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Drones for industrial inspection: Enhancing efficiency for improved operations

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Drones for industrial inspection are not only effective but have also established themselves as a highly critical and valuable industrial inspection tool. With the help of the flying camera and sensor holders, drone-based inspections are helping companies to improve efficiency and data quality. And on the other hand, it increases safety and speed of operation. It is one of the very unique and evolving technologies which some people may not be aware of. They often realize while using UAVs to inspect assets.

The potential of industrial drone companies for inspection operations

Drone inspections have immense benefits which help in reducing the high costs, safety risks and time involved with conventional inspection methods.  As now you are aware that drones are small and inexpensive to operate, you can build and carry out more inspections every month. With its effective uses, it adheres the mobility, speed, ease of use, and efficiency of drones which provides companies with the opportunity to collect data on a large scale. On the basis of its performance where it is used in even the most difficult areas, it assures the possibility to inspect a whole pipeline and its surroundings.

Following this, more and more companies are coming up with drones for industrial inspection. The leading industrial drone companies in the oil and gas industry have been mentioned here.

Implementing Drones for industrial inspection

Before implementing drones for industrial inspection, you must do some prep work to successfully implement a drone-based inspection program. Make sure that you have estimates for all of the costs that will allow you to perform drone-based inspections which will be based on your organization’s activities. There are often two ways of operating drones—you can either purchase a drone or hire a drone-inspection-service company.

Based on your decision evaluate the regulations and cost requirements while purchasing a drone. The major component costs are:

  • drone purchase cost
  • cost of acquiring the cameras and sensors that will address your organization’s needs
  • software applications for imaging and analytics
  • training or hiring a drone pilot
  • obtaining relevant permits and licenses
  • type of data you need to gather and how to handle it, uploaded to either a cloud-based server or company servers

Drone Regulation

As considered one of the best type of technology, there are certain rules and regulations that control commercial and industrial use of drones:

  • While looking back in August 2016 The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued Part-107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations which provides guidance for operating requirements, pilot certification, and device certification for UAVs.
  • According to section 602.41 of Canadian Aviation Regulations SOR/96 -433 The Canadian government has incorporated rules for certification and compliance requirements for UAVs.
  • In relation with remotely piloted aircraft systems, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has issued regulations as Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace for regulating RPAS operation in the UK.
  • EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) Basic Regulation, came into existence in December 2016 in by the European Council. This was the first ever European Union-wide rules for civil drones to fly safely in European airspace. This regulation follows several general principles on revised common safety rules for civil aviation and a new mandate for EASA. While going through these principles, EASA will grow more detailed rules on drones through an implementation act, thus making it easier to update the rules as technology develops.

Recently, India has come up with its Indian Drone Policy and the Indian market holds immense potential for drones for industrial inspection. You can read about the drone regulations in India by clicking here.

Minimizing Risks

Here is a set of guiding principles that successfully reduce the risk of professional UAV inspection operations to acceptable levels. Let’s have a look on this –

Power sources: These are mostly professional UAV platforms which use brushless, magnetic motors that dramatically reduce the risk of ignition from friction.

Additional thermal or gas sensors: Professional-grade inspection cameras now often incorporate thermal and visual sensors.

Flight plans: It becomes much easier to mitigate risk when inspecting flammable and hazardous sites through comprehensive planning.

Deploying UAVs to flammable sites: There should be strict control operations and regulations in oil and gas infrastructure.

Drones for industrial inspection in the world of energy

As moving towards the application of drones for industrial inspection, the energy industry is also moving ahead with time. Across the oil and gas industry, some key players have emerged with expertise in developing drones for industrial inspection.

The inspection of Oil & Gas assets has become a simpler and cost-effective process with the deployment of drones. It has become quite clear that employing drones for industrial inspection is highly effective for managing risks by making informed decisions on the maintenance requirements and frequency of inspections.

The future of Drones for Industrial Inspection

As mentioned above drones have earned recognition for being one of the most important and effective tools for industrial inspection. The road ahead will determine the market strength of drones for industrial inspection and other applications. The global industrial landscape awaits more insights and case studies to measure the effectiveness of this critical equipment.

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