Textbook example of successful automation

  • 16 May 2023
  • 5 minutes

Even before the technical installations on the Blankenburg Link were physically installed, the software to control them had already been tested and purchased by construction consortium BAAK. It is the result of meticulous preparation by technical automation company ICT Group, which speaks of "a textbook example of successful automation".

ICT Group has been working on the development of the local control software to control the tunnel technical installations of the project since September 2019. "We developed the software in cooperation with BAAK and other BAAK contractors, tested it and integrated it with the overarching 3B layer (coordinating control). All this was delivered and received by the construction consortium a year ago," says Pasquale Rinaldi, Programme Manager at ICT Group. "Recently, some more changes have been made and we addressed the remaining points. Soon we will deliver the last package of the final version of the software and start providing support for the commissioning of the Holland Tunnel and later the Maas Delta Tunnel."

Tackling integration issues in advance

The entire development of the automation took place at a very early stage in this project. "This was a conscious choice made by BAAK and based on a risk mitigating mindset. Tackling integration issues in advance avoids potential delays in the construction phase of both tunnels," Rinaldi clarifies. "Time is limited. With the Holland Tunnel, this may not have been such an issue, but with the Maas Delta Tunnel, at the time of writing, immersion is still in full swing. After that, there is very little time to finish and commission the tunnel until the Blankenburg Link opens in 2024."

Best for project

ICT Group has its own test environment to simulate and test systems integrally. "We are used to carrying out these kinds of projects and have the capacity, knowledge and expertise in-house. At all levels. Not just of the software, but also of the hardware we control," says Herman Kraaij, Business Development manager Infra at ICT Group. "Moreover, as a system integrator, we do not stick to one system, but have experience with many different systems, so we can always come up with a 'best for project' solution."

Full lifecycle

Traditionally, ICT Group has a lot of experience in infrastructure assets. "We know the processes and requirements of Rijkswaterstaat like no other with regard to validation, verification, test management, system architecture and cybersecurity," says Kraaij. "And we can contribute to the entire software lifecycle for the infra, from writing the specifications and the design phase to development, integration and maintenance." Rinaldi adds: "Thanks to our service department, which supports management and incident management after commissioning." For the Blankenburg Link, those discussions have not yet taken place. So, possibly to be continued!

Both men look back on the past period with a good dose of pride. "We experienced the cooperation with BAAK as very pleasant: transparent and with open communication in order to achieve a good result together. It may have been a very project-specific approach, but if you ask us, we would like to approach a next project in the same way again. It is a textbook example of successful automation."

Beste Digital Transformer

ICT Group has once again been named best Digital Transformer in the Software, Development & Platforms/Enablers-Overall category by MT/Sprout. This is according to the DX300 survey, which was initiated by leading entrepreneurial platform MT/Sprout. "Just like last year, we were judged on the topics: cooperation with our clients in digital transformation projects, expertise in the field of transformation, and the quality of execution of our services. And once again we secured first place in our category."

Media source: BAAK

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