Associated British Ports Adopts Drone Asset Management Technology

By Mike Ball / 09 Aug 2020
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Associated British Ports drone asset management

Associated British Ports (ABP) has successfully embedded drone technology into its asset management practices, working with a specialist drone digital transformation team from PwC as well as experienced drone service provider Aerodyne Group.

ABP owns and operates 21 ports and rail freight terminals around Britain, providing marine, road and rail access to domestic and international markets with 87km of quay and 1.4 million sqm of covered storage. During a six-month initialisation program, Aerodyne performed extensive site testing at eight locations, and analysis of data from these test flights has shown that drone operations for asset management were safer, 25% more cost effective and took 55% less time compared to traditional methods.

ABP has also worked with Aerodyne and PwC to build an advanced drone visual asset management system, allowing teams to view asset condition dashboards, asset management information and build inspection reports, all via a web browser.

ABP now plans to develop an in-house drone capability to complement Aerodyne’s solutions, and has retained PwC’s specialist drone team to assist with this critical implementation.

ABP’s Group Director Safety, Engineering and Marine, Mike McCartain, commented: “After an initial proof of concept with PwC, we realised drones could offer significant value to our asset and property inspections, using drone and data technology integrated with a secure cloud platform. They are safer, faster and more cost-effective, enabling us to optimise operations and reduce risks.”

“The cloud platform we’ve built with our partners gives our teams simple and intuitive access to the drone information, including the ability to build inspection reports in the browser, aligned to our existing asset management systems. Without a doubt, this is a big step forward in ABP’s digital transformation and safety journey using the latest available technology.”

Steve Russell, a Partner at PwC, said: “It can be complex to implement drone technology and our team of digital transformation experts have supported ABP through the drone case for change, vendor selection and implementation, ensuring a systematic and low risk approach to making technology work for their business. ABP chose Aerodyne Group after our work with them on vendor selection and we are pleased to work with Aerodyne, noting their leading cloud software platform, local capability and significant global scale, with more than 300,000 infrastructure assets inspected across 25 countries.”

Kamarul A Muhamed, Founder and CEO of Aerodyne Group, stated: “We are honoured to be selected as exclusive drone solution provider for ABP. Globally, our clients have benefited from optimised management of their critical assets and infrastructure leveraging on our solutions. We are committed to provide consistent quality services while complying to established regulations and standards.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact