Everyday practice has shown that maintaining industrial plant facilities is by no mean an easy task. A complete inspection of a manufacturing site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery is often complex and challenging.

Sky-Futures has joined forces with Bureau Veritas, the world leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) services to deliver drone inspection services in various disciplines for Bureau Veritas’ clients, ensuring they remain compliant with current safety regulations and standards.

Bureau Veritas’ technical knowledge paired with Sky-Futures’ blended inspection capability combining drones, experienced inspectors and Expanse data analytics tools offer industrial companies a robust, efficient and cost-effective solution to maintain complex plants and meet statutory requirements.

Customer Needs

Sky-Futures worked with Bureau Veritas surveyor team to survey a client’s large production plant providing an in-depth view of the condition of their crane gantry track.
To perform the inspection, the client needed to shut down production and use time-consuming and costly methods such as MEWP’s (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms) and scaffolding. The project was particularly challenging this time as there is no physical way to get access to 40% of the gantry that needed to be inspected without dismantling the plant, which could be extremely costly for the client.

Track inspected

%

Inaccessible area

Partner at a glance

Created in 1828, Bureau Veritas is a global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC), delivering high-quality services to help clients meet the growing challenges of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.

Since 2017, Bureau Veritas and Sky-Futures have joined forces in a pioneering new partnership, offering customers with a blended inspection capability combining drones, experienced inspectors and Sky-Futures’ Expanse data platform and data analytics tools.

Solutions

By deploying the Elios collision-tolerance drone with a high-resolution camera, the inaccessible areas were accessed and the 400m of track and gantry were inspected. Only small sections of the production plant were shut down during the 2-day inspection.

The inspection was conducted by a team of two people: Sky-Futures drone pilot and Bureau Veritas engineer. The 400m inspected area was split into 10-meter sections. Each section was surveyed from both sides using the Elios, taking approximately 15 minutes to complete including establishing a safety parameter and all necessary flight check.

The established workflow meant that while the pilot conducted the sectional aerial survey, the Bureau Veritas engineer surveyor reviewed the high-resolution inspection footage from the previous flight.

The drones were without a doubt a great asset during this inspection, providing certain lighting and angles that we would not have been able to get otherwise. As the whole inspection was also being recorded the image quality was phenomenal, allowing me to see in more detail than if I was inspecting with my own eyes, and clarifying things that maybe would have challenged me before. This technology has also been very well received by our clients.

David Page

Engineer Surveyor, Bureau Veritas

Results

Deploying the Elios drone has proved to be the safest, fastest and best approach to address the access challenges faced at this industrial facility.

The inspection of track components by drone is significantly cost-saving as it is much faster and safer than set up scaffolding or having an engineer for physical inspection. Drones reduce the requirement for working at height and in confined spaces, allowing Bureau Veritas engineers to undertake a safe first audit so that further inspection and maintenance can be prioritised.

Days Inspection

Mission pictures taken by Elios drone in confined space

Inspection Applications

Sky-Futures works with Bureau Veritas in various internal and external deployments including building condition assessment, thermal and photogrammetry survey, driving down the cost of inspection solution and mitigating risk.

  • Roof survey (visual and thermal)
  • Large structures e.g. elevated conveyors
  • Large tank inspection, internal and external
  • Inspections requiring scaffold or SkyLift / MEWP
  • Dangerous access, e.g. above water, stockpile
  • Chimneys, boiler rooms, vent stacks and furnaces
  • Additional services such as site survey and perimeter fence inspection

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