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How Waste Companies Can Improve Operations with Drones

From assessing stockpile size to detecting thermal heat, drones can assist in collecting data that’s more detailed and insightful than ever before. In addition to improving daily operational efficiency, drones can also mitigate environmental risk, save capital and make job sites exponentially safer.

To experience these benefits at your company, here’s how get started with your own drone operations.

 

Using Drones to Get Ahead

Data from drones helps waste companies complete each project more efficiently from the beginning. As explained by Andrew Kahler of John Deere drones streamline the grading process.

Traditional grading processes prepare the ground for operations by using large equipment over the course of several weeks. With drones, however, this process can be streamlined by way of a topographic survey and 3D model.

Drones also aid in better collection of the three V’s — volume, velocity, and variety. Waste Dive writer Kristin Musulin reports that these three elements are essential to assessing and analyzing workplace operations. Using drones to capture such critical information is much more affordable than hiring a manned flight and often leads to more detailed data collection.

 

Improved Landfill Operations

Adopting drones into everyday workflows can greatly improve operations. Michael Singer tells Waste360, that landfill managers can gain a comprehensive overview of their operations more quickly and accurately by using drones than with ground inspections. In turn, this helps companies save time on inspections and move through projects more quickly than counterparts who don’t use drones.

One company taking advantage of these benefits is Gordon Environmental/PSC (Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc.). The merged design and consulting firm deploys a drone to fly over the site and take photos, and then uses another program to combine those photos into one large image. This detailed image is used to assess progress and identify areas that could be improved.

Drones can also provide insight into landfill capacity and help landfill managers predict current and future needs. Stephen O’Meara, CIO at Ada County, Idaho, adds that drones help monitor how much material is being added to a new landfill cell, how that new cell is growing and what groundswell, compaction and erosion look like across the entire landfill.

This helps waste management companies create new cells accurately and without delay. Such information also helps mitigate environmental risk, ensure compliance with regulations, and allows expansion at a safe rate Commercial UAV News writes.

landfill

Testing Accuracy

In addition to measuring dry stockpiles, drones can also evaluate liquid elements. Australian news site The Lead explains that amphibious drones can improve the efficiency of water testing. These underwater drones can collect and test samples from wastewater plants, chemical spills, reservoirs and more. With an easier way to test liquids more often, waste companies can make more accurate assessments.

Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine adds that amphibious drones can also check seals on water control gates and check underwater lines for leakages. Instead of sending down dive teams or having inspectors trudge through wetlands, several feet deep, drones and submarine units collect and send information to smartphones, tablets and laptops, where engineers can identify problems.

 

Stronger Proposals

Jennifer Castenson, the director of thought leadership for Hanley Wood, adds that drone data also helps waste companies determine a project’s scope. Sales teams typically rely on a set of drawings to propose the project terms to the client. If these drawings turn out to be inaccurate, clients don’t get what they see, which can lead to conflict and loss of capital. Drones, however, have a much higher level of accuracy that reduce this risk.

Another way that drones improve proposal accuracy — and predict future trends — is their ability to create time lapse videos. Drone operations software company Skyword explains that drone videos can be stitched together to better coordinate project logistics. This makes it easier to visualize past, present and future project status, which can be helpful when working with other commercial companies or with clients. Dronenthusiast points out that these images are irreplaceable when working with partners who are based remotely, because they enable partners to keep tabs on the project and ensure everything is being executed according to plan.

 

Reduced Waste and Environmental Impact

One reason for landfill inspections is to check for environmental risk, which can be detrimental to both a company’s financials and the earth itself. With drone mapping, however, landfill managers can identify wastewater and other environmental aspects that are costly to clean. Improved site inspections can reduce cleanup costs and keep processes on schedule.

Although commercial waste has a negative impact on both financials and the environment, Fortune writer Clay Dillow explains that drones can be used to reduce this building-related solid waste. Dillow says that certain drone software can be used to create 3D structural models and volumetric measurements, which aids in monitoring stockpiles. This is important for measuring resources like sand and gravel, which are especially costly.

cleanup

Improved Safety

With reduced risk and improved workforce safety, waste companies can move ahead of competitors still held back by avoidable mistakes. According to David Biderman, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, “we are beginning to see more widespread use of drones for surveying and monitoring conditions at landfills…it’s fascinating, and can be a useful way to reduce safety risks.”

