Companies are using drones to realize 6 and 7 figure savings in inspections. Here's how they're doing it.
When discussing the main benefits of using drones for inspections, saving money is always at the top of the list.
But do these savings apply to all industries, or only a few? And how exactly are drones helping companies cut inspection costs?
The answer to the first question is that the savings you can realize by using a drone for inspections apply to almost any scenario where industrial inspections need to be conducted.
Whether the inspection takes place indoors, as in a boiler or pressure vessel, or outdoors, as with power lines or cell phone towers, a drone can collect visual data more quickly and more easily than a person. And this increased speed and ease are big drivers in bringing down the overall cost of the inspection, regardless of its type.
The answer to the second question—how exactly drones help companies cut inspection costs—is covered in the list below, where we dive into all the different ways that inspection drones are helping companies save money today.
1. Reduced Need for Scaffolding
Depending on the scope of the inspection, companies can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single inspection by using drones to reduce—or even eliminate—the need for scaffolding.
The reason for this is simple: scaffolding is a one-use expense for a temporary structure whose sole purpose is to give inspectors something to stand on while they collect visual data inside an asset.
Drones can collect the same visual data remotely, significantly reducing the need for a person to do manual data collection, and thereby significantly reducing the need for scaffolding.
The costs from scaffolding come from three different places:
- Scaffolding materials
- Labor for putting up/taking down the scaffolding
- Extended downtimes for the asset while scaffolding is being put up/taken down
Even in situations where scaffolding is required to collect additional data or to conduct maintenance, using a drone first can help pinpoint where to build the scaffolding, which reduces the materials needed and the overall time spent.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE?
Here are two case studies that highlight the savings companies have realized by using drones to remove the need for scaffolding.
Oil & Gas—$2 Million saved in an oil cargo tank inspection with the Elios 2
An inspector flying the Elios 2 in the cargo tank
Marine Inspection Services, Ltd helped an oil tanker manager realize huge savings by using the Elios 2 for a cargo tank inspection.
- Materials and labor savings: $400,000
- Reduced downtime savings: $1.6 Million
Total savings: $2 Million
Power Generation—$320,000 saved in a boiler inspection with the Elios 1