The IUP Journal of Information Technology
Using Drones to Reduce Plant Inspection Risks and Costs: Real-World Case Studies

Article Details
Pub. Date : Sep, 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Information Technology
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIT010923
Author Name : Venkata Ravi Ram Pinninti and Pavitra Pinninti
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Engineering
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 14



Factory accidents have far-reaching consequences, impacting not only the workers but also the reputation and financial stability of organizations, making management of safety risks crucial. When work-related hazards are effectively managed, the probability of accidents within that plant can be reduced to zero, which is the embedded philosophy of every organization's safety policy. Plant inspections include non-destructive methodologies like thermography and ultrasonic thickness inspections of stacks, tanks and piping as part of process safety management and energy efficiency assurance. Leveraging drone technology for inspecting plant areas that involve heights offers significant advantages. By eliminating the need for workers to physically engage in work at height activities without compromising on plantrelated data, organizations can ensure impeccable safety metrics, and reinforce a positive safety culture. This paper presents three practical case studies implemented in different process industries and provides a solid basis for feasibility proposals and studies. Safety risks were eliminated 100% with collateral benefits in the form of significant savings in time (up to 97%), improvement in quality of inspection (~80%) and substantial (up to ~90%) overall costs savings.


Safety risks are an inherent aspect of all activities in factories. Therefore, in today's industrial landscape, the management of safety risks assumes vital importance. The first step in this endeavor forming the cornerstone of effective risk management is hazard identification. Professionally prudent risk assessments form the core of any proactive approach by organizations to cultivate a safer work environment. Risk management controls focus on a simple principle: as far as reasonably practical, eliminate the hazard such that probability of accidents is reduced to zero, which is the embedded philosophy of any organization's safety policy. Non-destructive plant inspection includes thermography and ultrasonic thickness inspections of stacks, tanks and piping as part of process energy efficiency assurance.


Robotics, Drones, Case studies, Safety, Risk management, Risk reduction, Risk mitigation, Cost savings, Time savings, Process Safety Management (PSM), Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA)