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Automated design for cable routing, using the digital twin method (IP2)

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Automated design for cable routing, using the digital twin method. 

Cable routing design currently takes months or even years if the task is particularly complex and requires numerous iterations. It is a laborious manual process that puts people in difficult, dangerous, inhospitable environments, often at anti-social hours, and disrupts the public transport network. One of the TIES Living Lab four physical asset demonstrators, the ARC (automated routing for cables) technology developed by Bryden Wood in collaboration with TIES and TfL aimed to test a “digital twin” modelling technique and intelligent design software to alleviate some of those difficulties.

ARC is a rules-based platform for optimising the routing of cables in tunnels. It brings together existing systems management software, geographic information systems and other information tools in a new user interface, a web app solution instead of a desktop solution, which makes it easier to read, compare and modify an automated design. This makes the process of cable routing for underground tunnel cabling upgrades more efficient, and considerably safer (especially delivery team safety risks) because it enables remote survey and design development. This reduces the number of site visits needed, reduces design development time, and has the added benefit of generating fully realised building information management data that can be carried through to the maintenance and end-of-life stages.

Further ARC design automation outputs also give the client much more up-front visibility and control over material, labour, capital and maintenance costs. It is also worth emphasising that the overarching methodology is transferable, with already proven applications across multiple sectors and scales and has previously been used in automating motorway design for National Highways and rail network design for Network Rail.