Since last year, the factories of Córdoba and Niebla in Spain have been pioneering a project that involves the use of drones to confirm the inventory of bulk materials stored outdoors. The project evolved from the basic need to find a safer solution to the regular procedure in which a technician would have to climb the piles of bulk materials in order to assess the inventory.
Using drones also makes it possible to access spaces otherwise inaccessible to people, such as areas near cliffs or clearings surrounded by trees. In addition, photographs taken by the drones show the actual appearance of the land and provide important data such as terrain elevation, volume, area, distance, among others.
The programmed flight happens at an altitude of more than 100 m or 328 feet. Takeoffs and landings are controlled by a licensed drone pilot and only last a few minutes. Time saving is certainly another advantage; it only takes eight minutes to cover an area of 10 hectares, or approximately 25 acres, with previously unattainable precision.
As a next step, testing is being conducted to understand how to best use drones during mineral exploration in the Campiñuela Alta concession, at the Córdoba plant.
The use of drones is thus a safer, faster and more reliable way to do inventory control.