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  • Writer's pictureTeam Volar Alta

Revolutionizing Asset Maintenance in Indian Heavy Process Industries: Challenges and Solutions

Updated: Feb 2

India is entering its golden era—leapfrogging the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest economy and on track to have a GDP of more than $15 trillion to become the third-largest economy by 2047. The country has been a shining light in an otherwise gloomy global outlook and is poised to be the fastest-growing large economy in the decades to come.

India's heavy process industries, encompassing sectors such as petrochemicals, steel, power, cement and manufacturing, play a pivotal role in the nation's economic growth. However, the efficient functioning of these industries relies heavily on effective asset maintenance, a task laden with challenges. In this blog, we explore the hurdles faced by heavy process industries in India and delve into the innovative solution of integrating drone technology to overcome these challenges.

Challenges in Asset Maintenance for Heavy Process Industries in India

  • Aging Infrastructure: Many heavy process industries in India grapple with aging infrastructure, leading to increased equipment breakdowns and maintenance requirements. This challenge is exacerbated by the high costs and downtime associated with upgrading or replacing these assets.

  • Limited Resources: Resource constraints, both in terms of skilled workforce and financial resources, pose a significant hurdle for asset maintenance. Insufficient resources often result in deferred maintenance, leading to more extensive issues down the line.

  • Safety Concerns: Safety is paramount in heavy process industries, and traditional maintenance practices may expose workers to hazardous conditions. This concern necessitates innovative approaches to minimize human intervention in high-risk areas.

  • Remote and Inaccessible Locations: Many industrial assets are situated in remote or challenging terrains, making it difficult for maintenance teams to access and inspect them regularly. This remoteness can lead to delayed responses to emerging issues.

  • Data Overload: With the advent of Industry 4.0, heavy process industries are generating vast amounts of data from sensors and monitoring systems. Managing and analyzing this data for predictive maintenance can be overwhelming without the right tools and strategies in place.


Overcoming Challenges with Drone Technology

Remote Inspection and Monitoring:

Drones equipped with cameras and sensors enable remote inspection of assets, especially in hard-to-reach or hazardous locations. This not only enhances safety but also facilitates proactive maintenance by identifying potential issues before they escalate.



Data Collection and Analysis: 

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Drones can collect data from various sensors, providing a comprehensive view of asset health. Also, with high resolution cameras, the margin of error of data capture compared to the human eye is significantly lower. Advanced analytics can then process this data to generate actionable insights, aiding in predictive maintenance planning. 



Cost-Efficient Surveys:

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Traditional asset surveys often require significant resources. Drones offer a cost-effective alternative, reducing the need for manual labour and equipment, while covering large areas swiftly. More than 90% time and cost can be saved with the use of drone inspections.


Enhanced Safety:

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By deploying drones for routine inspections and maintenance tasks, industries can significantly reduce human exposure to hazardous environments. This not only improves worker safety but also minimizes the risk of accidents.




Real-time Monitoring:

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Drones equipped with cameras enable live-streaming and real-time monitoring of assets during Industrial Inspections. This instantaneous feedback allows maintenance teams to respond promptly to emerging issues, preventing unplanned downtime, and reducing overall maintenance costs. The data can be stored and analyzed over time allowing for predictive maintenance.


Conclusion

The heavy process industries in India are at a critical juncture where the adoption of innovative technologies, particularly drones, can revolutionize asset maintenance practices. Overcoming challenges such as aging infrastructure, limited resources, safety concerns, remote locations, and data overload requires a proactive approach. By integrating drone technology into their maintenance strategies, these industries can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure the longevity of their critical assets. Embracing these advancements is not just a technological leap; it is a strategic imperative for the sustainable growth of heavy process industries in India.


Equipped with advanced sensors, streamlined workflow management and AI driven analytics, Volar Alta is pushing the boundaries of inspection and asset management in industries. With over 800 equipment inspected in more than 50 plants across India, we have been able to save 90% cost, time and resources, while eliminating risk entirely and improving efficiency by reducing downtime. Get in touch with us to know more about we can help you level up your maintenance game!

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