What We Learned at the Energy Drone and Robotics Summit
By Kate Steger, Business Development Representative.
As we’ve continued to succeed in the mining and aggregates industry, Firmatek is applying our resources and skills to other industries, including the world of energy and utilities. We recently had the opportunity to exhibit at the Energy Drone + Robotics Summit in Texas. We met with both energy experts and other drone companies working to grow the industry’s operations. Both provided valuable insights about anything and everything drone and energy related. Here’s what we’ve learned:
Safety & Efficiency
Data mapping is extremely valuable in the energy and utility market. More specifically, drone inspections are critical to success and safety when it comes to a company’s asset management and pole inspections. When using a drone to inspect a pole compared to manual inspection, there are noticeable differences. Drones are a more accurate way to inspect. With the help of advanced analytics, they can point out any and every flaw. The data collected can also be easily viewed more than once from different angles. Additionally, its quicker and safer. Not only do you not have to worry about the time it takes to have a worker going up each pole individually, there are also safety benefits to avoiding manual inspection. Another benefit is that after a large storm, electricity outages can be fixed at a faster pace. Lastly, it saves money. You can now have a few people fly over every pole in no more than a few days, rather than have an entire crew inspect over a few weeks. This can lead to enormous cost savings.
Developing Staff & Resources
We understand that most energy companies see the value in these kinds of inspections. Some companies have a fully staffed and ready-to-fly drone department in house. Many though, are just now starting to develop the staff and resources. This is where we feel we can contribute. When the workload is too much for an in-house department to handle, we can take on part of those inspections by flying our drones and providing the data analytics our customers need.
Don’t Forget about the Data
While talking to many other drone companies at the show, we were able to identify the different niches others had pursued. Many were drone manufacturers, some were software providers for drone companies, and others focused on capturing data for clients. While there were a few other service providers like us, few focused on data processing and analytics. This is an important piece that is often forgotten but is always needed. It’s also one of Firmatek’s many strengths. Once the data has been captured, many don’t know how to turn it into actionable insights to improve their operations. This is why it’s so important to work with a drone company that not only can capture the data, but also process it and provide valuable insights.
Lastly, developing relationships with other drone companies in the industry is an important key to success. While drones are no longer a new technology, companies are still trying to figure out how to implement them into their resources to become a long-term asset. Whether it is a large corporation or a one-person team, organizations on all levels are still facing obstacles. At the summit, we were able to collaborate with ARE, another service company that we have partnered with. Through this strategic partnership, we have been able to help each other learn more about the industry, expand our opportunities with LiDAR, and work together on projects.
Though we were only able to collaborate for a few days, we enjoyed the opportunity to meet other industry professionals. We know the industry is working hard to continue bringing the latest and greatest technologies to the table. We know that the Energy industry will only continue to strengthen and expand their operations and assets, and we’re excited to become a part of it. We’re ready to take on new challenges and work to help expand our client’s operations for optimal asset management and company growth. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your team on your next project or inspection.