26 August 2021 | Innovation | Collaboration | Environment | Our Work

View from the top: Innovation is thriving

This represents the third in a series of updates about what innovative products and services are out there, being developed by companies large and small.  It really does make me feel proud when I realise just how much effort is being expended below the surface to help the swan glide effortlessly through the water.

As on the previous occasions, myself, Ian Large and others were impressed by what we saw and through this medium we want to make sure we share the messages far and wide.

Ian Large, Chair of the Infrastructure Innovation Board commented on the third round of pitches:

“Another great morning of innovation pitches and great presentations.  The third session saw a few technical gremlins on the day, however, these didn’t deter the presenters, they were all seen and enjoyed.  This was another interesting view of what industry is up to and the great strides that are being made by smaller companies as well as the larger, more established ones.

“Innovation is thriving, in fact surprisingly, as far as we can see, nobody is sitting still and all eyes are on the now, next and the future. It has been great to be a part of and more to come in the next session.”   

Spotlight on Roadtechs

Road preservation sprays seem to becoming more popular in the highways sector.  Trevor Thompson described the properties of some of their products such as Reclamite and RHiNOPHALT.  The benefits of such treatments seem obvious as no virgin aggregates are required, resulting in reduced costs and carbon outputs.  Quick and easy to apply, such solutions provide up to 5 years additional life from the surface and can be re-applied time after time, thus extending the life of a road network and reducing pressure on maintenance budgets.

 

Trevor Thompson, Business Manager for Roadtechs commented:

“The Innovation Board is innovation itself and has provided Roadtechs with a platform to demonstrate how surface rejuvenation can assist highways managers with the maintenance of good roads and extend the life of the surface.  The opportunity for instant feedback from the much respected industry professionals on the Board is invaluable and most welcome.”

Spotlight on Rosehill Highways

Clare Riley demonstrated the Rosehill Highways NCLD Lite, a one-metre Narrow Cycle Lane Defender that retains the same width and height as other units in the range, offering unrivalled protection, but, at half the length and less than half the weight, this allows the installation by a single installer with the resulting savings in time and costs. Already being trialled in some local authorities, it was clear the benefits this solution has over the more traditional lane defenders.

Clare Riley, Sales Manager for Rosehill Highways commented:  

At Rosehill Highways we understand the importance of providing a substantial degree of segregation to encourage active travel.  We produce all our units with recycled tyre shred as large and solid units which offer safety to cyclists whilst helping authorities reduce their carbon footprint.   I would like to thank LCRIG, once again, for the opportunity and hope that we can continue to educate authorities on this approach.”

 

Spotlight on ATM

The collection of asset inventory is often a costly and time consuming exercise which sometimes results in incomplete asset data held by local authorities. Robert Thorn introduced Advanced Mobile Asset Collection (AMAC) which exploits the latest technology to perform an asset inventory and sign retro-reflectivity testing across the network without incurring costly traffic management or creating disruption to road users. Traditionally, road signs are surveyed during the daytime, requiring traffic management and hand-held measuring devices, making this method of data collection slow, which has been the driver for this particular innovation.

Robert Thorn, AMAC Manager at ATM commented: 

“It was a great opportunity for me to explain to the Innovation Board, the survey services that AMAC offers and how they fit in with the ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure: A Code of Practice‘.  The technology we use offers considerable advantage over conventional ‘hand-held’ collection methods.  I can understand clients surprise and disbelief when I inform them we can survey at up to 70mph, which we regularly do when on motorways and dual carriageways.  Our surveys are ideally suited to high speed roads or where any form of traffic management which might be needed for manual collection methods, would be disruptive to the network.”

 

Spotlight on Levett Business Services

It would be nothing new for you to hear myself bemoaning the fact that too many of our systems are not fully integrated, creating a barrier to real step improvements. Neil Levett told us that he is pushing for the WHOLE industry to align our systems, whereby competing tech suppliers are forced to come together for the benefit of the operative/site safety work.  Acknowledging it will take true collaboration to achieve this, the aim would be to enable all of our work sites to be tech’ supplier agnostic – for a common goal! Levett Business Services and Clearview Intelligence have the ability to co-ordinate this through SmartWorker and they have already partnered with some suppliers in order to demonstrate the concept. The intention is to develop SmartWorker to be technology supplier agnostic so that different manufacturer’s systems interface automatically on site.

 

 Neil Levett, Managing Director for Levett Business Services commented: 

“I was very grateful for the opportunity to present to the LCRIG Innovation Board last week.  The Board is made up of a very cohesive and well placed group from within the sector.  The specific subject of Operative safety that we were discussing, will require all stakeholders and road owners to engage collaboratively to achieve the optimum safety levels for our colleagues on the network, so this was a perfect forum to begin this discussion.”

 

More innovators to come this Friday, I cant wait.