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Veolia Water Increases Safety and Efficiency Of Their Inspections with Elios 3

Advancing drone technology and equipment that’s more user-friendly is changing the inspection landscape. More companies than ever are starting to see the advantages.

The following details a case study featuring global water and wastewater player, Veolia, which was one of the first mega-industries to add cutting-edge unmanned flying inspection vehicles to their testing armoury.

The Background

Since 2016, water and wastewater giant, Veolia, has deployed a large fleet of first-generation Elios 2 drones for inspection purposes. In 2023 they were keen to discover if the upgraded Elios 3 technology could further drive down the non-destructive testing (NDT) asset inspection process.

Seven years had passed since they first rolled out their extensive drone inspection programme. Since then, using these advanced remote inspection drones for visual inspection and maintenance planning of the company’s extensive networks of sewer networks and pipelines (and that of their customers), has proved highly beneficial. Julien Maj, Veolia Water Services Manager, was keen to see how the upgraded Elios 3 could improve this further.

The Shortfalls

Maj put together a wish list of what it was hoped the new tech might achieve before testing the upgrade version:

  • To be easier to fly
  • To have an extended performance range
  • To return an even higher level of testing data
  • To be able to fly within even more confined spaces
  • To further reduce inspection time
  • To virtually eliminate the need to send workers into dangerous environments

The Solution

Elios 3 and its associated software, Inspector 4.0, brings technological advances that wholly upscale the inspection process.

Addressing each of the above points, after testing the upgraded drone it was confirmed that:

  • Elios 3 is much easier to fly than its predecessor.
  • The range and handling performance provides more value from each inspection flight.
  • The quality of testing data was far superior. This is thanks to the iDAR technology and 3D model production that was compatible with Veolia’s GIS systems and georeferencing.
  • Thanks to the increased ease of handling, it was possible to use Elios 3 to inspect even more industrial assets, including storage basins and aeration passes.
  • The improved quality of data and image collection meant that many inspections could very often take place without any cleaning or preparation. This dramatically sped up the inspection process.
  • Elios 3 has enabled Veolia to virtually eliminate the need for humans to enter hazardous environments.

The trial was wholly a success. With safety at the very pinnacle of requirements, the company was delighted to report that,

 “Today, thanks to Elios 3, we’ve effectively eliminated most of the risks associated with [the inspection of] these confined spaces”.

The technology is now in daily use across the entire Veolia Water portfolio. The tech is revolutionising inspection challenges, reducing costs, increasing safety and improving the process in its entirety

Contact us to find out more about the Elios 3  BVLOS drone or any of our other drone products, or request a quote online.

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