Why Construction Job Sites Need Drones to Stay Competitive in the 2020’s
The popularity and use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS—more commonly known as drones) on job sites is growing because drones are proven valuable tools for planning and executing successful projects.
In the modern commerce environment, remote tools have become crucial for informing investors, contractors, and every player in large projects. Where travel and personal inspections have become impossible for many situations, tools that can capture precise, high-definition information have proven affordable and effective at reducing costs, improving efficiencies, and improving safety for team members for:
- Project Management
- Surverys, Mapping, and Site Planning
- Progress Reporting
- Hazardous Site Inspections
- Quality Control
Modern reporting and cloud technologies allow for maps and site renderings to be used ON SITE using mobile phones and devices. This can be extremely valuable for interactively making decisions whether on site or collaborating via remote meeting.
Xcellerated Solutions (XS Drone Services) has the technology, the pilots, and the data analysis expertise to not only capture the best-possible still and video imagery, but to also provide the data in reports, analysis, maps, and other proactive assets to enable your company to take advantage of drone technologies on your job site.
Successful projects require effective planning and use of timelines, costs, and resources. Traditional projects have relied on manual methods for tracking every step of a project.
Modern project management tools automate many aspects of the planning and management of projects, but there are often fragmented data users (like accounting, engineering, and the site foreman) that might not even have visibility into key aspects of a construction company’s information systems.
Independent of an information system structure, drones provide a number of valuable data points that can’t be captured in many other ways. Xcellerated Solutions has a unique mix of IT, Database, and ERP system skills that allow us to provide the maximum value to your projects. Our cloud-based collaborative tools can be easily incorporated into existing and new workflows to improve your bottom line AND efficiencies at the same time.
Surveys, Mapping, and Site Planning
Modern job sites do not require formal, expensive engineering survey teams to achieve actionable data. Within hours of flying a job site, drones can provide detailed information about land, structures, materials, assets, and other physical aspects of a project.
The video and image-infused maps (2D or 3D) can be provided online with interactive measurement inquiries between location points.
Terrain and structure attributes (slope, volume, area) can be automatically captured and calculated. Slopes and distances are highly accurate due to accurate GPS and image mapping technology.
With accurate special renderings of job sites, blueprints and other proof of concept documents can be overlaid digitally to understand and accurately visualize everything about a project at any stage.
Project managers (using regular captures of job site imagery) can objectively measure comparative job progress without the need for coordination with personnel or team members. Automated flight plans allow for repetitive time-lapse missions with high-accuracy repetition in the progress imagery as things change.
With the ability to overlay project plans on top of captured video, both project progress and quality control can be achieved with high accuracy.
Especially in the modern age of caution, air travel and in-person meetings have become expensive, inconvenient, and even risky. Great imagery, great data, great reports, and great analysis are wonderful tools for telling stories remotely. Modern tools allow for collaborative, real time sharing and use of data.
Whether it’s still images that show project progress or a context video to show investors the local amenities for a development site, the right drone footage can (inexpensively) produce incredible results.
Hazardous Site Inspections
Regardless of the safety hazard, drones have a unique ability to safely provide inspection capabilities to a job site. Demolition sites, towers, tall buildings, roof tops, wind turbines, and other large or inaccessible structures can prove to be expensive and dangerous nightmares for crews that need to make decisions.
Modern drones can have ducts and protective shields to safely maneuver in tight spots while obtaining footage. These are useful indoors AND outdoors. These allow for the protection of personnel and equipment.
High-precision drones can be safely maneuvered at long distances and elevation changes to easily and quickly obtain high-definition images and video footage. By using a drone to inspect difficult-to-reach places, a lot of time and effort can be eliminated. Entire teams of inspectors can be replaced by periodic drone missions.
Good safety measures save lives and money. By completely removing personnel from hazardous situations, huge cost savings and safety standards are often easily achieved by deploying drones.
Because drone footage is captured using software that is built for data collection, extremely well-planned and automated flight plans can capture time lapse footage for comparison of both progress and problem areas.
With modern software and mapping capabilities, schematics and other design layers of imagery can be superimposed over drone imagery to compare results to the original design. With 3D rendering of terrain and structures, it is possible to create views from different angles for inspection and comparison.
For certain inspections, infrared and multi-spectrum cameras can detect leaks, structural weaknesses and failure points, and other maintenance concerns. These are especially useful for preventive maintenance and other mission-critical inspections.
Technology and Competition
Most successful businesses find ways to improve their product while reducing operating costs and hassles. Technology is usually a key component of most competitive strategies. Emerging technology can add to the competitive edge. (Failing to adopt emerging technology when competitors adopt it can be fatal!)
Drones are being used by construction companies worldwide to enhance and improve operations. Large operations may already have an inspection division with fully trained pilots. Smaller operations may struggle to find the resources, time, or even desire to tackle drone technology.
Regardless of your firm’s size, Xcellerated Solutions can assist with outsourcing drone missions completely (we do all the work), or we can help in a consulting role with any part of a drone workflow (purchasing a drone, pilot training and certification, drone maintenance and repair, software programming, data analysis, etc.)