Black & Veatch and Aeryon Labs have formed a new partnership offering an end-to-end asset management inspection solution leveraging drone technology.
According to the companies, Aeryon’s commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) hardware, software and services will enable the capture of critical infrastructure condition data, which will then be integrated by Black & Veatch into a utility’s existing enterprise asset management (EAM) system. The streamlined solution can speed inspection times, reduce costs and accelerate the integration of data into EAM systems for global energy clients, the companies explain.
Over the past year, Black & Veatch and Aeryon have worked with North American utilities to develop a drone inspection solution addressing needs identified by the sector. The companies say their testing identified that utilities are particularly in need of a solution that rapidly delivers detailed condition reports by collecting, processing and analyzing high-resolution photographic data that is then integrated with the utility’s existing EAM systems.
“Utility leaders want to move beyond reactive maintenance and need to acquire the condition and performance data necessary to improve overall operations and extend asset life,” says David Price, associate vice president and chief technology officer for Black & Veatch Management Consulting. “With our refined UAS inspection solution, clients can complete 20 or more tower inspections per person, per day – a 50 percent improvement in efficiency over current methods. Collaborating with Aeryon allows us to deliver these results consistently and at scale.”
Black & Veatch and Aeryon note that they consolidate all critical workflow steps from initiation to report completion – providing secure, structured data for a client’s EAM system. This enables utilities to proactively identify risks while improving safety and lowering costs.
“For over a decade, Aeryon UAS have been inspecting critical infrastructure around the globe – even in hazardous conditions where traditional crews would be unable to work,” notes Mark Davis, vice president of commercial enterprise solutions at Aeryon Labs. “We are thrilled to be working with Black & Veatch to bring the next generation of holistic drone-based inspection solutions to our global utility service providers and customers.”