How exactly can drones improve landfill safety, mitigate risk and prevent accidents? According to MSW Management, drones are becoming a popular tool for inspecting areas that are unsafe for humans to traverse (such as a transfer station at a waste to energy plant). They can also assess areas where hazardous material has spilled.

 

Thermal Heat Detection

Another drone feature that’s helpful is the ability to detect heat. Colin Snow, CEO and founder of Skylogic Research, says that some drones have thermal imaging cameras. These images take high quality images that inspectors and managers can then use to detect temperature variation on a site. Waste management companies and landfills can use this information to predict subsurface landfill fires before they spread, adds Forester Media.

Drones can also help enforce safety regulations through worker education. Pompano Beach-based Current Builders in Florida shows workers 3D models of potential hazard conditions, which helps prevent injuries and accidents before workers even get to the site.

Images by: Florian Pircher, David Mark, NakNakNak

Best Tools and Apps for Site Managers to Work Remotely

From keeping track of workers to meeting project deadlines, managing a construction site is a real challenge. And when you’re rarely on the site, having a way to manage it remotely is an absolute must.

Luckily, there are many apps and tools created to address remote work in the construction industry. We’ve rounded up the best tools and apps for managing workers, project tasks, administrative duties and more.

 

GenieBelt

GenieBelt is a free cloud-based project management app that helps improve the transparency and success of construction projects. When workers and contractors log a field task as complete, managers receive an instant notification to their phone or computer.

Another benefit of GenieBelt is that site managers can invite team members and stakeholders to the project. Giving architects and engineers access to the project improves communication and helps catch mistakes before they become problematic.

 

OrangeScrum

This free, open source project management tool is constantly being updated and enhanced by its vast global community. Managers can use the tool to plan, monitor, control and share projects from anywhere they are.

OrangeScrum is helpful for managers having trouble keeping tasks and task owners organized, with all data and resources accessible from one screen. It also allows site managers to create projects, manage users and delegate tasks to people around the world.

 

Genius Project

Genius Project has similar capabilities and features to OrangeScrum. However, Genius Project is better suited for scaling to the needs of large enterprise projects. This tool also has options for being in the cloud or on the premises, meaning you can take it with you on your phone, or keep it on your computer at the office.

Genius Project also has a robust API that integrates with other leading business tools, so you can better keep project tasks aligned across Salesforce, ERP systems, Microsoft tools and Google apps.

 

Procore Technologies

The Procore construction app suite helps firms reduce risk and manage project tasks from start to finish. Procore’s apps operate on a mobile-first basis, so all interfaces are designed to work offline from mobile phones and tablets. Depending on your needs and the size of your project, you can choose from a variety of tools for construction project management, quality and safety, financials and more.

 

APE Mobile

Sick of managing paperwork on site? Want to reduce errors caused by lost forms? APE Mobile is an app specifically designed for managing construction paperwork. From engineering calculation sheets to progress reports and safety checklists, each form is organized into projects and can be shared with anyone you choose.

APE also makes it easy to send and sign important forms, helping contractors, workers and everyone else on a project complete administrative tasks with ease.

 

Canvas

Canvas is another app that simplifies paperwork and administrative processes. One unique feature of Canvas is that it can be customized to meet your business’s needs.

If you have a specific form you’d like to share with all of your contractors, for example, simply send it to Canvas and have it made mobile so that your workers can download when they need it. Canvas also has over 1,000 templates designed specifically for construction purposes.

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Viewpoint Construction Software

If you’re seeking greater visibility in the project lifecycle, you may want to try Viewpoint Construction Software. Viewpoint has an all-in-one tool called Field View, which optimizes field operations. It enables workers to complete essential tasks, including daily logs, inspections, checklists and more, all from a mobile device.

This tool comes in handy when you don’t have internet access because information can be logged and accessed while you’re offline.

 

BuildSourced

It’s not uncommon to lose track of tools and materials during a large construction operation, especially when you’ve got so many workers on the job.

BuildSourced uses a unique QR system tag and tracking tool that makes it easier to keep track of important tools and supplies on site. It also has a photo upload feature and expansive database for storing information, putting it all at your fingertips.

 

iAuditor

This app created by SafetyCulture specializes in making checklists for the construction industry. As a work site manager, this greatly simplifies inspections, safety audits and risk assessments that are often time consuming. iAuditor compiles checklist results into reports, which can then can be shared with team members to improve communication on important safety issues.

