In a recent pilot project, Volar Alta Drone Inspection services were tested for an internal and external inspection of a prilling tower at one of the chemical plants in Maharashtra, achieving remarkable results. The benefits included significant time savings and enhanced safety, as the drones eliminated the need for personnel to work on scaffolding or ropes at a height of more than 220 feet.
Safety: Traditional prilling tower inspections involve working on scaffolding or using ropes at considerable heights. Utilizing the drone allowed personnel to avoid such precarious conditions.
Speed: A conventional manual prilling tower inspection demands around 8 days of work. The use of drones enabled the company to complete both, internal and external inspections in just 1 hour, reducing the total time needed by 99%.
The Company is one of the largest manufacturers in India for basic chemicals and raw materials, such as Caustic Soda, Chlorine, PVC Compounds, PVC Resin, Cement, Calcium Carbide, etc.
The Company has been operational for more than 100 years and has worked consistently towards providing quality products to the industry, while also improving safety for its employees.
In its pursuit of innovation and safety improvement, the company is incorporating drone technology to support its operations.
With the traditional inspection method that the company followed, three weeks of total shutdown was required to inspect the inside and outside of every asset. This included trying to reach hard-to-access confined areas as well as inspecting asset areas more than 200-300 feet in height.
By visually reviewing assets, inspectors had to decide on maintenance actions based on the degree of damage. The company faced two main challenges during shutdown inspections: speed and safety. Plant shutdowns are expensive and hence, the inspections must be completed as quickly as possible, without compromising on the quality of the same. Secondly, while navigating quickly through inspections, the safety of personnel must be ensured to avoid accidents.
During the recent inspection cycle, the company tested Volar Alta Drone Inspection Services on a prilling tower to know how it can enhance the inspection process.
During the inspections, the drones were able to capture high quality visual data, even in hard-to-reach areas inside the prilling tower, without building scaffolding or using ropes. Same was the case with the external inspection of the asset.
The inspection demonstrated that the drones were able to collect high-quality data without any personnel physically entering the asset. Also, no scaffolding or ropes were used for either internal or external inspection of the prilling tower.
Based on the visual inspection carried out, damage was found on the interior surface in the form of coating abnormalities, cracks, and delamination. No major defects were found on the exterior of the asset.
“There is no compromise on quality as compared to the traditional methods, in fact, this method is much advanced. The accuracy and quality of the data is beyond expectation. We were able to view the drone footage on a larger screen and could even zoom in to get more details!”
- Inspection Services Manager at the Company.
“Volar Alta’s drone inspections have proven to be both efficient and safe, establishing them as an indispensable asset for routine maintenance. Looking ahead, the company is keen to leverage this technology to pioneer preventive maintenance strategies, thereby augmenting operational resilience and efficiency. “
- Chief Operating Officer at the Company
The company personnel affirmed that Volar Alta Drone Inspection Services were able to immediately address the two main challenges of speed and safety.
Speed: No scaffolding or ropes were to be used, which could speed up the inspection process to a great extent.
Safety: No personnel need to physically enter or climb the asset to collect visual data, which ensures safety by keeping them out of danger.
The outcomes of this pilot project are clear indicators that the adoption of Volar Alta's drone inspection technology will significantly enhance current inspection and maintenance protocols. This advancement is a key step in the company's journey towards digital transformation.