Asset management reaches new heights with drone technology

November 23, 2016
IM&E manufacturers will soon be using drones to perform visual inspections, capture videos, and obtain sensors readings.

The potential benefits to the industrial manufacturing and equipment industry are staggering. Think of the possible time and cost savings that could be achieved by using remote-controlled cameras to relay images of machinery on an off-shore oil rig, in a remote desert location, or high atop a vertical cliff. Field technicians monitoring equipment performance could obtain valuable viewpoints and details—all without risk to personnel.

000004501460_oil_rig_istock_gl497x373A picture is often worth a thousand words. That’s the case with the IM&E industry. Monitoring performance and conducting preventive maintenance are critical to expanding the lifecycle of industrial equipment. This is particularly true of mission-critical equipment that just can’t be allowed to fail, such as generators, security systems, and oil drilling and mining equipment. Beyond photographic images, drone technology can also supply infrared and X-ray images to detect structural issues or dangerous leaks in an environment potentially unsafe for humans.

Infor understands the challenges IM&E manufacturers face and provides solutions to help manage preventive maintenance with greater ease, speed, effectiveness. Last week, Infor announced a partnership with Drone Aviation Corp. to create Infor's new Drone Enterprise Asset Management Solution (DEAMS). This new solution is designed to solve industry challenges by enabling safe, efficient asset management and maintenance, and will take asset maintenance to a whole new level.

Infor and DAC believe that applying tethered drone technology to even small enterprise asset management (EAM) projects can have a significant impact on the success of an asset. With a tethered drone's ability to perform functions like perch-and-stare, video capture, and laser scanning, the drone can replace many of the dull, dirty, and critical services of inspection and compliance.

By combining the cutting-edge, patented tethered drone technologies of Drone Aviation Corp. with the Infor Enterprise Asset Management system, private and public sector customers are now able to benefit from the flexible capability of drone technology to efficiently and safely inspect buildings, oil rigs, power stations, railways and other linear and nonlinear assets.

Thanks to the flexible flying capability, drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can extend beyond the typical constraints of asset management to capture high-quality images and footage that provide complete visibility. By using emerging technologies to manage infrastructure assets, organizations can achieve greater value in maximizing product lifecycles and institute a preventative maintenance plan that can prevent costly downtime.

Drone technology has quickly standardized and proven reliable since it was first introduced to the market, and today the technology is more affordable and effective than previous techniques in capital-intensive public sector environments.

The partnership between Infor and Drone Aviation helps automate the core business processes that provide enterprise organizations with integrated asset and maintenance management solutions. DEAMS delivers an inspection and maintenance management approach that can produce actionable business insights and improve a business' decision-making processes. Drone Aviation's tethered drones have advanced imaging cameras including stabilized thermal, that can zoom in to show the smaller details of an item being inspected, and they can be safely operated for hours with power and data being securely transmitted through the tether to the operator on the ground.

"Our vision for drone technology has always extended beyond the physical hardware itself, seeing the drone as a critical extension of the network where its sensors are capable of capturing and relaying critical data and information to its users in real time. Through our partnership with Infor and the creation of the DEAMS solution, we are realizing that vision and helping enterprise customers across a wide array of industries harness drones to meet their many unique asset management challenges," said Jay Nussbaum, chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation. "Infor's expertise in data analysis makes them an ideal partner in the development of this unique end-to-end solution."

Infor DEAMS uses Infor ION®, a purpose-built middleware, that processes the data collected by the drones' onboard sensors and integrates it with Infor EAM and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) applications. The data can also be analyzed with easy-to-use analytics to produce accurate information about the asset life, allowing for quicker and more effective decision-making.

Learn more about this new tethered drone-based asset management solution.
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