNWBIC), was held in Hilton Portland Downton from April 23 to 25. Hosted by Washington State University, the event featured speakers from FHWA, state DOTs, the private sector, academia, and other bridge-and-tunnel-related institutions. The theme of the Conference was Modern Solutions for Managing an Aging Infrastructure. The information presented focused on innovative, yet highly practical techniques for safety inspections of bridges and tunnels.
NEXCO-West USA was in attendance and we had an opportunity to present our very own solutions for inspecting bridges, tunnels, and other concrete structures at our booth. We were also excited to learn about the new regulations, perspectives, and technologies that will soon impact our field. For those who visited our booth, thank you. We really appreciate your interest in what we do. After attending the Conference we are, now more than ever, sincere in our conviction that the service we provide is absolutely necessary.
Many presentations showcased concerning critical findings that could have been uncovered by high definition scanning. We provide affordable, high speed scanning that can detect, interpret, and identify the exact location of deficiencies. There are no need for lane closures, and no inspectors exposed to the threat of oncoming traffic. NEXCO-West USA is committed to providing safer bridges and tunnels, and is confident in its ability to do so.
This April, NEXCO-West USA was part of the annual SEBPP meeting in Baton Rouge, LA. This conference is a forum to discuss bridge preservation strategies, and to promote the most updated information on efficient and effective tools that extend highway and bridge lifecycles. The industry of structural analysis benefits when its participants come together to share and disseminate information and methodology on inspection, maintenance, and construction practices. The event is supported by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in cooperation with The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Asset Management.
There, NEXCO-West USA showcased its Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS) to better serve South East transportation system's users. The state-of-the-art technology employs a combination of infrared and line cameras to scan a variety of concrete surfaces at speed while also providing high resolution and details. Earlier in 2017, NEXCO was the prime consultant for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and used DTSS to successfully scan 20 bridges in the state.
NEXCO's DTSS results have proven useful in understanding the real, as-is condition of bridge decks. Utilizing real-time condition data allows for better planning and prioritization of maintenance activities. In terms of operational decisions, it assures the highest level of accuracy at the lowest cost. Predictive maintenance is vital to infrastructure health. NEXCO stands ready to deliver timely results without compromising on attention to detail.
Click below to learn more.
Imaging a safer future - No 09 - March 2019
At speeds as fast as 70mph, Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS) simultaneously captures infrared thermography and high definition visual datasets. This combination of IR cameras and line cameras forms a dual imagery that supplements and validates each other, allowing for rapid processing and delivery of accurate results. Thus, Nexco's system facilitates users to scan a multitude of bridge decks, roads, and other concrete surfaces that require significant celerity and a higher rate of accuracy and detail.
Our President & CEO, Masato Matsumoto, was the lead author on a technical paper which compares different thermal cameras used to analyze bridge decks; this study found that the use of a cooled camera model minimizes false positives and blurry imaging. The development of NEXCO's analysis practices paves the way for intelligent, data-driven bridge maintenance and asset management. The paper was presented at the Annual IRF Global Conference in November 2018
Click the link below for further details of Matsumoto et al.'s abstract.
This past February, NEXCO-West USA's team traveled to the Gulf area to verify and validate the use of DTSS. During a 3500 miles trip, NEXCO-West USA successfully scanned 11 bridges in 4 different states. The total bridge deck distance analyzed was 35,576 ft, with a scanning time average of 1.09 minutes per scanned mile. By mid-March, Nexco's team of engineers detected major and minor spalls, delaminations, unsound patches, pattern cracking, and moderate to severe cracks in all of these bridges.
Current inspection methods cannot keep up with the aging and deterioration of infrastructure in the United States. NEXCO-West USA stands ready to meet this growing need for predictive maintenance plans through our novel analysis methods.
Click on the next button to get more information about DTSS.
Imaging a safer future - No 08 - February 2019
Southeast States Bridge Deck Scanning Demonstrations
Positioned to Meet the Structural Consulting Market
During the latter half of February, NEXCO-West USA engineers traversed the Southeast in its mobile deck scanning vehicle, DTSS. In addition to capturing the beautiful scenery, the engineers also captured the condition of the concrete bridge decks they passed over.
At the request of several State DOT representatives, NEXCO-West USA completely imaged 18 bridge decks across the states of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The data will be delivered back to structural owners free of charge as part of the demonstration campaign.
Moving into the month of March, NEXCO-West USA seeks to contribute their findings to the commendable effort of FHWA and its affiliates who continually contribute to the Long Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) online portals. NDE data from inspection projects across the nation are accessible here, and NEXCO-West USA aims to supplement the results with their advanced imaging capabilities.
Click the link below to find more information on our Deck Top Scanning System (DTSS)
NEXCO and Honda representatives visited the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to discuss furthering the development and validation of Honda's new vehicular sensor. This vehicle-mounted-sensor detects road roughness (IRI), textural deficiencies, and other failing sections of roadway surfaces.
NEXCO-West USA developed the Smart-Eagle to measure IRI at speeds up to 60mph. The Smart Eagle roadway inspection system was successfully used to verify and validate the accuracy of Honda's vehicular sensor.
Click the link to view the press release.
