A Czechoslovakian beer giant has embraced drone capabilities in a bid to save time and money with its facility inspections.
Pilsner Urquell deployed Flyability’s collision-tolerant Elios drone, designed to navigate difficult spaces, to gather footage and negotiate electrical wiring, sound barriers, sprinklers, and vents to inspect the beams and trusses of the bottling plant.
Building regulations require that the ceiling of the facility be inspected each year, and a detailed inspection be performed every 10 years. The inspection is usually performed by five workers who climb to the ceiling to perform a visual inspection.
This requires scaffolding and a safety net to be constructed for the project with the process taking over a month.
During inspection, the bottling production must be stopped in the area that is being inspected. While the company doesn’t release exact figures, it is estimated that the inspection process reduces production by 60,000 bottles of beer per hour for over 35 days.
By standing with the two drone pilots, one to fly, one to change batteries and act as observer, the inspector was able to direct the pilots to the areas required, getting all of the data she needed to complete a detailed report for the brewery in 12 days with four or five hours of flying each day.
Ondrej Bouček, drone expert at Drony SITMP, said: “The drone was exactly the solution for their situation.
“Elios provided benefits in safety, downtime, and mainly cost. They are also proud to be the first in the Czech Republic to use this method for roof inspections.”