Cyberhawk Innovations, the world leader in drone inspection and survey, was chosen by Siemens to carry out close visual inspections of three converter stations belonging to transmission system operator TenneT, at the European Economic Zone in December 2016.
Having undertaken more than 20,000 commercial flights, Cyberhawk was chosen due to its extensive experience in successfully inspecting offshore turbines and met masts, as well as its visual asset management software, iHawk.
Cyberhawk mobilised a two-man team to undertake the inspections, completing the entire project in seven days. This is less than half the time traditional methods would take. The alternatives, which include using rope access or elevated platforms, would not only have increased man hours on site, but also involved working at height, thus exposing personnel to more danger. Harsh winter conditions also presented challenges for the pilot, which is the reason Cyberhawk mobilises only its most highly trained personnel offshore.
The use of its asset management software, iHawk, allowed Siemens to access high definition images of the entire converter station structure, and quickly see the defects identified. This quality of the data, and speed in which it was provided, helped quick and effective asset management decisions to be made.
Thanks to Cyberhawk’s inspection team working closely and effectively with a third-party maintenance team in a single mobilisation, the project proved to be extremely time and cost efficient for Siemens.