 

PlanGrid

This app eliminates the need for paper blueprints, which are hard to update and keep consistent across contractors and site managers. And with its user-friendly interface and focus on collaboration, it’s no surprise that PlanGrid is popular with contractors, designers and architects. From your mobile device or desktop, it’s easy to upload and share important documents like blueprints, site photos and more.

 

WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax is cloud-based project management software that can be tailored to a variety of different industries. For construction projects, WorkflowMax specializes in custom reporting, which allows you to compare estimates against costs to optimize your financials. Another benefit of this tool is that it provides many options for invoicing, making it easy to charge and pay in a way that works best for you and your workers.

 

NoteVault

NoteVault is an audio transcription service that saves time on daily field reporting. Instead of writing down every detail of the day by hand, NoteVault records your voice memos and turns them directly into text messages.

Transcription services are manned by a team of transcriptionists who specialize in construction terminology. The tool supports both English and Spanish, making it more accessible to your pool of contractors.

Paperwork

SiteMax Systems

SiteMax is a cloud-based construction project management tool designed to improve project efficiency. It has a number of core features, including an extensive calendar that allows you to browse and compare daily completed project tasks in just one click.

Daily reports are also included with a forecast and weather log, so you can gain insight into which weather patterns helped or hindered your project. Another benefit of SiteMax is that it allows you to keep track of employee hours and company-wide payroll from the field.

 

Jonas Construction Software

Jonas Construction Software is a construction and account management software that simplifies business accounting and reduces the need for manual data input. Contractors can use the software to bill for costs, set up billing rates for jobs, and create markups based on cost, item or type. When all of your financial accounts and expenses are in a single location, it’s easier to identify what you need and to maintain efficient inventory costs.

 

BuildTools

BuildTools is a cloud-based product aimed at improving communication between contractors, builders and other construction project members. The web-based tool captures photos, emails, payroll reports and all other important documents involved in a project. Since this media is automatically saved, it’s easier to keep track of project milestones remotely.

While the tool is focused on home and custom residential projects, its functionality is similar to other construction apps and can easily be applied to small work sites.

 

Corecon Technologies

If you’re looking for a tool that will simplify your administrative and sales workflows in a single location, Corecon Technologies might be for you. Corecon Technologies makes it easy for site and project managers to create estimates, manage accounting and track leads from a single dashboard. The tool also provides advanced functionality for tracking costs and budgets, and it integrates with popular accounting software tools to streamline all expenses.

 

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a collaborative work management tool that focuses on improving field operations, quality control and safety. Smartsheet assists teams and managers with collaboration and communication functions that save time and reduce errors. Site managers can use the tool’s Executive View feature, which provides financial and status details about multiple projects across different regions.

 

Knowify

Another cloud-based software tool, Knowify, assists commercial construction site managers handle scheduling, tracking and dispatching. Specifically, it facilitates with optimizing resources by allocating workers to certain locations at specific times of day. It also helps avoid conflict by keeping track of tasks and displaying important updates to users in real time.

Images by: Jan Vašek, Michael Gaida, Steve Buissinne

Creativity in Waste Management: Companies Improving Landfills for Neighbors

Landfill management is a tough job that often requires creative thinking.

To the average person, this isn’t so obvious. After all, how fussy can solid waste be?

The industry professional, however, understands that solid waste can in fact be a fussy thing, especially at scale, especially over the lifetime of a landfill.

Previously, we took a look at the technology revolutionizing landfill management. Now, let’s take a look at some of the companies pushing those frontiers.

Here are 10 that deserve special recognition.

 

BiOWiSH and Gulf Scientific Gateway Help Control Waste Odors for Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

If you’ve even been to a music festival, a state fair or even an RV park, you know how much trash mobile groups of people can create.

That’s long been a problem in Saudi Arabia, which sees some 2 million pilgrims every year during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. With crowds of that size, it’s not enough to simply have ample garbage trucks and waste sites — the Saudis do. At that size, even getting to all of the trash receptacles in anything close to a timely manner is impossible.

The team at BiOWiSH Technologies in Cincinnati explains:

“Large garbage trucks are available and waiting to remove the garbage from the bins, but they cannot get into these spaces that are congested with pilgrims. The religious travelers throw trash into big bins and since it cannot be removed promptly, it causes odors. The trash attracts flies.

“To elaborate, large garbage trucks are used at the end of the five days. The infrastructure has 1400 small compactor units distributed throughout the area of Mina. Garbage bags are dumped into these and the compactors crush them. At the bottom of these, liquid leaches out and generates gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia. These have noxious odours.”