Imaging a safer future - No 07 - January 2019
The 98th annual meeting for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) was held from Sunday, January 13th to Thursday, January 17th 2019.
The meeting covered all forms of road safety from driving techniques to sustainable construction materials for roads, and included over 13,000 professionals in infrastructure from more than 70 countries. NEXCO-West USA exhibited at TRB this year, showcasing our various hardware and software systems. NEXCO also celebrated our eighth year that they have been in business, hosting many honored prominent guests from NDE scanning, engineering research, and partner organizations. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth or visited our office!
Click the link below to view our exhibitor profile!
Starting February, NEXCO-West USA will be conducting mobile scanning of bridge decks targeted by FHWA to support the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program. We also are demonstrating the advantages of our mobile scanning technology by comparing our inspection results to visual and NDE inspection reports available in InfoBridge.
We are conducting a two-week long demonstration tour spanning six gulf-region states during the month of February, to include Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
NEXCO-West USA is a leading company in utilizing infrared and visual technology for concrete structural evaluation. We have worked with VDOT, PennDOT, FDOT, MDTA, and NJDOT to provide inspection services. Click the link below to watch a video of Jeff Milton, Bridge Preservation Specialist at VDOT, describing our involvement in the SHRP2 R06A Project.
Imaging a safer future - No 06 - December 2018
The Infratech 2018 Conference was held from December 6 to December 8, 2018 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Site). The conference was organized jointly between Nikkei Inc. and the Japanese Congress for Infrastructure Management.
Topics discussed and exhibited during the conference ranged from cutting edge repair and reinforcement techniques to asset management and infrastructure investment. More than 55,000 people from government agencies and private sectors attended the event.
Masato Matsumoto, NEXCO-West USA's president & C.E.O. was invited to present his work at the conference stage in the Tokyo Big Site. He spoke about his experience of applying latest Japanese technologies to the infrastructures in the United States, France, and Brazil. He said that it is not easy to convince infrastructure owners of the benefit of new technologies, especially when introducing tech from a different country. However, it is necessary to facilitate this exchange and tackle with the issues of aging infrastructures for international benefit.
The 98th annual meeting for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held from Sunday, January 13th to Thursday, January 17th 2019. The meeting has historically covered all modes of transportation, and is expected to include over 13,000 professionals in infrastructure from more than 70 countries. With more than 5,000 presentations over 800 sessions and workshops touching on policy, administration, academia, government and industry alike, TRB is a conference dedicated to the advancement of safety and innovation of infrastructure.
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 744! To locate us, enter the conference hall and proceed to the back. Take a left at IDS North America's booth; we are located adjacent to the Federal Railroad Administration. 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.
Imaging a safer future - No 05 - November 2018
NEXCO-WEST USA TO PRESENT AT IRF GLOBAL CONFERENCE
A Global Summit of Road Innovators and Decision-Makers
The IRF Global Road2Tunnel Conference was held from Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort. Delegates, contractors, and research institutes representing over 40 countries were in attendance, including NEXCO-West USA.
Masato Matsumoto, NEXCO-West USA's president & C.E.O., presented his work during the Japan Session, which was hosted by the Japan Road Association. He spoke about the application of innovative ideas and technologies for infrastructure inspection, maintenance and rehabilitation.
Matsumoto emphasized the importance of utilizing innovative technologies and products to tackle the issues of aging infrastructures. The IRF Global Conference was the perfect opportunity to learn of the latest technologies outside of the country, and facilitate the international technology exchange in infrastructure management. Our organization is uniquely positioned to serve as a bridge between the United States and Japan to exchange cutting-edge technologies for mutual benefit.
Click the link to view Mr. Matsumoto's presentation from the Japan Session:
The Second Japan Infrastructure Investment Forum was held on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center, and was sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
The forum consisted of a series of lectures and networking opportunities to promote infrastructure for Japanese and American businesses. The convention emphasized the importance of investments in infrastructure both in Japan and in the U.S., public prviate partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure, and Japanese participation in U.S. projects.
Hiroyuki Kato, NEXCO-West USA's Vice President, presented on the latest infrastructure inspection technologies for maintenance, and was a participating panelist in a discussion revolving around the possibilities of Japanese companies participating in infrastructure projects located in Indiana. Click the links below to learn more about NEXCO-West USA's advances in non-destructive testing (NDT) for roads, bridges, and tunnels.
Imaging a safer future - No 04 - October 2018
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.
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.
Imaging a safer future - No 03 - 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 - No 02 - August 2018
NEXCO-West USA's Mobile 360 Degree 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 degree Imaging System (M360IS) is a high-resolution 360 degree 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 micro-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 micro-bolometer cameras. Even from a 45 degree angle, the cooled sensor cameras were able to clearly detect delaminations while the micro-bolometer cameras produced false detections. This effect can be easily explained considering that the cooled sensor cameras have a higher sensitivity than the micro-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 micro-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 micro-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 micro-bolometer ones. As a conclusion, in actual field inspections, cooled detector infrared camera provided more accurate detection. The analysis results were also compared with conventiona
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 - No 01 - 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 NDE 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
Watch the full conference by clicking on the link below to see the state DOT officials' insights and opinions on IRT technologies.