Groundworks enters the digital age with drone technology
A very interesting article on the use of digital information from drone technology for groundworks projects.
3D modelling, sensors, drones and automatic plant are becoming more common in the groundworks sector as consultants and contractors embrace new technology.
Ground engineering projects may stand at the grimy front end of construction, but pioneering firms are showing how 21st century digital technologies can transform the way excavation and concrete foundation works are being designed, monitored and delivered.
Expanding use of 3D modelling and BIM is helping improve design coordination and the communication of complex programmes of work. Sensor technology is making monitoring structures simpler and more cost effective, increasingly becoming a requirement rather than an optional add-on.
Emerging techniques such as the use of drones for machinery inspections, auto-erecting plant and 360 vision cameras on vehicles promise to make operations more efficient and safer.
Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering has successfully piloted the use of drones for plant inspections at the One Nine Elms project in Vauxhall, south London. The drones captured high-resolution photos of the masts on piling rigs and cranes as a quicker and safer alternative to manual inspections by human operatives.
The existing method is to drop the mast and carry out a physical inspection, or get a cherry-picker to examine the machinery at height; it can take half to a full shift to complete, which costs time. The plant manager was initially sceptical about the use of drones, but as soon as he saw the images he was very impressed at the level of detail.
The contractor is currently looking at how to embed the technology as part of its long-term preventative maintenance programme.
Prodroneworx can collaborate with groundworks firms on projects, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
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