Norilsk Nickel decided to use drones for operations in the Far North
Norilsk Nickel company began testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for monitoring in the Far North. About it informs “Gazeta.Ru”.
Now the company is checking how rational the use of UAVs is for certain objects, evaluates the quality of the data received and the speed of their provision, as well as the convenience of the platform for employees.
As Igor Kustarin, director of the innovation development department, explained, Norilsk Nickel needs a control system that will operate effectively in the vast areas of the enterprise, and the obvious solution was the use of UAVs.
They can make it easier for people to inspect assets—especially for long, large, or hard-to-reach facilities. Like any large company, Norilsk Nickel has to build a lot of production sites and various infrastructure. Moreover, building in the permafrost zone in the Far North is no less difficult than extracting resources, therefore, effective control over the progress of work is also needed here.
At the same time, it is software that is important for Norilsk Nickel, which will be able to quickly process and analyze the received data. As explained by the head of business development in the field of construction technologies of the company Dmitry Izotov, the advantage of innovative technology is that. that the data collected by the UAV is transmitted to the customer’s server, where it is processed by the program using advanced machine learning algorithms.
Thus, the process of detecting defects and anomalies in industrial infrastructure is greatly simplified and partially automated. Norilsk Nickel, as a customer, will also receive a 3D terrain model that can be compared over time, compared with project documentation, and monitor the progress of the zero cycle work.
The use of such technologies also makes monitoring faster, more accurate and cheaper. In addition, the level of industrial safety of facilities will increase and the company’s costs for repair work will decrease due to the timely detection of critical anomalies.
Norilsk Nickel’s investment in innovative monitoring methods has already begun to pay off – several technologies for monitoring construction and installation work using drones are being tested in the field. UAVs fly over the object, take pictures of it, and based on the collected data with reference to coordinates, a 3D terrain model is built. The ability to compare indicators from different survey dates allows you to evaluate the physical volume of work on the site.
“At this time, two operations are mainly carried out at the site – excavation and embankment. And here disputes usually arise with contractors: how much they dug up and fell asleep, as indicated in the reporting documents. Millimeter accuracy of the picture is not required here, you just need to quickly capture the current information, ”explains Denis Shurka, Chief Manager of the Innovation Development Department at Norilsk Nickel.
In addition to monitoring construction work, the UAV is planned to be used to monitor chimneys, power lines and pipelines. As Dmitry Chikildin, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Talnakh Concentrating Plant, explained, this will allow assessing the temperature, measuring the area and volumes of the solid phase of tailings (waste from mining and mineral processing), controlling the process of straightening, leveling, re-raising dams and other hydraulic structures.
Chikildin explained that the technology will improve industrial and environmental safety at hydraulic structures, as well as respond faster to potentially dangerous situations and more carefully plan repair and construction work.