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According to Bloomberg’s recent article, “more than a thousand U.S. laborers have been killed working in confined spaces in the past decade.” The usage of drones to inspect high and confined spaces is not only cost-effective, but it saves lives. Featured in the article is a DJI Matrice 200 series industrial drone purchased from our MFE Rentals Houston location to inspect plant equipment at a BASF site in Freeport, Texas.

Companies including Dow Inc., AT&T Inc., BASF SE and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have begun assembling fleets of the flying automatons to take over their most dangerous jobs. Ascending several hundred feet in the air to inspect tanks and towers, squeezing through claustrophobic tunnels to replace a faulty part, or peering into the maw of a flame-belching smokestack—all are jobs that robots are being designed to do, companies say.

“We look at these tasks and say, ‘Is there a better way that we can do this without exposing the worker to risk?’ ” said Chris Witte, manager of chemical giant BASF’s Freeport, Texas, site. “The answer is yes. We can send a drone in.” Drones now fly every day at the Freeport plant, keeping workers off scaffolding and out of tanks.

The use of drones dramatically reduces risk and saves lives. In the article, Shell’s heath and safety manager Randy Burow explains that the inspections of gas flares used to take days and it was necessary to take the system offline and hoist workers in a basket several feet high at the top of the stack. This same inspection could be completely in a couple of hours with workers safely on the ground.

MFE Rentals offers a variety of drones from top UAV manufacturers such as DJI and Flyability. We provide the equipment that will allow you to inspect the tallest heights and the most confined dangerous spaces without sacrificing human safety. To learn more about how you can save lives by implementing drone inspection, contact your nearest MFE Rentals’ rep.

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