Commercial drone usage has taken over many industries in the US. According to reports, the use of drones in industries has boomed significantly as about 1million new pilots have signed up with the Federal Aviation Administration and by 2020, it is expected that there will be 7 million drones in use.
Drones are being used in many industries and the construction industry is no exception. In fact, according to 2017 drone market sector report, construction industry is among the top 3 drone using industries as the uses of drones in the industry are quite clear.
Drones serve many purposes on a construction site such as surveying, aerial photography, mapping, geographic information systems, live video footage etc.
Today, some of the most successful construction companies are using drones in various processes as their use reduces efforts, saves time and reduces cost too.
Here are the benefits of using drones in the construction business:
A few years ago, it was necessary to form a team of 4-5 people just to survey the site before beginning with the construction. Moreover, you also needed a team to keep an eye on things during the construction phase, all of which only added to the cost. Plus, it was quite time consuming as well.
Then came the GPS system which reduced the number of employees required for surveying but the GPS system had its own drawbacks. However, now thanks to drones, the problem has been eradicated.
The drone technology has given construction business what it had been wanting for a long time. With this technology, a single employee can carry out accurate surveying with the help of a drone.
Less employees required means less safety hazards and a tremendous amount of time is saved. Plus, you also save money you would pay to the surveying time.
Before drones were brought in the construction business, surveying was done manually and it took a lot of time but now, thanks to the drone technology, data is collected within seconds and sent to the computer instantly for processing where topographic drawings are made by just clicking a button. That’s how fast surveying has been made by the use of drones.
It is a win-win situation as companies do not only get to save time and money, but also reduce the risk of mistakes.
- Enhanced Accuracy
There’s a vast difference between the readings taken by a human and the readings taken by machine. Humans are prone to making mistakes and it can cause disastrous consequences in the form of damage, injuries or property loss. On the other hand, drones are known for collecting accurate data and minimizing safety risks.
Mapping is one of the most important procedures in the construction business and drones have made it much easier, efficient and accurate. A normal mapping task can take many hours when done manually but the same task can be done by a drone within minutes. Moreover, drones can also be programmed to repeat mapping procedures everyday.
Drones can be programmed with advanced imaging technology to provide crisp and in-depth maps of a site before construction. This makes it a lot easier for construction managers to have detailed insights of a site, which can make the process easier.
- Reduces Safety Risks
Construction industry is one of the most unsafe industries out there. In fact, hundreds of casualties are recorded every month at various construction sites. Sometimes it is due to not using the right ringlock scaffold and sometimes due to a lack of training, whatever the reason, the use of drones can help make the job a lot more safer and easier.
For instance, road constructions require detailed surveying before the construction can begin. This requires the road to be cleared, which is not only a hazard but a time consuming job as well. However, drones can save the day by doing an aerial survey and eliminating the need of using a conventional liDAR system. This way workers remain safe.
FLIR: Many construction companies equip drones with FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared). FLIR is a sensor technology that can capture heat signatures and can largely help in detecting faulty electrical lines or problems in the HVAC systems.
- Thermal Imaging
Thermal imaging is the process of identifying objects in a dark environment. This earlier required a plane however, drones equipped with thermal sensors can do this job now by taking aerial heat images.
The benefit of using drones for this process is less cost, no safety risk and accurate readings. With a drone capable of capturing thermal imaging, tasks like identifying thermal hotspots, moisture intrusion, delamination and spalling can be done easily.
- Inspect Hard To Reach Areas Easily
Imagine building a bridge over water. Dangerous, right? Drones can make it easier. There are some places where it is a lot difficult for workers to reach and even if they do, there’s always a huge risk of injuries.
Sometimes, it can take days for workers to reach a place and start inspection but drones can do it in a matter of minutes. This not only saves time and money but also minimizes the risks associated with it.
It is due to drones that we can now reach areas that were once hard to access.
- Fast And Improved Communication
Drones can record feeds, capture images, read heat signatures, determine leaks and send the result back to the person in charge. The process is not only rapid but also accurate and eliminates the possibility of making mistakes.
Communication this fast is the key to carrying out successful construction tasks. It ensures that all workers are safe and the work in done is a proper manner by monitoring the site at all times.
Drones are becoming popular not only in the construction business but in other industries too. Soon, they will be as common in the construction industry as bulldozers. Buying drones is a big investment, but it is one that’s worth it.