Drones and UAVs Role in Asset Management and Logistics

Drones and UAVs Role in Asset Management and Logistics

In this day and age, drones are being utilized in all walks of life. Asset management is no exception. Companies are using drones for asset inspection purposes. These aerial vehicles have proven to be of a lot of help to organizations when it comes to surveying and inspecting their assets.

All over the world, businesses and utilities own a number of assets that need to be managed and assessed from time to time. The reason for this is that infrastructure can change and become susceptible to faults with the passage of time. In the past, the inspection and assessment of assets was done manually. It was a time consuming task which cost these companies a great deal of money. The introduction of drones however has made it a lot easier for a company to keep an eye on its assets. Such has been the impact of drones in this industry that they are being touted as the future of asset management.

Melbourne Water is one of the biggest water service providers in Australia. They have been using drones and UAVs for the purpose of inspecting and assessing their infrastructure for quite some time. At present, Melbourne Water is utilizing the drones for inspecting two of their most important assets, the Main Southern Carrier of the Western Treatment Plant and the Thomson Dam Spillway. Drones are flown over these assets to inspect the state of these structures and to look for anomalies, such as:

  • Weed encroachment
  • Surface degradation
  • Chipping
  • Shifting
  • Cracking
  • Shifting of the panels

Melbourne Water has found drones to be quite useful in identifying faults in their infrastructure because of the high resolution photographs that the UAVs are able to take during its flights over the structures. It is for this reason that utility companies are looking to utilize drones for inspection of its other assets too.

Seeing the rising demand of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for asset inspection, numerous companies have started providing this service to the utilities. Cyberhawk Innovations, a remotely operated aerial vehicles manufacturing company is a pioneer in this field. The company reportedly carries out hundreds of inspections a year of industrial assets using remotely operated aerial vehicles (ROAVs). The use of UAVs in asset management has proved to reduce costs, improve safety, save time, and minimize the chances of shutdowns and service interruptions. The growing company also announced recently that they’re going to offer land surveying services. The targeted customers are utilities, civil engineering companies, and governments. The involvement of UAVs in other fields of the industry is expected to increase over the remaining course of the current decade.

The number of applications that drones and UAVs are being used in the asset management field is significant. Drones and UAVs can help in flood risk surveys, storm damage reports, ecological surveys and coastal erosion surveys, saving thousands of lives in the process during any massive natural crisis. They also have other industrial purposes like 3D modeling, historic building surveys, and archeological site recording.