As anyone in quarry management knows, keeping tabs on your stockpiles is a critical yet time consuming task.
Using volumetrics to measure stockpiles is one of the obvious use cases for drones, delivering immediate cost saving and improved oversight almost immediately. It’s also quite simple to get started.
Most quarry stockpiles can be captured by a drone in less than an hour. Once the data has been processed, getting accurate volumes can take as little as one minute per stockpile.
A real world example is a customer’s quarry that typically has 14 – 18 stockpiles with a range of materials including scalp, MFS and 20mm. Using the traditional “walkthrough” approach, volumetric survey takes roughly a day to complete.
They now fly a DJI Phantom 4 Pro across the sales yard in 15 minutes, with the entire operation taking less than 40 minutes. At the end of the flight, they upload the data to the Propeller Platform, which processes it into a 3D map within 24 hours.
They then use our polygon tool to mark out the boundary of each stockpile. Each polygon they create automatically calculates the volume of the stockpile. Marking out each stockpile takes them less than a minute, so the entire inventory can be done in under 20 minutes.
Quarry staff tested the data by running a drone survey and manual walk through in parallel. Comparing the data from both methods they found the variances to be within their accepted levels, with some variances under 1%.
The trick to getting the most accurate volumetric results is to put as many points in the polygon as possible so that it closely traces the base of the stockpile pile. We’ve recently enhanced our Polygon tool that makes it much easier to do this, by allowing you to edit any polygon, line or other annotation you create.
Using this feature, which is available on the Propeller Platform under “Viewer 2.0” tab, you can quickly roughly mark out the stockpile and then refine it by navigating around the stockpile so you can edit the edge from every angle.
See how easy it is below:
With this sort of accuracy, not only is using drone data faster and cheaper than the old manual method, it’s also a lot safer to fly a drone than have people unnecessarily walk through a busy yard.
Visit our Mining ad Quarrying page for more information about using Propeller on your work sites.