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Home » Technology & Innovation » Vibration-Sensing Tech Can Prevent Accidents and Save Money
Wilson Howe

Wilson Howe

President & CEO, Symroc

Torr Haglund

Torr Haglund

Vice President of Business Development, Symroc

While seismic and vibration technology isn’t new, sophisticated advances in the field are helping better monitor, analyze, and predict the velocity, acceleration, and displacement of vibrations on a variety of structures.

Traditionally, vibration technology has focused on measuring high-frequency seismic activity, but not low-frequency vibrations that occur with earthquakes or the movement of large infrastructures like bridges, buildings, and pipelines.

The existing technology has also been extremely costly and complex and can’t produce the high-quality data required to accurately measure seismic activity.

Remote monitoring as a proactive safety measure

Alberta-based Symroc recognized the gap in the market for high-quality, cost-effective data in the low-frequency range. Initially, Symroc focused its vibration technology on monitoring earthquakes generated by oil and gas activity in British Columbia.

Symroc's crew installing vibration sensing system on Lethbridge High Level Bridge
Symroc’s crew installing vibration sensing system on Lethbridge High Level Bridge. Photo courtesy of Symroc.

The company has since expanded to serving various industries, including rail transport. Over the past few decades, both the volume of freights and the speed of trains has increased, taking a toll on a number of 100-year-old bridges across Canada. Replacing these infrastructures is costly, time consuming, and often difficult as many of them are in the middle of busy cities, or in rural areas that are hard to access. Symroc’s solution is to install sensors to view, monitor, and analyze stress levels, then to repair only on certain parts of the bridge rather than the entire structure.

Symroc’s technology is also used on pipelines, where sensors monitor all parts and pieces within an oil and gas facility. If there’s unusual activity, the facility can schedule a shutdown to repair or replace parts, rather than waiting for an accident to occur.

“There’s a strong safety component to our technology,” said Torr Haglund, Vice President of Business Development at Symroc. “It’s a simple and cost-effective way to monitor the health of structures, to ensure there are no accidents and to increase public safety.”

Gathering data and lowering costs

Vibration is one of the three major data sources that powers artificial intelligence (AI) analysis, and data quality is one of the biggest conundrums in the AI world. Symroc provides the highest-quality data in the low-frequency range, and the company’s innovative technology design is cost-effective, saving 80% of integrated system costs. Its real-time, wireless remote data transmission also enables digitization by eliminating on-site operations, reducing 70% of site and travel costs.

“We’re fundamentally solving the challenges of the industry, which is gathering low-cost, high-quality data,” said Wilson Howe, President and CEO of Symroc.

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