Konica Minolta SenrigaN, a non-destructive inspection solution, included in the Official Catalog of MLIT, Government of Japan

| 2 November 2021

Promoting efficient maintenance to prevent failures of concrete bridges

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) is pleased to announce that SenrigaN, a non-destructive inspection solution, has been included in the “Inspection Support Technology Performance Catalog (Draft)” (Performance Catalog) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Government of Japan. Konica Minolta offers the SenrigaN non-destructive inspection solution as a simple judgment method for detecting ruptures of steel materials inside concrete structures such as PC bridges[1]. The company aims to establish this solution, which does not require expertise, as one of the infrastructure inspection processes.


The Performance Catalog was created by the Road Bureau of the MLIT in 2019. This catalogue contains performance values of inspection technologies to encourage the active use of new technologies for periodic inspections. The periodic inspection procedures for road facilities, such as bridges and tunnels, were revised in 2019. With the second round of five-yearly periodic inspections under way, MLIT is recommending the use of new technologies, in addition to close visual inspections and hammering tests, to improve operations in the third round, which will commence in FY2024. As part of such efforts, MLIT publicly solicited applications for “inspection support technologies for bridges and tunnels” in line with the revision of the Performance Catalog. Konica Minolta proposed SenrigaN as an “inspection support technology for bridges and tunnels,” and it was included in the Performance Catalog revised this year.
 
With the accelerating deterioration of traffic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, there is a growing need to quickly detect ruptures of steel materials[2] inside concrete bridges, which are likely to result in failure, and carry out efficient maintenance. This requires detecting ruptures of steel materials deep inside, which cannot be detected by visual inspection, by using a non-destructive inspection device. Such non-destructive inspection processes are expected to become the standard.
 
Helping to judge whether bridges should be repaired and take early action
Konica Minolta offers the SenrigaN non-destructive inspection solution as a simple judgment method for detecting ruptures of steel materials inside concrete structures such as PC bridges. The company aims to establish this solution, which does not require expertise, as one of the infrastructure inspection processes. SenrigaN generates magnetic forces in steel materials by using a special magnet in its main unit. The flow of the magnetic force is detected by a sensor, and this data is then analysed by a proprietary algorithm to locate ruptures of steel materials inside bridges of railways, expressways, and general roads in real time. This reveals the state of deterioration and helps judge properly whether a bridge should be repaired or reinforced.
 
In addition, the device is easily handled by anyone and remote support services and machine judgement make it simple to interpret the measurement data, which helps eliminate delays in grasping the situation due to a shortage of experts. In the future, the measurement process will be automated to help reduce the workload and increase the efficiency of infrastructure inspection.
 
Creating a business to propose proactive repairs based on prediction
With SenrigaN, Konica Minolta will promote efficient maintenance to prevent failures of concrete bridges and help ensure the safety of traffic infrastructure. Previously, Konica Minolta offered services using SenrigaN on a trial basis, and has now decided to fully enter the business.
 
Market tests in Japan include field operational tests on railway bridges (for Shinkansen bullet trains) and performance verification on actual bridges where salt damage is serious through industry-academia-government collaboration, which involves local governments and universities. SenrigaN has been highly evaluated in these projects. It has also been used for deteriorated bridges managed by the MLIT and local governments, in order to design and carry out repairs for expressways. Market tests have also started in Myanmar, Vietnam, and South Korea.
 
The business will start with renting SenrigaN to inspection companies and consulting engineering companies. Konica Minolta hopes to expand the business by proactively proposing repairs based on prediction. The company will also expand the business globally, particularly in ASEAN countries where traffic infrastructure in coastal areas has been deteriorated due to salt damage.
 
At present, SenrigaN can only detect steel materials that have actually ruptured, but Konica Minolta believes it will become possible to predict such ruptures using AI by accumulating and analysing inspection data. In the future, the company will meet the needs of customers, such as detecting neutralisation of concrete and rust development on steel materials, by expanding its line-up of new inspection technologies and devices, thereby allowing deterioration to be detected at an early stage.
 
Konica Minolta’s commitment to ensuring social safety and security
With SenrigaN, Konica Minolta is contributing to its self-imposed corporate goal of becoming “a company clearly committed to solving social issues” as stated in its Medium-term Business Plan, DX2022. This is because “ensuring social safety and security” is one of five items of materiality (important issues) that the company is committed to tackling.
 

 
[1] Bridges which use prestressed concrete (PC). In PC, tensile force is applied to embedded steel materials, which are stronger than the reinforcing steel, to reinforce the concrete by compressive stress. As a result, fewer cracks are generated than in reinforced concrete.
[2] Reinforcing steel for reinforced concrete; prestressing steel for prestressed concrete (PC).


 



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About Konica Minolta Inc.


Konica Minolta, Inc. is a global technology company that provides innovative solutions to businesses and society. With its strengths in the combination of its core technologies in advanced imaging, optics, sensing, materials and nano-processing, Konica Minolta is committed to creating new values supporting customers to address challenges in their operations and work processes. Advancing its expertise in digital technologies, the company has been going through business transformation into a digital company, with insights into implicit challenges across the board as ‘One Konica Minolta’ in the era of Internet of the Things (IoT). Konica Minolta is also active in open innovation through various collaborations and alliances with academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. Headquartered in Tokyo, Konica Minolta has its Group companies in 50 countries with over 43,000 employees and offers products and services in 150 countries around the world.

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About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. With its unique expertise in imaging, data processing and data-based decision making, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers - small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises and public sector - and solves issues faced by society.


As a digital workplace solution provider, Konica Minolta helps its clients to identify and unlock the potential digitalisation holds and reach the next level in the digital maturity of their organisation by rethinking the workplace. In support of an ‘Intelligent connected workplace’, Konica Minolta offers cloud, IT, managed print and video solution services for remote working, collaboration, workflow management and automation and security. The company’s success in driving transformation is also confirmed by IDC, since the ‘IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment’ stated that Konica Minolta is ‘recognised globally as a leader in print transformation’. Konica Minolta has been a Microsoft Global Managed Partner since 2021.


Konica Minolta's Igniting Print Possibilities offering helps printers, converters and brand owners maximise workflow automation to increase efficiency. The company delivers consultancy in all communication matters as well as top-of-the-line production, packaging as well as label printers. Its finishing devices create print products that stand out and create added value. Konica Minolta has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource).


For an increasing number of organisations, success today is more than the narrow definition of financial prosperity – it also includes protecting the environment and having a positive impact on their workforce as well as the societies they are embedded in. With its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Konica Minolta has pledged to consistently pursue its sustainability and social responsibility goals.


The company has been repeatedly recognised for its rich history of social contribution as well as for working towards achieving the SDGs throughout its business and supply chain. Konica Minolta is listed among “2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World” and received the highest level in EcoVadis Sustainability Ratings.


For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021’ from Keypoint Intelligence.


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 9,000 employees (as of April 2021), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 1.9 billion in financial year 2020/2021.


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Contact

Melanie Olbrich

Senior Expert Content Strategy & Development, Corporate Communications

melanie.olbrich@konicaminolta.eu

+49 (0)511 7404-5337