Automated Drone Inspection Solution for Cranes

The Beginners Guide to vHive’s Automated Drone Inspection Solution for Cranes

28 Jun 2021 Written by vhive_kue843

Crane inspections are a necessary cost of doing business.   New methods can reduce the risk, safety and time involved in crane inspections: but are they right for your business? The vHive platform offers an AI-powered solution that delivers accurate data through autonomous drone inspections, and game-changing business insights.  Here’s how it works.

The Costs of Conventional Inspection Methods

Conventional methods of crane inspection require personnel to boom down the crane, often having to move the equipment first to a safer area, usually outside of the site. On a busy worksite, which can hold 100 cranes in a confined area, moving equipment requires significant planning, staff, and downtime. That downtime erodes profit margins and puts pressure on deadlines – representing a significant cost and risk to business. There is physical risk involved also: moving the large equipment is dangerous to field personnel in the vicinity and climbing a crane puts inspectors in harm’s way.
Building an inspection report is also a time-consuming process, as inspectors enter data into a system of record and add manual notes to share information with other stakeholders.

Autonomous Drone Inspections

Autonomous drone inspections reduce the costs, risk and downtime associated with crane inspections.  The vHive software solution plans an optimized flight path around the equipment while it remains in place.  Whether your own staff operates the drone, or you choose to outsource that task, your data is always accurate and consistent.

Once the flight plan has been established, a drone flies around the equipment, surveying the crane from every side and every angle – without having to boom down or move the crane, and without climbing. This reduces the time required for inspection to about 30 minutes: and requires minimal personnel. When the survey is complete, data is uploaded to the vHive cloud for processing.  Data is stored, annotated and tagged generating detailed inspection reports. The documented survey data enables comparison over time and evaluation of fault dynamics.

The survey itself represents a huge savings in time and risk. Minimal downtime helps profit margins and keeps projects on time.  Safety is enhanced: Reducing crane travel in and out of the site as well as the need to recline it for inspection reduces chance for worksite related injury.
It’s after the survey, however, that the AI-powered vHive platform offers true digital transformation for your business.

The AI-Powered vHive Platform

The aerial images gathered are processed into a detailed and precise image of the crane – and inspectors can navigate around the image in 3D space, zooming in for a close look at any point.  Inspectors can examine equipment, generate inspection reports, and issue approvals – all without traveling to the worksite.

Digital data can be shared easily between stakeholders anywhere in the world: and it can be used to generate business insights that can change the way equipment is maintained. Surveys can be compared over time to identify potential faults, measure progress, and move towards an efficient predictive maintenance model, optimizing equipment utilization and maintenance costs.

More than Marketing Buzz Words

Digital transformation, Autonomous drone inspections, and AI-powered are frequently used words.  Autonomous drone inspections are genuine game changing technology for crane inspections, however. The return on investment is clear: drone inspections offer lower risk and improved worksite safety. Digital data offers better reports and documentation, and an assurance of operational integrity. Drone technology contributes to better profit margins, and gives companies a competitive advantage in a business that rewards on-time delivery.  Call us for a demo today to see drone inspections at work, and realize the benefits for your company.

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