Advantages of using drones for industrial inspections

" The permanent collection and evaluation of data is a key element of industry 4.0. UAVs collect data simply and safely. "
Christian Engelke
Kopterflug

Improving inspection and maintenance processes through the use of drones

Most industrial plants and buildings are not or only with difficulty accessible without aids for normal visual inspections. The erection of scaffolding or the inspection of lifting platforms is expensive and sometimes requires long lead times in planning. It becomes quite difficult with inspections of buildings or tanks. Depending on the task, different drone systems are used. Special drones with Protective cages for the indoor inspection of vessels, buildings and tanks as well as drones equipped with special thermal cameras are available for a wide variety of tasks. Inspections in pitch dark environments are also possible.

Drones in reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is a strategy that has been applied in the past. Equipment was always repaired when defects and wear occurred during maintenance or when machines and equipment failed due to defects. Although reactive maintenance has been shown to be associated with additional costs and increased financial effort for repair, it is still used in many areas today. Using a drone like the Flyability ELIOS can improve reactive maintenance, at least in part: ELIOS can fly to hard-to-reach locations within a very short time and provide reliable data. This saves time and costs for the erection of scaffolding and accelerates maintenance processes, thus keeping plant downtimes to a minimum.

UAVs in preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance means that systems are serviced before they fail. Preventive maintenance is based on predefined time intervals, which are usually based on the operating times of the machines or systems. To carry out preventive maintenance operations, the plants are shut down regularly and checked for wear, defective components or material weaknesses and functional deficits. To verify the necessary maintenance measures, drones such as the Flyability ELIOS drone can fly inside or outside equipment within a very short time and provide data for condition monitoring. The erection and use of scaffolding, aerial work platforms and climbers can be avoided or minimized and plant downtimes can be further reduced.

Drones in predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance - also known as smart maintenance - describes a process in which maintenance is carried out condition-dependently. Condition-oriented maintenance techniques are becoming more and more important in the available maintenance strategies and are an important component of industry 4.0. Today, state-of-the-art monitoring technology makes it easy to precisely record and evaluate the actual condition of plants and machines and to predetermine wear. In predictive maintenance, drones play an essential role, since not all systems or system components can be equipped with the appropriate sensors and measurement technology at short notice. In addition, the condition of many systems cannot be determined by the installed sensors alone. Visual inspections, on the other hand, are often associated with the erection of scaffolding or the use of climbers. Using a drone, we could obtain excellent data for condition monitoring at short notice.

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