Monday 10th Aug, 2020

Boral adopts drones for quarry stockpile reporting during COVID-19

Boral Australia has implemented a distributed drone network to undertake volumetric stock measurement at its quarries in response to COVID-19.
Image Credit: Boral Australia

Boral Australia has implemented a distributed drone network to undertake volumetric stock measurement at its quarries in response to COVID-19.

As part of its internal and external requirements, Boral must measure stockpiles on each of its quarries around the country to account for the amount of stock on the ground.

Traditionally, this process has been done with an aircraft. However, with restrictions on interstate travel due to COVID-19, this is not possible at most sites.

To solve this, Boral has partnered with a national network of local and licenced drone operators, called BIRDI, to capture stockpile data from quarries and upload it to a dedicated team of volumetric measurement specialists for processing and reporting results.

Over two days, 50 local operators captured 57 sites using standardised methods to capture the volumetric data.

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Boral Australia National Quarries General Manager Shane Braddy said the integration of drone operations was a cost-effective way for Boral to complete the reporting and comply with the strict safety regulations during COVID-19.

“Recent advancements in capture technology and mapping software have resulted in increased accuracy for the purposes of volumetric assessments,” Braddy said.

“By leveraging this improved technology, we have been able to improve efficiency and reduce costs”.

BIRDI CEO Sebastian Robertson said in the current environment, it was important for any business to review every step of their operation to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.

“Safety was the number one priority and was carefully considered in every step of the process,” Robertson said.

“It was great to work with Boral and demonstrate the national reach and responsiveness of our network. The turnaround was swift and the collaborative nature of the engagement meant that output needs were clear from the start.”