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EU chemical manufacturer uses automated thermal drones for daily risk analysis

Armor Group, a leading European manufacturer of industrial inks, said it has started using a drone-in-a-box solution for daily monitoring and preventive inspection at a French manufacturing site whose atmosphere has been classified as ” potentially explosive”. The company’s La Chevrolière site now benefits from the Hoverseen automatic docking system for Parrot ANAFI thermal drones.

The La Chevrolière unit of the Armor group is dedicated to the manufacture of inking rollers for printing barcodes and flexible photovoltaic films. It is located in a suburban area, about 5 km from Nantes airport.

Welcoming a workforce of 350 people over an area of ​​9 hectares, the site combines a double explosive risk (ATEX) and an environmental risk (ICPE), according to European standards.

Conventionally, the safety and security of the La Chevrolière site are ensured using a network of surveillance cameras, a video management solution and a team of on-site security officers.

However, this arrangement did not fully cover all parts of the site, thus limiting the inspection of many hard-to-reach areas to a few annual interventions. Thus, the company has embarked on the exploration of drone solutions with three main objectives: to optimize the monitoring of premises, to reinforce the safety of people and to reduce the risk of fire.

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Hoverseen automatic docking system for Parrot ANAFI thermal drones

Armor Group says it chose the Hoverseen system because it was compatible with its previous video management solution and was, essentially, “as easy as adding a new IP camera”. The company connected the docking station to its private and secure internal network and obtained authorization to fly without a remote pilot from the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC).

Hoverseen Drone Dock

The system defined the shortest and safest drone surveillance paths for areas that were typically overlooked during manual inspections. And today, the La Chevrolière site performs several automatic flights a day, without a remote pilot, and under the supervision of security guards.

The drone company Parrot explains in its Blog:

They launch the flights and observe the video feedback in real time on the security screens. Within minutes, they have a complete aerial view of the terrain. They can visualize areas that are difficult to access or difficult to control, such as the roofs of buildings or delivery docks.
Their movements on site are thus more limited, and the associated risk is reduced, particularly in the event of intrusion.

In addition, for preventive maintenance, the Parrot ANAFI thermal drone is configured to watch for unusual temperature variations or an abnormal situation in a difficult-to-access area.

Armor Group claims that the ability to identify risky situations well in advance of an incident allows the company to quickly determine the right course of action. In addition, the firm keeps the aerial images after the flights, so that they can be used to analyze the evolution of the site over time.

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