The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly referred to as drones, is now established as a preferred method of remote survey and close visual inspection of assets across many industrial sectors.
UAVs offer a new way of inspection and optimise cost and time savings, reduce risk to personnel and increase performance and quality of inspection. With advances in technology such as improved flight time, inspection payloads and contact inspection, plus the reality that drones could be working autonomously and beyond visual line of sight (BvLOS), the potential applications for UAVs is growing significantly.
Bilfinger Salamis UK has owned and operated its own fleet of drones since 2017. These are operated by our qualified and experienced pilots, who use them to carry out close visual and thermal inspections in remote and difficult-to-reach areas including, but not limited to :
- Wind Turbines
- Energy transmission infrastructure
- Flare towers
- Drilling derricks
- Helideck support structures
- Under deck/splash zone
- Internal tank inspections
UAVs are capable of producing high definition images or thermographic data safely and efficiently without the need to shut down plant or rely on traditional scaffolding or highly skilled rope access teams. In addition, Bilfinger also operate the Elios 2 drone which is collision tolerant and designed for confined space environments. With an Elios 2, our inspection teams can quickly inspect areas within a confined space that would previously have required highly skilled rope access teams and complex rescue plans.
There are strict minimum requirements and regulations for providing a UAS inspection service, both on and offshore for oil and gas industry customers. All UAV operators must obtain the UK Civial Aviation Authority Permission for Commercial Operations accreditation, and all pilots must achieve the CAA Permissions for Aerial Work standard.
Bilfinger is fully CAA-certified, and provides a multi-disciplined inspection team/inspector fully qualified and certified to pilot UAVs in an offshore environment.
This allows us to offer a full visual inspection package to our clients.
Not only does the use of drones for offshore inspection reduce the risk to staff, but it also saves time, resources and cost. Scaffold and rope access are no longer required as inspection can be carried out from a safe location, reducing any risk to personnel.
Bilfinger drone technology can be deployed on an ad hoc basis like any other service provider, however, in addition to our ad hoc services, Bilfinger also train our core technicians to become fully competent UAV pilots. Therefore in addition to the advantages that the drone technology provides, Bilfinger can provide all this with the advantages of no additional personnel requirements.
Bilfinger's drones are piloted by experienced pilots and/or NDT technicians which allows for instant analysis of results, and completion of detailed NDT reports. Our technicians can then carry out work instantly, if required.