Rotterdam software company Falcker has presented a new solution for the automatic inspection of storage tanks by means of drones. It is a drone-in-a-box solution that is linked to a cloud application, based on OutSystems. With the new application, digital twins can be automatically generated, in which any deviations are immediately visible.

According to

Falcker, there is a lot of need to manage storage tanks and other industrial installations smarter in view of the energy transition. That is why the inspection work is increasingly being carried out by drones and robots. The disadvantage of this is that until recently, a pilot had to be present on location. That was why scaling up was difficult.

This led to the ambition to further automate the execution of the flights and the data processing. To this end, Falcker entered into a partnership with Symbioo, developer of the modern application platform OutSystems. In combination with an automated drone box system, which the regulations have recently been providing for, it is now possible to have inspections carried out automatically and process the data directly in the cloud.

With the help of advanced cameras under the drone, 360-degree photographs are taken in which material degradation, gas emissions, temperature (insulation) and deformation are recognized. These photos are uploaded in the cloud environment of the drone box that is linked to the Falcker platform. After that, all individual photos are merged into one photo and inspected using a technique developed by Falcker.

Data-driven working

“When driving a drone, a pilot is needed on location and you are more dependent on the weather forecasts. This is not the case with a drone-in-box. We’ve wanted to roll out our Falcker platform wider for a long time, but it’s not feasible to have vans and pilots ride around with drones. Let alone abroad. This innovation offers us countless new opportunities and is pioneering in our industry. Without OutSystems, we probably could never have realized this data-driven drone-in-box solution,” says Duco Boer, CIO at Falcker.

Bart Meursing, VP EMEA North at OutSystems: “Retrieving inspection data from storage tanks with the drone-in-box system is a prime example of data-driven work. Falcker primarily collects many valuable data and has developed a state of the art digital platform with Symbioo that then processes the data.”

(source: press release)