Within Industry 4.0 drones have a particular role to play, as they are used for various operations (control, safety, maintenance and logistics) in production processes.
A drone is nothing more than an aircraft without pilot and remotely controlled, generally used for reconnaissance and surveillance operations and can be integrated with the management software used by the company (MES, CRM, ERP, etc.) in order to improve a production process or business activity.
Drones can be incorporated into different assembly operations, production, repair, maintenance, delivery, surveillance, etc.
The main uses of drones in the industrial sector are the following:
Efficient and uninterrupted data acquisition:
Through the drones and the combination with a Wifi connection or with the new 5G technology it is possible to recover data and images, even at very high resolution, in real time. With the advent of the first solar powered drones it will also be possible to have a continuous flight throughout the day.
Easy access to complex areas such as power grids, roofs, hazardous areas, etc.
Today, increasingly, drones are used for access to areas that are difficult to access or require a great deal of time and money. We think we need to verify the structure of a roof or an electric pole. This takes time to assemble and dismantle pits or ladders, not to mention the safety factor. With a drone and a few minutes of flight you can verify its integrity.
Simple integration with other systems, using the principle of modularity of Industry 4.0
It is now possible to communicate drones with our internal systems and to automatically manage any case, making the drone perform different tasks based on the feedback received.
Management of plant maintenance
The use of drones for preventive plant maintenance is increasingly in vogue. More and more often it happens that drones are used for the control of structures and the comparison of the same compared to previous periods. This facilitates the detection of malfunctions or worsening of any monitored structure.
Collection and delivery of goods to stock
There are drones of various sizes and weights. We can go from one-inch drones to one-meter drones. This allows therefore to be able to use them also for the transport of objects is of small that of medium dimensions, facilitating and velocizzando the supplyings.
Stock control and inventory
If we think of a large warehouse with shelves some meters high, it is easy to understand how the use of drones to reach any height and verify the presence or not of the desired objects, is essential and saves time and risks.
Security and access controls
Drones can be used to control access to protected or hazardous areas and to signal unauthorised access in a timely manner.
2D and 3D aerial shooting
It is possible to make high quality shots and generate 2D and 3D models of the shots taken even at complex structures.
With the drones it is possible to take thermographic shots and then monitor the status of structures (photovoltaic panels, roofs, pipes, etc…) and intercept any malfunctions or thermal losses.