Drone-based aerial inspection or Remote Operational Vehicles (ROV) for industrial facilities in order to reduce risk and costs is becoming one of the chief reasons people hire companies like Protect-All with drone and ROV technology.
If you’ve only seen drones used by hobbyists or as a fun toy, you may not be aware of their full potential as a means of UAV or ROV inspection. But their small size, maneuverability, and minimized risk means using drones and ROV as part of your safety and security preparations can make for a safer, secure and better work environment.
As a relatively new technology, numerous questions linger about why a business would opt to utilize drone or ROV for their inspection and security needs. Here are just a few reasons why drones and ROVs are rapidly becoming the inspection standard.
1. Low cost
Before the advent of drones and ROVs, inspecting a company’s large infrastructure assets was an incredible – and expensive – undertaking.
Stacks, boilers, pipes, tanks, vaults, roofs, confined spaces, towers, power grids and other assets all posed issues when it came to inspection due to their size, inaccessibility, or a wide range of other factors. Sending an inspector to locations, increased risk of injury and were costly due to equipment and sheer number of hours to complete inspections.
In contrast, drones require less time to complete an inspection. They do not assume as much risk as a human, thus drastically reducing the price of an inspection. ROV use prevents employees entering dangerous confined spaces as well as reduces production down time. These remote vehicles can enter pipes and spaces for inspection where workers cannot. Tanks can stay online while inspections are performed.
Additionally, the low cost of drone technology encourages more thorough inspections, which could catch potential issues sooner, than if a business were to employ traditional inspectors.
2. Reduced worker risk
When an inspector gets sent to a difficult-to-reach area to perform an inspection, they take on incredible risk. By utilizing a drone or ROV, those same talented inspectors can use their skills from a place of safety, using the device’s monitoring equipment to perform an assessment without ever putting themselves in direct harm.
Hazardous areas are also easier to inspect, as the dangers posed to a drone cannot compare to those faced by a human present in those same areas. With this reduced risk, inspectors can focus on their inspection rather than being concerned about the potential danger they would face had they done the inspection in person. Not to mention the risk and cost averted from an employee being injured from loss days worked, workers compensation, down time production, or completion of work.
One of the advantages we mentioned in the first point is the amazing speed at which a drone can complete an inspection.
But the speed advantage is not limited to merely the duration of the inspection. Launch times for drones are incredibly fast – just a few seconds and a drone is already several dozen feet in the air. Compare this with the time it used to take to erect a ladder and send up an inspector. Drones can be used for security and surveillance by quickly and efficiently assessing a threat from a remote safe distance
Drones and ROVs are endlessly maneuverable. Small, agile, and able to reach places where humans have previously had trouble, the increased access allowed by drones means more comprehensive inspections.
Whereas previous inspection efforts were limited by what was immediately visible to inspectors, with drones and ROVs, the camera can be piloted around the infrastructure asset in question, providing inspectors with a fuller picture and allowing for a much more well-rounded assessment.
5. Advances in Technology
As they currently exist, drones are pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that the tech is only getting better. Cameras are improving and becoming more manipulatable, which means that completing a full and thorough inspection is requiring less and less time.
Additionally, drone battery life is improving. A future where a near complete inspection can be completed within one drone’s charging period is within sight – a dramatic improvement over the several days or weeks inspections used to take. Atomization with customizable flight patterns is a reality with drones. Drones can automatically fly pre-determined flight patterns and perform inspections and surveillance 24/7 including automated battery changing capabilities with little or no down time in patrols.
Finally, the data collection abilities of drones are improving. Right now, drones and ROVs can provide inspectors with high definition video, infrared imagery, and more in a digitally shareable format, allowing them to make judgements about safety and easily share their findings. But their data collection ability is improving, and soon, more data will be able to be shared as easily as video is today.
In order to fully benefit from these future technological improvements, however, a business should switch to drone and ROV assessments as soon as possible in order to better be able to accommodate them in the future.
For these reasons and more, drones and ROVs make for the ideal inspection tool. But in order to reap all the benefits of these advanced tools, one must not only be properly trained, but perform these tasks with care and consideration.
As a full Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security consulting company, ProTect-All Solutions pride ourselves on reducing risk. While most drone companies just film inspections, we provide comprehensive support for our customers – helped by our team of skilled, FAA licensed and certified API and safety degreed inspectors.
With over 13 years of experience, ProTect-All can manage all of your inspection needs. Inspections can be performed by our highly qualified staff, or we can even train and license your staff if you wish to lease the equipment and perform an inspection yourself. We are about building a relationship with our client, being an extension of their team and helping them reduce risk through providing the most cost-effective solutions.
For more information, CALL US AT 412-348-SAFE (7233)