Site so­lu­tions start from above

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

Drone sys­tem is fast, ac­cu­rate and cre­ates ef­fi­cien­cies in sub­se­quent con­struc­tion stages Six Ko­matsu Aus­tralia in-house pi­lots have re­cently re­ceived their ‘wings’ as cer­ti­fied drone op­er­a­tors, al­low­ing for the abil­ity to pro­vide a to­tal site so­lu­tion, site sur­vey­ing ser­vices lit­er­ally miles ahead of ground-based al­ter­na­tives.

Ko­matsu na­tional tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion ex­pert man­ager Aaron

Marsh said ob­tain­ing the re­mote pilot li­cences was cru­cial for the com­pany be­cause it dove­tails into Ko­matsu’s SMARTCONSTRUCTION in­te­grated busi­ness model, pro­vid­ing a mul­ti­tude of ad­van­tages for the ini­tial site sur­vey­ing stage and be­yond.

“The main ad­van­tage of aerial sur­vey­ing us­ing un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles is that it is fast and ac­cu­rate and cre­ates ef­fi­cien­cies in sub­se­quent con­struc­tion stages such as earth­mov­ing,” said Mr Marsh.

“For ex­am­ple, the 3D drone data can be fed into our Kom­con­nect ap­pli­ca­tion to au­to­mat­i­cally cal­cu­late the area and vol­ume of earth to be moved and our cus­tomers can ac­cess it in real-time.

“Like­wise, our fac­tory-in­te­grated in­tel­li­gent Ma­chine Con­trol ma­chines op­er­at­ing on the ground can up­date the as-built ground con­di­tions as they go for ac­cu­rate cut-and-fill vol­ume re­port­ing. The drone-cap­tured data can also be used for stock­pile cal­cu­la­tions and on­go­ing re­view of con­struc­tion progress and site lo­gis­tics.

“All round, it makes for a much more stream­lined and there­fore more eco­nom­i­cal process. What used to take days and weeks can now be com­pleted with neg­li­gi­ble man­ual ef­fort.”

The re­mote pilot cer­ti­fi­ca­tions were ob­tained via New­cas­tle, New

South Wales-based spe­cial­ist train­ing com­pany Avi­as­sist. Aaron said that the Ko­matsu pi­lots sat a week-long in­ten­sive un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle (UAV) course, cer­ti­fied by CASA, the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity, which Ko­matsu re­quired to fly its high-pre­ci­sion drones com­mer­cially. With the help of Avi­as­sist and its pro­fes­sional train­ing team, all six pi­lots suc­cess­ful com­pleted the course. On course com­ple­tion, Ko­matsu ap­plied to CASA for a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tor’s li­cense and dur­ing this time.

“Avi­as­sist were kind and help­ful enough to help us work un­der their op­er­a­tors’ li­cence un­til we re­ceived our ac­cred­i­ta­tion and have been great with on­go­ing ad­vice for our com­pany and our chief pilot if we need any guid­ance or as­sis­tance,” con­tin­ued Mr Marsh. “Now we are fully qual­i­fied and ready to fly di­rectly for our cus­tomers en­tirely as Ko­matsu, un­der our own busi­ness model which in­cludes our own in­sur­ances”.

Avi­as­sist man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Ross An­der­son, said he was im­pressed with Ko­matsu’s in-depth em­brace of drone tech­nol­ogy for its busi­ness of­fer­ings. “It’s great work­ing along­side in­dus­try lead­ers such as Ko­matsu in­te­grat­ing drone tech­nol­ogy into their day-to-day busi­ness. The in­te­gra­tion be­tween drone tech­nol­ogy and ma­chine con­trol is very pow­er­ful,” Mr An­der­son said.

“It is cru­cially im­por­tant that drone tech­nol­ogy is im­ple­mented safely, as in­dus­try stands to ben­e­fit from safer and more ef­fi­cient ways to cap­ture in­for­ma­tion. Ko­matsu has proven this in their pro­cesses and cul­ture.”

Ko­matsu em­ploys Sky­catch high­ac­cu­racy sur­vey quad­copter drones which cre­ate sub-5cm ac­cu­rate 3D point clouds. He said that while he rec­om­mends Ko­matsu pi­lots op­er­ate the drones, there are also other al­ter­na­tives for our cus­tomers to fly them­selves or for their own pi­lots to use.

“With the SMARTCONSTRUCTION busi­ness, this re­ally rounds out our of­fer­ing pro­vid­ing an end-to-end so­lu­tion for our cus­tomers,” con­tin­ued Mr An­der­son. “Now we can han­dle ev­ery­thing. We can fly the drones and col­lect the data and use that data through Kom­con­nect which is part of the SMARTCONSTRUCTION part of the busi­ness, or we can hand the data over to the cus­tomer. We’re con­duct­ing flights and do­ing demon­stra­tions for cus­tomers right now so get in touch.”

Six Ko­matsu Aus­tralia in-house pi­lots have re­cently re­ceived their ‘wings’ as Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity (CASA)-cer­ti­fied drone op­er­a­tors, al­low­ing for site sur­vey­ing ser­vices lit­er­ally miles ahead of ground-based al­ter­na­tives.

Drone sur­vey­ing is fast and ac­cu­rate com­pared with tra­di­tional land-based sur­vey­ing.

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