Drone inspection shows great potential in several industries

17. August 2021

The innovation project Quali Drone can streamline and improve inspection of large structures and at the same time reduce risk when working at height. Many industries can use it.

Inspection at height or hard-to-reach areas has always been a challenge and a risk element for the inspectors who have had to perform them.

The innovation project Quali Drone will do something about this.

Instead of technicians in slings crawling around on scaffolding, in basket lifts or from cranes, Quali Drone will develop an automated drone inspection, which solves the task via AI algorithm and digital twin.

“We work with very large structures and spend unimaginable amounts of time inspecting them”, says Peter Rindebæk, COO of Bladt Industries, who has presented the challenge as an innovation project under the auspices of Energy Cluster Denmark:

“If we can add efficiency and quality to it and at the same time remove a risk element, then we are in a much better position,” he says.

‘A revolution’

Quali Drone combines drone technology with an AI algorithm to ensure a simple, efficient and risk-free solution.

“If you want to measure on concrete or paint or something else, then with the help of drones, data and the experts attached, you can easily solve the task”, says Jesper Smit, who heads the company Quali Drone, which is a direct outgrowth of the great potential of the project:

“The first step is inspection of paint damage, which is difficult enough – the height of innovation rises in earnest when we start to make measurements with industrial precision on the basis of drone images and AI. If we succeed in this, we will be able to strengthen the quality and speed of inspections and realize a large cost out, ”says Jesper Smit.

The project has the potential to improve safety by avoiding work at height, and it is a great benefit:

“As we have to measure and inspect more, more people are also entering the process. If you can limit the number of times people are involved in the inspection, time is gained and the risk element is limited, ”says Jeppe Hebsgaard Laursen, CEO of Zebicon, who works with industrial measurement technology in the project.

In addition to reducing the risk element, the innovation project will also save the industry both time and money for inspection.

“The prospects for digitization in the energy sector are enormous”, says Kim Kim Branner, Head of Section Structural Design & Testing, at DTU Wind Energy:

“We are well on our way to a revolution where digitalisation is playing into more and more aspects of the industry, and where the physical and the digital are merging,” he says.

Potentials in other industries

In concrete terms, autonomous drone flights can be inspected for surface damage and precision measurement of flanges on turbine foundations, but the potential of an automated inspection extends far beyond the energy sector.

“The possibilities are many, and it’s basically about brainstorming what challenges we see in our production today, and how AI can help solve them,” emphasizes Jens Skoustrup-Jacobsen, COO of Desupervised, which develops AI algorithms.

There is great potential for using AI and drone inspection in other industries, says Glenda Napier, CEO of Energy Cluster Denmark. She also sees perspectives outside the energy sector:

“We can see that there is potential to realize many more and greater savings potentials; not only at Bladt Industries, but also in other areas in the energy sector and outside the energy sector through automated processes and the use of drone technology, ”she says.

The Advisory Board is open to participation

In the Quali Drone innovation project, an advisory board will be established, which will help to present the solution to other industry segments. The board is open for participation. Please contact Christian Boysen, Project Director at Energy Cluster Denmark, regarding participation by email: chb@energycluster.dk