So, in 2014 one of BiOWiSH’s distributors, Gulf Scientific Gateway in Qatar, began to spray the trash compactors with BiOWiSH’s 100-percent natural products to control those odors. That way, the problem of odors and flies could be tackled at specific hot spots. The theory was this would reduce the flies the trash would attract, and thus the pesticides Hajj organizers used in the past to control the flies.

Saudi authorities reported the pilot program was a success. “The use of pesticides was reduced considerably according to the Hajj operations management team,” said Gulf Scientific Gateway’s Dr. Azahar Iqbal. “They also noticed a significant reduction in medicines given out by the Kingdom for coughs and infections.”

 

Waste Management Turns Methane Into Fuel in Kentucky

Numerous companies around the world have understood the potential for waste as a fuel, but few companies have the resources of an organization like Waste Management, which in February announced it would begin to harness methane emissions at a Louisville area landfill site and turn it into fuel.

WM public sector manager Andy Reynolds tells local news station WDRB that the company actually burns off the methane gas emission in a flare, and that WM is investing $30 million in technology that would put that energy right back into natural gas pipelines.

He estimates that the natural gas that could be harvested from a single landfill every day would be enough to power 12,000 homes.

covered-landfill

TriAD Does the Necessary Legwork to Get Commercial Landfill Client Compliant

Sometimes, however, big wins in the waste management world don’t come via technological breakthroughs or innovative thinking. Sometimes, progress is the result of having smart people working diligently to understand and comply with regulations.

Take TriAD Environmental Consultants in Nashville. The team there works with landfill developers every day to conduct subsurface investigations, prepare all of the plans and estimates necessary to secure permits, and pull together specs and construction plans to ensure their clients’ bids are successful.

That’s a lot of hard work that often goes unrecognized. But as a result, the developers TriAD works with can bring ignored or forgotten landfill sites into the fold and apply industry best practices to ensure those sites remain safe for their communities.

 

Wasteserv in Malta Spearheading European Campaign to Improve Landfill Regulations

In a similar vein, Maltese waste management operator Wasteserv announced in January it would be working with other waste management companies and regulatory agencies in the European Union to share local landfill management best practices and to create new economic opportunities.

Wasteserv naturally has its work cut out for it — the company operates on a small Mediterranean island nation that simply doesn’t have the space for large landfill sites. Creativity must be baked into any waste management approach there, and Wasteserv hopes to share those ideas with partners from Cyprus, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

“As a result of landfill management projects, the recovery of resources as well as land recovery is increased while future environmental hazards can be avoided,” the company tells local news outlet Malta Today. “Moreover, landfill management projects generate economic development opportunities and create new green jobs, all within the context of an EU-wide transition to a resilient, low-carbon, circular economy.”

 

Croxley Recycling Helps Remove Hazardous Material from Landfills in South Pacific

In the same way as Malta, the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has to be creative with its waste management practices. But because of local habits, some 80 percent of what ends up in local landfills is actually recyclable, says the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

So, in 2013 the municipality of Luganville (the country’s second largest city) partnered with New Zealand recycling company Croxley to help create a new local habit: Recycling printer cartridges. The municipal government began to place cartridge drop bins all around the city and actively encouraged residents to get in the habit of using them.

It’s a small step, but a necessary one to initiate bigger conversations around recycling and waste management. “The goal of this new initiative is to raise awareness and understanding of hazardous waste among the population and to foster environmentally-responsible behaviour in customers whereby they return empty cartridges when purchasing new ones,” SPREP writes.

“The programme encourages separation of waste at source and demonstrates to residents and businesses that the Municipality is ‘walking the talk’ by taking the initiative to manage hazardous waste streams.”

dozer

Republic Services Contributes to Georgia Power Grid With Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

Republic Services is another company that recognizes the gas-to-energy potential of landfills, and in 2016 the company announced a project that would tap into the emissions at three Georgia landfills to generate 24.1 megawatts of electricity, which would otherwise have been generated by dirtier fuels.

“According to the EPA, 3 MW of renewable energy generated by landfill gas-to-energy projects is equal to preventing the carbon emissions emitted by the use 16.6 million gallons of gasoline,” Jessica Lyons Hardcastle at Environmental Leader writes. “Based upon EPA calculations, this project prevents carbon emissions that would otherwise be emitted by the use of more than 132 million gallons of gasoline.”

