Eurovia pave the future with automated surfacing
Contracting business trials new Automated Quality Control service in real-world conditions
EUROVIA Contracting are using an array of new technology to increase safety, productivity and quality assurance on paving and surfacing contracts. A recent contract to renew the road surface on the A505 Offley bypass, near Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, was used to trial the company’s new process, equipment and material in real-world conditions.
The heart of Eurovia’s new process is the Automated Quality Assurance (AQA) service developed and provided by materials testing and consultancy business MATtest Southern.
Eurovia are trialling AQA, which promises to deliver cost reductions and improved health and safety for the work crew, as well as driving improvements in paving and compaction quality. AQA will also assist the business in meeting BIM level 2 and beyond.
The AQA process manages digital data drawn from several sources and produces ‘automated construction summary’ reports in a user-friendly format.
On the A505 work site, where up to 600m of single-lane carriageway were renewed in a single night shift, the AQA process combined all of the data from the asphalt paver, the Bomag intelligent roller, the asphalt plant, and the trucks delivering the hot-rolled asphalt (HRA) material to site, allowing real-time performance updates whilst work was progressing. MATtest also provided their App for measuring the rate of spread of pre-coated chippings.
The new Bomag roller is key to the automation of this process. It uses an intelligent compaction system that measures the actual compaction under the machine in real time and constantly adjusts and optimizes the compaction vibration to achieve the target compaction value quickly, saving time and fuel.
This new equipment is also equipped with a Moba GNSS location system and temperature measurement device, which integrates the compaction data from the Bomag system and continuously streams the data to the AQA server using the ‘cloud’.
With Bomag’s BW174AP Asphalt Manager technology and MATtest’s UKAS-accredited laboratory experience, Eurovia were provided with compaction information for 100% of the road that was laid; a significant improvement on conventional testing, which produces a less complete picture.
Quality assurance is further embedded in the new process, as MATtest Southern use their high-speed survey vehicle to check surface quality and texture depth after surfacing. This specially equipped vehicle also records high-definition video. Aside from the quality and performance benefits, this survey is conducted in regular traffic at normal road speed.
The health and safety benefits of working in this way are significant. The incidence of roadworkers being hit when deploying traffic management remains too high in the contracting sector, and innovative approaches such as this, where roadworkers do not need to work on live carriageways, are of vital importance to the sector.
Paul Kidd, Eurovia Surfacing’s divisional manager, said: ‘There are significant benefits to be had from using the latest equipment and processes, such as those provided by Bomag and MATtest.
‘We are seeing more clients calling for the speedy adoption and roll-out of digitization, and we are committed to capitalizing on these trends through investing in this new equipment and technology that helps us to improve the safety, quality and sustainability of our services. This trial is a great example of this.’