Benefits of WSCAM for Coastal and Marine Infrastructure Owners

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Hear from Carsten Varming, Port Development Manager from NSW Ports and Ports Australia Engineering and Asset Management Working Group Chair as he discusses the benefits of the updated Wharf Structures Condition Assessment Manual (WSCAM). The new manual assists agencies with coastal and marine infrastructure to more accurately condition assess their assets.

Key updates include: 
  • An expanded scope for all port fixed structures excluding buildings; 
  • A rationalised inspection approach resulting in a single assessment tool that is flexible for user customisation; 
  • Guidance on a risk/criticality-based approach to determine the frequency of coastal and marine inspections. 


Welcome to this webinar is about updates to the Ports Australia Wharf structure's Condition Assessment manual known as Win Scam. My name is Andy Bolton and I'm the Transport and Facilities lead at Breitling Australia and I'll be the facilitator of the session today as affiliate members of Ports Australia and as asset management practitioners. We have rightly feel we have a duty to share the excellent work at Ports Australia has done in creating and providing a place to West Camp.

We are joined today by members from Ports Australia and the Ports Community to help educate industry about the role which can can play in helping you to better manage your marine and coastal assets. On their handover to Margate from Ports Australia to provide a very brief whist camp introduction. Yes. Hi everyone. Thank you, Andy. And rightly so, organizing this, organizing this webinar.

I guess I just wanted to give very brief overview of what's Australia. So you have a bit of context as to the development of this manual and I guess its importance within the ports industry. So as as you said, I'm Maggie Barbuda's, I'm the policy operations lead at Ports Australia and Ports Australia is a is the peak body for the ports.

And what we really provide is kind of advocacy on one hand, so advocacy to both the public and to government, the government as a regulatory reforms, but also we also have a very strong operational role and that is in providing communities of practice around different subjects. And particularly the important one in this instance is the engineering and Asset Management Working group that we have.

And they really led and guided the development of this manual in 2014 and now the update and I know there'll be a little bit more talk about that, but that but that working group comprises of the engineering and asset management leads from across the port sector as well as as well as engineering experts from some of our consulting associate members such as Bradley and and service providers to the boards.

So it's really stemmed out of a need and I think that has been identified by industry and it has also come as what we've seen since 2014, is that that hasn't just been used within the port sector, but then it has been taken up in little bits and pieces by some government entities. So for looking at port or marine related structures such as marinas, but also yet in looking at the methodology and the asset, the methodology and approach around asset inspections for some of the other assets that they hold, and this is these are some of, I guess since 2014, in that beginning, these are some of the, I guess, learnings that have really helped shape the revision, which cost and will I'm sure go into. And yeah, so I guess I think it's just really great that you're all here in the room and that hopefully you'll, you'll find this to be a value. It may not necessarily be for those Marine assets, you may not hold marine assets, but it may be just an approach and methodology that you might look for your other assets as well.

And yeah, so I think I think that's probably all I've got to say. Obviously, as you know, I'm here as well as Imogen Poser, who's our communications director of Quartz Australia. And so if you have any more, I guess, general questions either about this or other aspects of Australia, do you feel free to reach out to us? Yes.

Thank you very much to Andy for bringing this all together and I'll go over back to you. Thanks, Marty, as great. And so before we get started, could I please ask you to raise any questions via the Q&A function and there will be the opportunity to ask additional questions at the end of today's presentation. Please also note that this session will be recorded and we can provide links to the recording if required, brightly or a setting as it was first became aware of what's in about 2015 when we started working with our first port vendors ports in South Australia, we very quickly realized what a great fit the risk assessment process was.

So the nature scale mapping ability of our own asset lifecycle modeling tool predictor, since then we had observed the growth of the use of west by coast and ports asset operators, not only in Australia but its recognition on the international stage. While this camp was originally designed for use by port operators, it is now a very relevant process guide for those responsible for the management of the and coastal assets.

And I welcome all of those none ports attendees today to learn about the latest version of this camp. As such, I'm delighted to introduce you all to our key speaker today. Past bombing Port Development Manager at NSW Ports, who will be taking us through the changes and scope of the latest scan and we'll be available to take questions at the end of the session.

