Contact us About us Media far fa-map-marker-alt Find a Branch far fa-phone-alt 13 15 52 far fa-user-alt Coates Connect far fa-shopping-cart Hire Now

Equipment for Hire

Access Earthmoving Lift & Shift Site Accommodation Air & Air Accessories Floor & Cleaning Lighting Tools & Equipment Compaction Generators & Power Distribution Materials Handling Traffic Management Concrete & Masonry Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Pipeline Testing Trucks Vehicles & Trailers Confined Space Entry Ladders & Scaffolding Propping & Structural Support Water Management & Pumps Construction Lasers Landscaping Shoring Welding
Equipment for Hire
Access Earthmoving Lift & Shift Site Accommodation Air & Air Accessories Floor & Cleaning Lighting Tools & Equipment Compaction Generators & Power Distribution Materials Handling Traffic Management Concrete & Masonry Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Pipeline Testing Trucks Vehicles & Trailers Confined Space Entry Ladders & Scaffolding Propping & Structural Support Water Management & Pumps Construction Lasers Landscaping Shoring Welding View all

Engineering Solutions

Design & Installation Water Management Structural Support Traffic Management
Engineering Solutions
Design & Installation Water Management Structural Support Traffic Management View all Engineering Solutions

Industrial Solutions

Site Management Equipment & Services Technology & Innovation Industry Sectors
Industrial Solutions
Site Management Equipment & Services Technology & Innovation Industry Sectors View all Industrial Solutions

Power & HVAC

Power Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Compressed Air Service and Support
Power & HVAC
Power Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Compressed Air Service and Support View all Power & HVAC Solutions
fas fa-bars Access Air & Air Accessories Compaction Concrete & Masonry Confined Space Entry Construction Lasers Earthmoving Floor & Cleaning Generators & Power Distribution Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Ladders & Scaffolding Landscaping Lift & Shift Lighting Materials Handling Pipeline Testing Propping & Structural Support Shoring Site Accommodation Tools & Equipment Traffic Management Trucks Vehicles & Trailers Water Management & Pumps Welding View all Design & Installation Structural Support Traffic Management Water Management View all Engineering Solutions Equipment & Services Industry Sectors Site Management Technology & Innovation View all Industrial Solutions Compressed Air Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Power Service and Support View all Power & HVAC Solutions far fa-shopping-cart Hire Now far fa-user My Coates Hire far fa-map-marker-alt Find a branch far fa-phone 13 15 52 Contact us About us Media

Using drones and 3D models for asset inspection

How drone and digital twin technology reduced safety risks and saved time and money at Mt Piper Power Station

The project

EnergyAustralia is upgrading two 700MW-capacity turbines at Mt Piper Power Station near Lithgow, NSW. One turbine was taken offline for maintenance works in Q4 2020, with the second turbine due to be upgraded in Q4 2021. The upgrade means Mt Piper will be able to power an extra 55,000 homes without having to burn more coal.

Part of the maintenance works involved inspecting the concrete cooling towers for cracks and degradation. Coates visually assessed the assets and developed a digital map of the tower.

The challenge

Traditionally, cooling towers are physically inspected by engineers using EWPs or scaffolding. “They would then just use eyesight to inspect the asset and determine what maintenance is needed,” says Tristan Oxman, Business Development Manager for Industrial Services at Coates.

Manual inspections present a challenge in terms of the quality and quantity of data collected, which is often limited to drawings done by hand or photographs with accompanying notes. Along with the safety risks of working at heights, a physical inspection requires significant time and effort and incurs labour and equipment hire costs.

The solution

The drone captured images at millimetre resolution from all angles across the cooling tower. Using these photographs, a 3D model or digital twin was then created.

The 3D digital replica of the tower was uploaded to an online platform, where the model then allowed users to inspect the asset by drilling down to view concrete nodules and cracks that had been formed. Defects can then be tagged and shared with engineers regardless of their physical location globally to create a maintenance program.

“EnergyAustralia had actually used drones at Mt Piper before, but they were quite impressed by the capability of the new modelling system and its user interface,” says Tristan.

The impact

Eliminating the need for a labour-intensive manual inspection at height meant the drone inspection was both cost-effective and superior from a safety aspect.

It was also much quicker and more efficient than a physical inspection. “We got confirmation from the customer on a Thursday and then we were on site the following Tuesday,” says Tristan. The drone operator spent four hours on site and the 3D model was available three days later.

Now armed with comprehensive data for the tower, the customer can track and monitor the asset’s condition over time and compare the same asset side-by-side to develop asset history. This allows maintenance planning, schedules and preventative strategies to be developed, promoting more informed decisions earlier and saving personnel from having to work at heights, as well as time and money.

For more information on booking a drone inspection, call 13 15 52 or contact your local Industrial Solutions team

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

{{ socialIcon(api.type) }} {{ socialIcon(api.type) }} {{ socialIcon(api.type) }}
Find out how we can help with your project fas fa-phone-alt CALL US 13 15 52 Submit Enquiry

By submitting this enquiry you agree to Coates's Communications Terms & Conditions

Give us a call
fas fa-phone-alt 13 15 52 fas fa-check 24/7 Online Services fas fa-check Safety Standard Guarantee fas fa-check Same day delivery available
far fa-times-circle Your enquiry has been submitted

Thank you for your enquiry. One of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible.