Drones: innovative expansion of inspection services
KH Group expands its service with drone inspections, carried out by Euro Drone Inspections, as of 1 November. This company will work closely with Smart Asset Integrity Solutions, also a subsidiary of KH Group. Both companies strive for longterm relationships with their clients, by offering innovative services. Managers Martijn van ‘t Wout (Smart AIS) and Rik Bijl (Euro Drone Inspections) will discuss this unique collaboration in the field of 3D aerial data capture.
Martijn van ‘t Wout: ‘In recent years we have worked with Smart Asset Integrity Solutions (AIS) on a complete portfolio of QAQC, inspection services / integrity and 3D laser scanning services. Drones are used by us for “data capture” for our 3D scan department. More and more often we also see the possibilities of using drones for inspection purposes’.
Rik Bijl: ‘Smart AIS asked us to help with the assignment to visualize the Heinenoord tunnel. There was a good chemistry between us. My company Euro Drone Inspections now exists about five years and is fully certified to fly drones as an aviation company. We use our expertise for inspections, photography & video, mapping and remote sensing data capture. This can involve visual inspections with HD cameras and aerial photogrammetry, thermographic inspections to measure heat differences or inspections with sensors for gas detection. We do this for the industrial sector, but also for governments, construction and infrastructure. With a drone, that kind of work is safer, faster and more economical’.
Martijn van ‘t Wout: ‘That’s why we wanted to strengthen and perpetuate the collaboration. We see great added value in the services Euro Drone Inspections can provide, in addition to our existing services. The conventional way of inspecting will change as a result of these kinds of possibilities. This is the only way we can continue to provide our clients with the best possible service at all times. To give an example: for an offshore client we provide inspections at sea. With the use of drones, the same work can be carried out in considerably less time compared to the conventional way where complete rope access teams are needed to get to places that are difficult to reach’.
Rik Bijl: ‘I think that safety is one of the most important advantages when using drones,
because you don’t have to bring people to the desired height using a drone. Or in the case of gas detection, you have to take all kinds of protective measures. In addition, there is the speed of work, because you don’t have to erect scaffolding or aerial work platforms. All this makes collecting data using a drone more economical. They can also play an important role for industrial asset owners in condition-based maintenance. The technology is developing rapidly. Drones are becoming faster, lighter and the possibilities for using sensors are almost endless. We are currently testing a drone that can fly without a pilot, do its job and automatically avoid all objects along the way. Within a few years we will operate the drone from a control room. We are also looking for alternatives to the current batteries so that longer flights in terms of time and distance will become possible as soon as laws and regulations allow. Because of all these innovations we can continuously improve our service’.
Martijn van ‘t Wout: ‘Bottom line we are convinced that from now on we will be able to provide our clients with an even more complete service than before and that with this collaboration we will take a lead in the latest technology in order to be able to offer industrial companies the most suitable solution possible’.