 

Enviro Cover Helps a Canyon Fill Site in Los Angeles Design a System for Daily Coverage

Sometimes, something as ostensibly simple as covering a landfill requires creative solutions because of topography of the site. Take the Puente Hills Landfill in Los Angeles, the country’s largest, where the daily cover might need to be strong enough to hold up for days or weeks at a time — but still made of materials that keep the cover within budget.

After a few other companies took their best shots, the team at Enviro Cover System came up with a workable solution: A polyethylene film designed to last for four weeks, and unfurled with a deployer that unrolls and secures the film in place. Afterward, the film is covered with mounds of soil that serve as ballast.

With this system, the site managers at Puente Hills can manage odors, scavengers and disease vectors for weeks at a time, even in wet conditions.

 

Denmark’s Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Helps Build Largest Waste-to-Energy Plant in the World in Shenzhen

Now, let’s scale the waste management challenge up by a factor of 50.

That’s roughly how much bigger China’s Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant is than the Puente Hills Landfill. At such a scale, site managers need more than durable covers; they needed a team of architects to devise a way to contain the waste in a single place, where it could be turned to energy.

Enter Schmidt Hammer Lassen, a Danish architecture firm. The SHL team partnered with Gottlieb Paludan Architects to create this award-winning design:

Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant_SHL_GPA from SHL Architects on Vimeo.

 

Geosyntec Helps Stabilize SoCal Airport Built On Top Of Former Landfill

Here is a good example of where the lifecycle management of landfills comes into play. At some point, many landfills are covered and begin new lives as parks or nature preserves.

Or in some cases, they become the sites where airports are built, as is the case with McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California. Because that ground is now supporting such critical (and heavy) infrastructure, the ground needs to be monitored frequently to check for any problems or changes.

Recently, the County of San Diego Department of Public Works sought to upgrade the airport with a new terminal, a pedestrian bridge, additional parking and other necessary improvements.

That’s where Geosyntec Consultants came in. They helped airport management with subsurface, geotechnical investigations to evaluate everything from thermal output to the site’s resilience during an earthquake.

You might not normally connect landfills with the safety of air travelers, but in this case that was precisely what was on the line.

 

Agru America Turns Connecticut Landfill Into Solar Power Plant

Methane-to-gas conversion isn’t the only way to harvest the energy-generation potential of a landfill. In 2011, the managers at the Hartford Connecticut Landfill sought to devote some of the site’s 35 acres to generating solar energy.

For that project, they tapped Agru America, whose ClosureTurf product appeared a viable option as something that could cap the landfill and support solar arrays — but the company had never tried this before.

It proved to be a better alternative than vegetation cover, however, because it wasn’t susceptible to erosion, and it also left room for drainage layers so water could run down the site without disrupting the foundations that support the solar panels.

Today, a five-acre solar array sits at the pinnacle of the old landfill, and at capacity it produces enough energy to power 1,000 homes.

images by: 1103489, tpsdave, Dimitris Vetsikas

Inventory Measurement: Why a Site Manager Should Call in a Pro

If only managing stockpiles were as easy as managing warehouse inventory.

In warehouses, everything is boxed up and neatly coded, so auditing your inventory is a breeze.

When your inventory is a pile of coal, iron ore or aggregates of different degrees of coarseness, measurement is a massive challenge. There’s the geometric challenge of measuring the volume of a pile. There are the environmental challenges such as torrential rains. And there is the problem of having your stockpiles mix, which at scale can create problems measured in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Then, even if you have these risks under control, there’s the matter of turning those measurements into reliable business intelligence. “Historically, corporate finance and auditors have received the results of an inventory count in a spreadsheet without assurances that risks to the count have been minimized,” the team at Rock Products explains.

This, above all, is the most compelling reason any site manager should consider hiring professional teams to measure their stockpiles. Their own team has their hands full with management of the piles and with operations. Handing the actual measurement off to professional surveyors ensures the kind of accurate numbers that translate into real business intelligence.

Here’s why.

 

What Makes Stockpile Measurement Especially Difficult

Vulcan Materials gave a helpful presentation a few years ago at the Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky’s winter conference that outlines what makes materials stockpiles, particularly aggregates, difficult to measure at any size:

  • Stockpiles can intermix if they aren’t properly separated.
  • Unwanted material such as debris or even vegetation can contaminate the pile
  • The stockpiled material can degrade and break down over time.
  • Materials of different particle sizes naturally segregate over time.

