It’s no secret that drones have become hugely popular in recent months. It started with drone photography and videography; now, more and more businesses are using them out in the field to assist them with everyday tasks – from equipment inspection and testing to facility maintenance. Drone-based tasks provide a wide range of possibilities that take advantage of the drone’s mobility and facilitate jobs that would otherwise be difficult or strenuous. Here are five big ways drones have helped facility managers stay one step ahead.
Drones provide FMs with increased capabilities
New technology has made it possible to equip drones with a wide variety of sensors that perform all different kinds of tasks. A drone provides complete mobility, which allows for an inspection of almost any facility – regardless of its design or location.
For instance, roof and grounds inspections typically require a tech to physically walk the area in order to gather information and perform their maintenance tasks. However, with drone technology, a virtual building inspection can be performed in a matter of minutes. The Facilities Manager will have all the information he or she needs to start scheduling out maintenance and other required tasks.
Drones may improve worker safety and reduce accidents
Drone technology has the potential to dramatically increase employee safety in the workplace: techs would no longer be tasked with climbing on potentially hazardous roof sections or trying to access areas that might be dangerous to monitor. They would simply be able to send the drone to inspect these locations instead, thus saving time, money, and reducing the chance of an accident.
Additionally, access equipment (such as aerial work platforms, scaffolding, and lifts) has generally been necessary to inspect rooftops and other hard-to-reach areas, but it can also be incredibly expensive, time-consuming to put into place, and difficult to tear down. Replacing this equipment with a drone will eliminate the need for overly expensive lifts and work platforms.
Drones can cut costs and reduce inspection time
Drone-based testing allows for easier, faster, and inexpensive inspection of equipment. This, in turn, enables the maintenance department to carry out repairs and replacements before problems occur (and as we know, preventive maintenance is always less expensive).
To that end, testing without having to shut down operations completely means the facility will also save time and avoid revenue loss. Additionally, drone-based inspections greatly reduce the need for large transport vehicles to reach remote areas out in the field.
Utilizing a drone can greatly reduce transport costs, and since it takes less time, the company will ultimately spend less on labor hours.
Drones improve overall facility reliability
Drone-based inspections can be used to determine whether structures meet certain environmental and safety requirements, performing tasks and checkups that may otherwise be overlooked on a facility manager’s busy day-to-day task list. Many of these tests can be carried out effortlessly with drones, and if the assets meet the accepted levels, the systems can continue operating. Otherwise, repairs or replacements can be performed promptly to avoid issues that may have otherwise lead to unplanned shutdowns or disasters.
Drones can be seamlessly integrated with facility infrastructure management software
The true advantages of using drones with facility management software shines through with the integration of asset mapping and building inspections. When paired with a system like SmartCSM, building inspections, maintenance, and asset mapping can be documented with ease; creating a dynamic duo that makes your job inherently easier. Not only will it relieve both physical and mental stress, but it will make your team more efficient and able to put focus back onto proactive maintenance.
Additionally, integrating a drone with the asset management aspect of the software allows for a more in-depth understanding of the asset’s condition, including staying up-to-date with its routine maintenance and part replacement. Being aware of the current condition of all your assets - in as much detail as possible - makes it much easier to keep them operating in the safest, most efficient, and productive way possible.
For other innovations in facilities management to keep an eye out for this year, visit our blog.