Costin has over 32 years experience working in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North and South America and across Australia and Asia. He has extensive experience in project management, contract management, design management, construction planning and onsite supervision from small to major marine and industrial projects. He was the asset manager for NSW Ports for three years, being responsible for an asset pool worth over 3 billion and spanning everything from maritime structures to buildings to roads and bridges.

Costa is the current chair of the Ports Australia Engineering and Asset Management Working Group and also represents Ports Australia. In the panel appointed to review Standards Australia publication. As for nine seven, the guidelines, the Design of Maritime Strategies is also a member of the Working Group two, three, three post and a warm welcome to you and I'll hand over to you right now.

Thank you.

Well, okay, we'll see, but I will keep working. Morning. Good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, everyone. Depending on where you are. And I had a brief presentation. Can I share my screen with you guys? At least I should be able to. So why was the blockchain developed? It was developed in the early 2010, because Australia saw there was a gap in the marketplace and it was really all about getting a document that could promote the use of best practice and make sure that condition assessment and inspection of more structures were could be done consistently regardless of who actually does it.

So and the manual was obviously designed when it was prepared and funded by Ports Australia with some help from consultants. And what is the last ten? It's a tool that helps asset owners to do consistent, repeatable condition inspections of their assets. And the first version of the condition assessment manual was specifically targeted for both structures in the name, and it provides a consistency of inspection outcomes unrelated to who actually does them.

So you can have multiple people doing them, different consultants doing them. You're not locked into any one particular. And the most important feature of the working manual is it provides guidance to the inspectors of when we're talking about a condition five, what does tend to look like when you're out in the field, you should be able to see that in front of you.

If you see that something that looks like that, then that gives you five. But as I said, the first version was released in June 2014, the new version just released in November 2022. So there's some few things that have changed. The updated bits about changing the way the inspections were proposed to be done and talks about the breaking your assets down into components of this stuff to describe the station.

And then it talks in detail about data collection. What does that mean, what tools to use? And lastly, this new section that kind of talks about how that's going to what you're meant to do with all the data once you've got it stuff. So the typical first step of a condition inspection is to stop it out. And typically when we're talking about a condition inspection, we're talking about six different based types of inspections.

And one special purpose based line inspection is what you do when you hand it over new assets. You can look at it, make sure that it does, and it meets the requirements of what the contract was for. Then you've got periodic official inspections. Those are for when you typically the asset on its own personnel will go out and look for damage, things that are unusual.

And then there's your detailed inspections, which is very in depth inspections, and they're usually done by either a team of people or it's outsourced to third parties to do. Then you got inspection for design purposes. So if you're repurposing an asset to be a do a different thing, then the designers will typically want to know what condition is the event to be in today so that when I do my design, I can make sure that it's going to do what you want it to.

And then you've got post-event inspections and inspections that will be done if you've had a accident, if you find that the ship impacted, could be anything. And then due diligence inspections are typically done in the insurance manuals. If you are setting up an assets, that kind of thing, special purpose inspections can be anything and everything. They used to be done for a very specific purpose.

It cost. And can I just interrupt And for the benefit of our audience, could you maybe go into full presentation view for the screenplays?

I can try that, but are you all going to disappear off my screen and thought. Okay, that's that's perfect for us. Thank you.

So after you've done your scoping and you then have to get into the pipe of it and this is where the structure display section comes in. So typically you would take an acid and it is on the right hand side that you see as a touch for fixed office. It could be a wall you break them down into it's piles of contacts plus braces, deck overlay, all kind of cross being themes go to whatever and then you have to name each of them because with the in order to be able to come back and track the condition of a particular component of the asset, you need to be told about the same component every time.

So on the left hand image, I'll show on a typical asset, small asset of ours where we've broken it down and literally gone through and named every single member within the structure. So that helps you then to always only have to do once. Clearly, once you've broken it down, you follow that same write down every time you do the inspections.

