One of the challenges of the new Miami International Speedway is that it is built around a soccer stadium, tennis courts and a concert venue that requires outlying areas of the facility to change shape for each event that takes place.
That prompted Apex Circuit Design , the company that oversaw the project from planning to creation, to devise a system to keep track of the 2,900 Geobrugg concrete barriers, guard fences and curbs – in total, more than 7,000 assets – that they had to be installed.
After the Miami Grand Prix, everything has to be removed to allow the next event to take place in the stadium, with the help of software development company Ofcdesk.
The solution was ApexBUILD , which is a “digital twin” and asset management tool for the entire circuitry, developed by Kate Kishel for Apex. Each ApexBUILD asset tag carries an individual QR code, (a small piece of vinyl with a 5mm adhesive also used by NASA) that has been added to all the pieces, once placed, to form the track barriers . After this procedure, it is scanned with a mobile application to update the data of the place in real time.
“A digital twin is a visual replica of a real-life entity, in this case the assets of a work,” Kishel said. “But you can have a digital twin to model any system or entity.”
“One of the challenges of temporary circuit structures is all these gigantic concrete barriers with barbed wire on top. They’re like very heavy Lego bricks, 4 meters long. You have to put them all together in a perfect configuration to complete the track.” .
“Managing these assets is quite a challenge due to their number and size, so if the installation plans are not followed as designed, it would take extra manpower and specialized equipment to fix it and get it back on track. track, which could delay the calendar and suppose an additional cost”.
General view of the Miami circuit
Those asset tags mean that every component of the track, plus the permanent asphalt surface and drainage system, can be virtually monitored in a web application to enable assembly and disassembly, data that can be used to reassemble the track. next year.
Kishel explained, “We use AutoCAD, which is a design program that engineers use to design a facility and put up site plans, which creates a picture of what the place should look like when everything is installed. ApexBUILD’s mobile app, once you’ve scanned the QR stickers with the mobile app, it collects all that data for each component so its own story is captured in our back-end database.The ApexBUILD web viewer then displays the data on an easy-to-understand graphical display that anyone can see and understand, with little training, in seconds.
“You go from having the picture of what the site should look like, now combined with the actual data of what has been physically built, so you can compare the two to make sure there are no mistakes. It’s basically a method of ensuring that everyone These gigantic Legos are where they belong.”
“It also creates a history of each concrete barrier forever, so if one breaks and needs to be repaired, there’s a record of what happened so we can make sure we repair the right barrier before next year’s race.” to improve security. And, in addition, the useful life of that barrier is perfectly recorded”.
ApexBUILD works in conjunction with Autodesk Build and will be used to establish an asset and life management database for inventory control and to record the location and status each year for off-site storage. This will help the project management team reinstall the track systems on an annual basis, in the order that they are removed after each year’s race.
“We also have the curbs, the protective fence panels and the TecPro barriers,” added Kishel. “We started with a blank canvas, but the pace at which the guys have built this track has been mind-boggling. It’s been hard to keep up with them.”
The system will face a real test this weekend, when the Don Shula Avenue public access road is closed and reopened each morning and evening. Moving barriers and fences can be checked to make sure they have been mounted/dismounted correctly and in real time.
“People make mistakes, but everything is perfectly tracked by the computer,” says Kishel. “For example, when I was tagging some barriers on the start/finish straight last month, ApexBUILD showed there was only one row of concrete blocks when there should have been a double row for safety. It was a simple oversight, caught by the app but that the installation team missed.
“On a hugely busy site, mistakes like this can happen, but the digital twin clearly shows any discrepancies between what we planned to happen and what is actually happening.”
What if the stickers peel off over time?
“I know the manufacturer, I talk to him every 15 days, and I think I’ve made his life miserable,” he joked. “But he tested the tags by putting them on the tread of a bulldozer and driving it for 12 hours.”
“He’s from Florida, so he understands how hot and rainy it can be here.”