How to Perform Asset and Equipment Inspections with DroneDeploy

June 17, 2020

On the traditional job site, performing asset and equipment inspections is a time-consuming and expensive process. First, the site requires a shutdown to provide a safe atmosphere for those inspecting. Next, each piece of equipment must be meticulously inspected and recorded to ensure they are in proper working order and within safety guidelines. Only then can the site be re-opened, and production can begin.

In this downtime, companies can lose thousands of dollars in production and inspection costs. By utilizing drone technology to examine these assets, organizations can make processes more efficient for their stakeholders and, most importantly, safer for their workers.

Collaborate with your team on Issue Resolution in the DroneDeploy Inspection Workflow


To begin, you’ll need to fly your drone to capture the data you need. You can do this manually using our flight planning tool to capture 2D maps or 3D models, or with live stream. With desktop or mobile flight planning, this process is quick, easy, and can be done on the job site or even at the office. Once you’ve flown, upload the data to your selected project. From here, you can use the Inspection Workflow to scroll through photos of the asset, tag issues, and collaborate with teammates to ensure proper resolution.


Real-World Applications

In mining, we see these techniques used to inspect conveyor belts, grinding mills, crushers, and more, in addition to identifying unsafe working areas. In an industry where ground is frequently unstable, equipment is often at risk and can easily damage, resulting in either an expensive repair or an unsafe working environment. Drone technology can quickly identify areas of instability and ensure equipment is moved before it becomes an issue. The same is true for discovering any equipment damage early, allowing workers to be proactive versus reactive.

Within the energy sector, tanks, pipelines, pipe racks, chimneys, and smokestacks need monitoring to prevent product loss, unsafe working conditions, and other environmental regulatory issues. This time-consuming task requires an entire plant shutdown to perform these inspections. Not only is this inefficient, but it also results in lost output. However, if these checks go unperformed, companies risk violations in compliance. Using a drone data solution to survey the area resolves these issues by finding potential problems without halting production. At the same time, advanced features like thermal imagery make it easier than ever to spot leaks.


The construction industry holds one of the most practical use cases for drone technology: crane inspections. Unsurprisingly, these large pieces of equipment are a pain to examine because of their massive size and pivotal role in operations. Additionally, OSHA requires individual crane inspections at least once a year to remain in regulation. Cracks and other damage can result in unsafe working conditions, and could even lead to a site shutdown. Drones quickly simplify these operations by providing a bird’s-eye view of the crane with the ability to adapt and move about its surroundings. You can record every inch of this equipment with the drone’s camera and live stream it to workers on the ground.

Whether your field of work lies in mining, energy, or construction, drone technology can elevate your business practices by optimizing your inspection processes. Using an autonomous vehicle automatically makes these tasks and the job site safer and more efficient for all parties involved. Now, organizations can ensure they’re staying within regulations without having to shut off critical business functions.

If you’re interested in how drone technology can help your company, read some of our customer success stories or start a free trial. Want a more in-depth look at these issues? Watch our webinar on drone use in surveying.

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