Risk of infrastructure breakdown due to extreme weather phenomena
Severed life lines
Flooding, inundation of rivers and landslides brought on by the strong winds, heavy rain and torrential rainfall from giant typhoons and tornadoes will reputedly increase in frequency and expand in scale due to climate change. Not only do natural disasters wreak damages on homes, facilities, and human lives, they also wield damage on the social infrastructure necessary to our lives, such access and supply of energy to vital facilities like roads and railways, airports, communication facilities and hospitals, leading to secondary damage. Many companies have already drafted business continuity plans (BCPs) that give consideration to various natural disasters and other risks. However, it is necessary to consistently revise BCPs based on the latest information, such as the predicted impacts of climate change indicated in the IPCC report.
Further, social infrastructure in Japan put in place all at once in the 1960s, such as roads, bridges, tunnels and water and sewer systems, has deteriorated and become susceptible to the impacts of disasters. Local governments must appropriately manage facilities for the safety and security of communities.
What ICT can do for the continuous operation of key infrastructure
ICT has an important role to play in monitoring to guard against the breakdown of key urban infrastructure facilities such as hospitals, power plants, communication facilities and water supply facilities. Further, ICT is also indispensable to the management and monitoring of transportation infrastructure including traffic on roads and the operation of railways and airports. In particular, in most cases airports are situated in coastal areas, increasing the risk of water damage. Maintained air traffic control functionality and early recovery are essential to ensure safe aircraft and airports that function as bases for recovery.
Further, the stable supply of energy is essential to prevent the shutdown of key facilities. ICT can play a key role in the stable supply of energy by enabling the stable operation of power plants and supply-demand adjustments in communities.
What NEC can contribute to addressing infrastructure breakdown
Support for business continuity (BC)
Business continuity measures for disasters differ from region to region. Further, measures differ according to issue, from those can be implemented simply, to those that require deliberation over the mid-term. NEC offers broad-ranging support for business continuity management from consulting to provision of effective cloud services for business continuity.
- Prevention of disaster-related damage based on proactive measures
- Prompt responses and business continuity following occurrence of disasters
Support for monitoring and countermeasures for key facilities
Stable operation of key urban infrastructure facilities, such as power plants, communication facilities and water supply facilities, is important to maintain safe and secure lives for people. Through the provision of an abundance of solutions, including monitoring utilizing various sensors and networks, NEC contributes to the operational continuity of key facilities.
- Stable operation of key facilities
Support for monitoring of indications of abnormalities in facilities and equipment
Vast amounts of time and expertise are required to find breakdown locations and causes in increasingly complex large-scale equipment. NEC's invariant analysis technology collects and analyzes a large volume of time-series data from multiple sensors, and automatically models invariants realized among sensors during normal times as relational expressions. In so doing, it can sense "different than usual" trends to support the detection of signs of abnormality and silent faults.
- Prevention of operation shutdown
- Improved operating ratio of equipment
- Streamlined maintenance and inspection
- Monitoring deterioration of bridges and tunnels
Support for stable electricity supply based on storage batteries and electricity storage
The stable supply of electricity is important to prevent infrastructure breakdown. Utilizing both our strengths in ICT, such as computing and cloud technologies, and energy component technology, such as energy storage systems and rapid chargers for electric vehicles, NEC supports the combination of a variety of assets for the self-sustainability, decentralization and diversification of energy.
- Support for the stable supply of energy
- Support for efficient power generation
Support for highly safe and reliable road use
Roads are constantly at risk of being cut off due to natural disasters such as earthquakes, torrential rains and blizzards. Based on information from various sensors and monitors, NEC quickly and accurately ascertains, manages and shares information regarding impacts on transportation due to disasters, and further by predicting traffic jams, supports the "safe and secure" and "smooth and comfortable" use of roads.
- Ensuring highway safety
- Traffic jam alleviation
Support for airport control operation during disasters
Airports act as one of the most important bases for transport of recovery supplies and relief for victims following the occurrence of disasters. Thus, provisions for maintaining functionality and continuity are essential. NEC's collapsible emergency radar device can be quickly transported to disaster sites and deployed within about one hour, enabling the rapid commencement of control operations following a disaster.
- Stable operation of transport base
- Ensuring safety of aircraft
- Appropriate maintenance of equipment