And that way you're always talking about the same member. If you're talking about a particular member. And then there's the planning around it, how you actually going to do the inspection, who's going to do it? And if we go back to this slide here, you can see the diagram on the right. You sculpt, then you prepare and then you carry out the inspection and and on this slide, you'll see you have your technical staff, you develop your methodology.

You have to then go back and look at your constraints. Are there any constraints to what I need to do and then assess the feasibility of what it is you're proposing. If there's something that doesn't work, then you go back and have a look at your methodology when we then come to the physical inspection. So this here is the typical condition rating scale used by what can is by no means the only one.

Lots of clients who use different writing skills. Some nights 1 to 10 someone likes 1 to 5, someone like 1 to 1. But it doesn't really matter. You just have to know what a one mean and what the highest number and tailor everything around that. The reason it makes good sense to follow the one for seven is that that's how you tie in to the damage imaging in the back end of the watch plan.

In terms of the inspection, you can then make decisions about, am I going to do an in-person inspection, I'm going to use technology. And the technology component can be anything you use drones and all types of things these days that will help you carry out inspections. And in many cases, it's actually a far better outcome. You need to make sure that you inspect to have the right qualifications to carry out that inspection.

It's a different set of qualifications required to do the detailed inspection than it is to carry out the periodic inspections. When you're doing periodic, you just look at the damage and that kind of stuff. When you do the detail, you actually got to know what does it mean if this member is this particular element is in a poor condition, then you need to think about what tools am I going to use 1 a.m. I going to need am I going to do something to eliminate testing?

Am I going to do some invasive testing, all those kind of things? We to make sure we've got all those tools with you. And lastly, how are you going to collect this data when you're going to do the good old paper and then and then go back to the office and transcribe it? Or are you going to use a computer and enter the data while that there or are you going to use There's a lot of apps available these days to do exactly this data collection or these kind of inspections, and they're clearly a lot easier.

And some of them. Do you reference a particular one? You got long viruses. It's a lot easier to use to you with an inspection tool because you don't have to remember what it is that you're standing next to because it'll come up on your as to what that is. There's been a lot of advances in technology around inspections and so on.

And within the ports Australia Working Group with this has been the focus of us for a while. And you know, there's the whole thing. We put an inspector in a box to go and inspect underneath both structures or do we put a strong submersible zone or anything else underneath and state. These are issues that can seriously impact on the health and safety of everyone and the interruption to operations as well.

On the top left right hand corner, there is a graphics from the Dutch railways. They assist the inspection of the bridge using the traditional tools, which is a tough inspection and a drone. And you can see the comparison between the two cost is massively different. The safety of the operator is huge and the difference is you don't put them in harm's way and vehicles are a lot safer.

Aircraft down on the side, more exposed, but then also the influence to the traffic uses. So you just have to think through when it comes to selecting how you want to do it and make sure you do it in a safe and efficient way. And there's a whole lot of mobile tools in the censoring and so on. You can do and did on photogrammetry and so on are all part and parcel of the toolbox these days and should be utilized wherever that makes sense.

And this here is a slide that kind of gives you an idea of what technology can do these days. So the top two images on the right hand side kind of show us how using technology left me rather than the person sitting and looking at a whole lot of photos. You ask the computer to do it for you and you can identify all these cracks.

So whatever. And so again, it's it is a lot of effort in setting it up the first time, but then after that becomes a lot easier. So again, you need to decide how you want to do it before you begin to down that road and make sure that the dossier texture is going to be able to be put into the methodology that you want to use to do your assessment.

Then when we come to data analysis and management, there is a medium way of presenting your outcomes and you can present it as shown in the top right hand corner by color, targeting each individual component and then you get this color graphics that will tell you where the red areas are and which areas that we can look like.

You can also do what's showing in the bottom right hand corner, which is more looking at the ballistics of the entire structure. And how does it sit within the or the rectangle are the key elements that you wanted to assess against and then you can then say, if I want to move an element from having a score of five down to a score of three, what is that thing?

And there's a whole lot of science that use using a lot of advice based solution for these kind of things. But there's also this whole new pathway digital twin that a lot of people are using and is that there is a lot of technology available in this particular space. So what are the benefits? To be honest, the acetone, the Holy Grail is really to get to being able to predict when your asset is going to drop below a certain service level.

