Link up brings drone services to global energy sector

Jon Lawson

Manufacturer and industrial trainer, Advanced Industrial Solutions has formed a strategic partnership with drone provider, RectrixAS, to bring a range of new services to the oil and gas, wind and construction industries.

Together the companies will offer specialist services including visual surveys, thermal inspections and risk assessments using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) - or drone - for inaccessible places such as oil platforms or offshore wind turbines where it can be difficult, or costly, for engineers to safely reach.

This will create one of the widest range of access and inspection services available on the market. For Advanced Industrial Solutions the addition of drone inspections to its existing service portfolio, which includes rope access, will almost entirely rule out the need for expensive and risky scaffolding in the energy industry.

Mark Patterson from Advanced Industrial Solutions said: “Some of the locations we work in can be hugely difficult to inspect and survey using conventional methods. Oil platforms, for example, can be hundreds of metres high and many miles offshore making inspecting and maintaining these structures difficult and expensive.

“The benefits of using drones for these operations are extensive. You can significantly cut costs on using scaffolding and it’s much quicker. Inspection services can be performed on many areas such as flare stacks, refineries, petrochemical plants, tank batteries, drilling rigs and many other production sites from a safe manageable distance.”

RectrixAS, which was set up 18 months ago by fully qualified drone pilots Chris Young and Alex Westwood, has Civil Aviation Authority permission to fly and is successfully building its business with a number of new contract wins in the construction, oil and gas and wind sectors. 

Chris Young from RectrixAS said: “Drones are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are perfect for some of the work that Advanced Industrial Solutions does. The sensitive zoom capabilities on the cameras allow us to keep a safe distance from the structure but still get the data the client needs. The advancement of thermal imagery on UAVs also means they can identify any hot spots which could indicate a failure of a component."

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