How drones can unlock potential within your operation

By |  September 14, 2022
Introducing drone technology to an aggregate operation can lower costs, minimize rework and increase operational efficiency. Photo: Propeller Aero

Introducing drone technology to an aggregate operation can lower costs, minimize rework and increase operational efficiency. Photo: Propeller Aero

As we move toward the fourth quarter of 2022, concerns are mounting about inflation, a recession, the supply chain and the workforce.

Aggregate producers are facing these challenges head-on, trying to keep sites operating efficiently. But their jobs are not getting any easier.

Fortunately, drone technology is contributing to more efficient and effective worksites, providing operational leaders with answers in a variety of areas.

Reducing rework

A gallon of diesel this summer was up more than two dollars versusĀ  a year ago. As quarries deal with higher prices, increasing efficiencies and accuracies using drones can contribute to major cost savings.

According to a PlanGrid and FMI Corp. report, poor communication is responsible for 48 percent of all rework. This contributes to a large amount of lost fuel on worksites. Additionally, this emphasizes the need for accurate data, which can be gathered through drone surveys to keep stakeholders informed and improve dispute resolution.

Having accurate, accessible survey data documented at every stage of work can stop mistakes before they happen and keep rework to a minimum.

Efficiently moving materials

Now is the time for quarries to prioritize stockpile management to not waste any resources. Using drones to collect survey data shows how much sand and gravel has been mined, processed and moved off site each week while keeping up-to-date stockpile inventories.

Quarry workers, then, can provide inventory reports, keeping both on-site and office teams informed to avoid miscommunication and pay delays. With accurate data, operators can plan and budget better for future work, as well as update processes based on material movement patterns to create even more efficient sites.

Retaining talent with tech

A shortage of skilled workers has intensified the hiring challenge in a number of industries.

With 5.5 million more job openings than workers available to fill them according to the U.S. Department of Labor, contractors should look to advanced technology to attract and retain workers. Incorporating advanced tech such as drone surveying can appeal to younger workers looking to gain experience using innovative solutions.

Drone tech can retain and strengthen existing teams, showing a commitment to safety by keeping workers out of the heat for long periods of time or from walking dangerous worksites. It can also provide training opportunities, giving employees the chance to learn new skills and reduce the risk of decreased productivity. Worksite software and drone tech can increase communication and collaboration across companies, as well.

Additionally, using drones to automate and speed up survey processing can contribute to more accurate and efficient worksites.

Final thought

The main goal of any technology is to make the lives of those using it easier. With drone surveying, worksites can gather their data safely and more often, gaining access to accurate data while ensuring projects are progressing effectively and accurately.

Richard Hordern-Gibbings is the director of hardware commercialization at Propeller Aero.

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