According to Maria Conde, President of SealTech International, Inc., concrete engineers and inspection companies in the US, Canada, Caribbean, and Latin America are looking for ways to radically improve infrastructure inspection and monitoring. SealTech is determined to meet this need.
Based in Boca Raton, Florida, SealTech is specializing in sealing products that protect concrete, steel and masonry from moisture and water. These products serve an important purpose in the state of Florida and in other coastal locations with constant humidity and salt coming in from the ocean. As such harsh environments are rough on concrete assets, they need extra protection. There is also a need for diagnostic tools to monitor their condition.
Makes perfect sense
To meet that need, and to promote new scanner technology in the Americas, SealTech recently ordered 10 Elop Insight ultrasound scanners, and one InsightCrawler. The InsightCrawler is the remote-controlled mobile scanning solution currently being developed by Elop together with the US-based manufacturer of suction-held climbing robots ICM (International Climbing Machines).
- Our sealing products are used for restoration as well as preventively to avoid deterioration of assets, says Maria Conde.
- So, it makes perfect sense for us to offer this diagnostic tool to our customers together with our products.
In addition to this, Maria Conde is reaching out to construction and engineering inspection companies, as well as asset owners, to promote the unique capabilities of the Elop scanner. She predicts there will be a rising demand for efficient and data-rich concrete inspection tools, for several reasons.
- Our President Biden has just recently signed an infrastructure plan to rebuild our bridges, roadways etc., of which many have deteriorated beyond their useful life. So, right now it’s essential for contractors and engineering companies to be part of this infrastructure plan, to repair or rebuild what’s needed across the US.
- Furthermore, here in Florida, we had the Surfside building collapse, which has highlighted the need for thorough inspections of concrete assets. Unfortunately, this is another example where lives must be lost for regulations to change and people to change their mindset. Now everybody is talking about building inspections. Even the man on the street understands that concrete structure integrity is important. Obviously, the Surfside collapse has been disastrous for those who lost their lives and families, but from a business point of view it makes the market put more attention towards SealTech’s business.
Building codes are changing
According to Maria Conde, local building codes in Florida are changing, calling for more detailed and frequent inspections. To comply with the new regulations, engineering and inspection companies can use the Elop Insight scanner to increase their capabilities and capacities to meet this increasing demand.
- We’re not only talking condominiums like the one in Surfside. We also see it with bridges. There was a pedestrian bridge walkway at the Florida International University which collapsed, and people were killed. It turned out the collapse was due to an engineering error which caused cracks in the concrete and could have been detected with our scanner. Also, when you think of these types of collapses you cannot stop to think about the dams in the US, which have huge foundations and bases that need inspecting.
- Obviously, the current standards for inspection are outdated, and so is the documentation that the engineers have at hand to do their evaluation of the health of these assets. We believe that the Elop technology is providing a quantum leap in terms of advancing technology. Since SealTech is already engaged in the restoration, maintenance and preventative maintenance of concrete and building assets here in Florida and Puerto Rico, the Elop technology will bring us to the forefront of concrete inspections.
Promoting the scanner
Maria Conde and her team have connected with building authorities, construction and engineering companies in South Florida to promote the Elop scanner. Also, they’ve met with the Housing Authority and Municipality of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, and with Puerto Rico’s Department of Education. The department has 1.400 schools throughout the island and 79,000 support systems that need regular inspection especially after hurricane Maria passed through the island and the many small earthquakes occurring weekly.
While approaching potential customers SealTech is performing its own scans to demonstrate and test the equipment.
- We’ve scanned parts of the Nest Hotel in San Juan, and recently we went to Sunny Isles Beach and Hallandale Beach, Florida, to scan several government garages, hotels and condominiums. We have experts from Elop supporting us with the technical aspects, to teach our team to perform the scans correctly and to analyze the 3D-imagery. We believe that using the device and getting to know it firsthand, is vital. We want a solid client experience with the ultra-sound scanner and the best way to get that is to use it internally at SealTech and to work closely with Elop to build the competence we need to access the market.
SealTech is currently focusing its activities in Florida and Puerto Rico, as the company is based in these two locations. But Maria Conde is hoping to expand to other parts of the Caribbean, Latin America and the greater US, such as New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California.