Then, there are acts that simply fall under the umbrella of force majeure, as Reno’s Regional Transportation Commission found. In early 2017, local journalists Anjeanette Damon and Seth A. Richardson reported that a dozen stockpiles at one of the commission’s projects had been breached by flood waters, spilling soil that contained mercury into the nearby community.

“But [Regional Transportation Commission] argue that the mercury-containing soil would have been an issue in a flood event regardless of whether it had been stockpiled and said it could have been worse had the dirt not been stored in one place,” Damon and Richardson wrote.

In other words, site managers have a lot on their plates already. Folding accurate stockpile measurements into the mix is a tall order.

coal

Until Recently, Stockpile Measurement Was an Imprecise Science

Most worksites have someone who can eyeball a stockpile of gravel or soil and ballpark its tonnage. And they’re pretty accurate, too, all things told. Pen-and-paper measurements get you a bit closer, but still in the realm of “pretty accurate.”

But while “pretty accurate” might be sufficient for a site’s operations, it’s insufficient for business intelligence, where a measurement that’s a ton or so off translates to thousands of dollars. Complicating matters are the shape and size of a given pile, both of which affect measurements.

“The volume of a pile is often calculated by taking several width and height measurements and recording the results on paper,” Jackson Beighle writes at Elecdata. “The amount of guess work and number of measurements depends on how irregular the shape. The repeatability is normally acceptable but it can be difficult to achieve good accuracy if the pile has a lot of peaks and valleys.”

Further, as we pointed out in a previous post: “Many (if not most) surveyors either ignore the irregularities on the top of the pile or simply take a few representative points and interpolate between them. The conventional technique of going around the pile with a measurement wheel and approximating the angle and height of the pile is a common example.”

Imprecise methods of measurement can thus create errors in apparent volume. That means some corrections have to be made and stats must be juked a little from one inventory to the next.

But there is one other, even bigger problem with manual measurement methods.

 

Manual Measurement Creates Safety Problems

It’s one thing to survey a pile from the ground and risk imprecise measurements. It’s another thing entirely for someone to walk the pile to get a better gauge of its contours and contents.

“Hiring a surveyor to walk a pile collecting topo points can be costly, dangerous, and you may not get your data back for a few days,” Chase Fly points out at Elecdata.

Different states might have different safety regulations, the team at Renishaw points out, but a goal everyone can agree on is to keep surveyors off of piles.

Technology such as drones and lidar mapping does just that. “Laser scanning eliminates the need for anyone to walk on a storage pile and can, in the case of mobile scanning, keep the survey crew safely inside a vehicle,” the team at Aggregates Manager writes. “When the project requires the use of a tripod-mounted scanner, the survey crew generally has the flexibility to select locations that are not in harm’s way.”

excavator

3 Ways Stockpile Measurement Pros Will Make Your Work Easier

If you don’t have your own commercial drones or lidar 3D mapping technology in house, you’re stuck with old school methods of stockpile measurement.

Here’s how hiring that work out will save you time, energy and money:

 

They will turn your piles of inventory into accurate business intelligence

The combination of aerial surveillance and 3D area mapping makes stockpile measurement much more precise than it was just a few years ago. As Drone Compares points out, companies like Datumate in Israel are getting consistent measurements with drone photogrammetry that are accurate to between 3 and 5 centimeters.

With that kind of accuracy, you have numbers that you can reliably plug into financial models so your company can make data-driven business decisions.

 

They can help keep your team safe

The Mine Safety and Health Administration reports that in 2015, there were seven accidents involving dozers and stockpiles — most of which involved the dozer falling into a cavity that was hidden by what appeared to be a sturdy surface.

Remote surveillance technology doesn’t eliminate the problem of dangerous stockpiles, but it does keep your team from having to climb unnecessarily on top of one.

 

They get the job done faster

The team at DroneDeploy has an excellent interview with Dallas VanZanten, owner of aerial mapping company Skymedia Northwest, who discusses the efficiencies that drone surveillance can create at a worksite. VanZanten specifically mentions a 30-acre site that would take a full day for ground-based surveyors to measure. With a drone, he estimates the job would get done in a half hour — and for about half the cost.

images by: ©cbpix/123RF Stock Photo, ©sopotniccy/123RF Stock Photo, ©photollurg / 123RF Stock Photo