Unmanned Inspection of Assets
The use of unmanned inspection of assets has been around for many years in the subsea and offshore sectors, there was one particular reason for its adoption in the industry…SAFETY.
Through my time working within the oil and gas industry it has been consistently drilled down into the foundations of engineers, technicians, skilled workers, labourers etc. about safety improvements and how we should always consider the opinions of others, if they can improvise and adopt a safer solution to a once risk laden situation then it is a given, that their method takes priority. We should always re-assess our risk assessments and fundamentally look towards a safer method of working especially when working at heights is unavoidable.
These actions were no doubt the same actions that improved the safety statistics within the shallow water subsea inspection remit in the 80’s, with the uptake on ROV technology which was adopted to reduce the impact on saturation divers and cope with the expansion of the oil and gas industry.
The same ethos should be applied within the asset inspection remit and early adopters of the technology are currently reaping the benefits, not only around health and safety improvements but also the colossal reduction costs.
Typically site assets are included within a planned maintenance strategy, which may include 3, 6 & 12 monthly visual inspections of a particular asset. More often than not involving a sizeable percentage of work at height. Also required by law for either insurance purposes or classification requirements
Traditionally the methods around working at height include an in depth plan and comprehensive RAMS documentation scheduled months in advance prior to the erection of scaffold, installation of hydraulic access platform or deployment of rope access personnel. All necessary measures to allow for visual survey on a 3, 6 or 12m basis, running adjacent to these logistics is the shutdown and outage period of that particular asset and the organisation of teams of men to accomplish the access and inspection method. Inductions, PTW’s, Isolation’s, TBT’s for days sometimes weeks until the project has run its course.
Then the process of the actual captured data and render into bespoke report schedule or handover of raw data and instruction to qualified personnel allowing them to create their own bespoke schedule.
As can be appreciated these methods can and do take months if not years of organisation and arrangement, compare this with groundbreaking disruptive technology in this case Drones otherwise known as UAV, ROAV, SUAS, UAS, RPAS and the benefits that can be gained are tantamount to any industry looking to move with the times.
- Drone technology is usually a 2, 3 man team in most industrial applications and can sometimes be achieved using with single operator status.
- Most drone pilot inspectors stem from an engineering background, giving them the ability to understand what is in front of the camera and follow up with a comprehensive engineers report.
- Certain drones are able to operate within extreme environments and weather conditions forging a niche for many applications where manned inspection may struggle.
- Drone technology combined with a competent pilot and team can cover ground 85% faster than that of most manned inspection methods.
- In some cases there is no requirement for shutdown of assets due to abolished risk of injury to personnel, resulting in minimised planning at client level compared to manned survey methods
- If the asset is to be shut down the time required for outage periods is minimised due to the heavily reduced logistics combined with greatly improved inspection process.
- Real-time footage allows live views of the inspection at ground station devices, allowing client project engineers and decision makers to directly intervene. Remote viewing is also an option allowing for login at remote locations whilst the survey is being carried out live anywhere in the world.
- No risk of falls from height, slips, trips or dropped objects
- Allows for data that can be replicated geographically at every inspection period providing the necessary means to structure trend analysis year after year.
- Capitalise on planned maintenance budgets.
DJM Aerial Solutions are able to provide you with the required inspection and analysis of your site assets and have the equipment and engineering expertise to provide in depth reports in either standard RGB or Thermographic. These capabilities can be replicated either internally or externally using our enviable fleet of drone technology.
If you have the requirement for any of the above or have an interest in the technology please get in touch with us at +44 (0) 1642 903779 or visit the Website at www.djm-aerial.com
Drone Inspection and Survey
If you would like to discuss your remote inspection requirements using drone technology, then please either get in touch via this link to our contact page or Call us on +44 (0) 1642 903779 We’d be more than happy to speak to you and go through the process.