Drones continue to make a difference at aggregate sites

By |  March 6, 2018
Kespry drone

Aggregate producers continue to find that utilizing a drone makes inventory management and other areas of the business simpler to manage. Photo courtesy of Kespry

Drone usage has rapidly become a core part of many 21st century businesses, and the aggregate industry is among those that continues to embrace the technology.

The advancement and implementation of aerial intelligence is playing an increasingly important role for aggregate producers who now can better manage stockpile inventories and mining operations in an effort to maximize revenue.

“We can fly as often as we want across all of our sites to make sure that our production numbers are right on target,” says Jim Gawthrop, vice president of York Building Products, whose company uses the Kespry drone platform. “We no longer have costly surprises. Bottom line, it’s about getting the right information just when we need it, instead of waiting for a manned aerial survey. “

To date, Kespry says its aggregate customers have flown 10,400 worksite missions measuring 223,000 stockpiles across 1.4 million acres. The ability to manage inventory from remote locations has helped other producers such as CSA Materials become even more efficient.

“Inventory management can be a really daunting task,” says Brian Biggerstaff, environmental manager at CSA Materials. “The Kespry system lets us keep a historical record of each flight we make. I can watch stockpiles at remote locations. If I measure one in March, June and September, I can quickly visually go between those dates and I can see that stockpile and where people have taken material from it, and how much has been removed from it.”

Like York and CSA, Stoneco is flying drones. A supplier of crushed limestone, sand and gravel in Michigan, Stoneco is able to increase efficiency through the use of drones.

“Stoneco uses the Kespry system monthly at all of our operations for inventory management and it has allowed us to increase our accuracy and have same-day results,” says Austin Fisher, assistant operations manager and quality control manager at Stoneco. “The speed of obtaining data from the Kespry system has allowed us to tweak changes to our operations days faster than old methods, providing us with virtual real-time inventory checks that increase our operations’ efficiencies.”

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