And on the right hand graphics, you can see the typical condition scale 1 to 7 that's used in once with seven means that the member of the component is at the end of its life and one is that it's neutral and if you can plot a number of points on that pool with years between them, then you are actually able to mount the predictive assessment of when you're going to reach a particular level.

And that's the holy Grail for asset managers to be able to say, If I don't do anything about this member before this time, then we're going to be at a condition level for five or six things.

And it helps you get consistency. And that is very important. And it's an industry recognized tool. Was ten and it is very easy to find individuals in it and it's very easy to then track each component elements condition all the time. So the real benefit is all the repeatability and the consistency. You're not locked into a particular person.

You've got two consultants doing the work for you and I don't know about you guys, but where I work, we've got reports where one year there's a condition scale of 1 to 5, five years later, the condition scale is now 1 to 10, and some years later it's 1 to 3. And it just isn't possible to then correlate and buy it.

Where are you on the curve unless you spend an awful lot of effort. So that is why the was then put in place and that is we did it manual for let me we want to find out if there's any questions and the.

Thank you call so I can't see any questions on the channel of Q&A but I'll let people think what they're doing that. I've got a couple of questions for you. And to kick things off, first of all, and what were the engineering learnings that led to these updates to West Kent occurring and what were the learnings from using the original Miscount?

And so there was a couple of things that really to all it. Number one, the original was ten manual had a number of different inspection methodologies and they were kind of targeted towards a particular type of inspection. So your basic inspection and your detailed inspection, but none of them roped into the issue of waste. So the working group within reports Australia decided that most of us work in an environment where risk is a key driver within that business and everyone understands what that means.

And so where our work, we had always developed their own methodology for doing the inspections. We had one type of one inspection methodology, but it was mistakes and holes. When we kind of had those conversations within society Working Group, that was one of the drivers to go back and have a look at it again and see whether we had the right recommendations within them or whether we should really be looking at a risk based approach.

The second thing that drove it was there's been a lot of changes in material types that are becoming common within ports and maritime structures. And so that year we can what can typically with some of your concrete, steel and timber. But these days we see a lot of, you know, five reinforced plastics, you see a lot of aluminum used, We see a lot of those kind of products.

So let's bring some of those in to the unit so that when you are doing your inspections, you are not looking at a steel folder to find that out what that means for an aluminum product. And lastly, the whole conversation around the advancement, media, technology and digital twins and different types of inspection methodologies. That was really the key drivers behind the recommending to all Ports Australia that we have another look at and get enough back to the document.

Thanks, Ghassan. Just one more question from me and what would your advice be to an agency starting that journey which can, you know, what would you avoid, What would you encourage? So those new starters, if you will?

Well, I guess I can say what we did with we picked the bits out of what can that we felt makes sense for us and for our business. All the assets that we had and we haven't adopted the manual in its entirety and we've kind of a big step that we think makes sense. The methodology we had already, as I said, we needed it in alignment with our internal procedures, but we stuck with the classifications for 1277.

That's kind of found its way all the way through. So one of the things that we did was we got a lot of learn to call before we start running, So start easy and take a couple of assets and just have a go at them and figure out how it actually how the system works and how it's going to work for you before you start rolling it out to everything.

Once you've figured out how it works and how it's going to work within your your systems, then it becomes a lot easier to roll it out to all the other assets.

All right. Thank you. I haven't seen any of the questions coming through. And I started missing missing those or if anyone wants to jump in and ask a question, what I might do for the last few seconds is just provide you provide the audience with a couple of contact points. Let me just share my screen if I can do that and I'll just bring a screen here.

So any questions, you can either direct them to the team at Ports Australia, Morgan Imaging, I hope that's the right email address. Yeah, great. Fantastic to go down. Right. And for a more complex email address is the the variety software. So please feel free to shoot any questions through to either of those too. And you can also get more information about it was coming from the ports Australia website.

So last call for any questions, any comments. Otherwise we'll say thank you to the ports Australia team and to your customers and for our attendees for taking interest in this topic today. Thank you guys. I think we're done. Have a good day. Thank you.