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Boral adopt novel approach to stockpile reporting

Boral stockpiles

Company uses drone network technology for volumetric quarry stockpile reporting across Australia

BORAL Australia have used new technology to overcome COVID-19 obstacles, using a distributed drone network to undertake volumetric stock measurement at their quarries.

As part of their internal and external audit requirements, Boral are obliged carry out these measurements nationally, to account for the amount of stock on the ground.

Historically, this process has been conducted using an aircraft, but owing to restrictions on interstate travel due to COVID-19, this was not possible at most sites.

To solve the problem, Boral partnered with BIRDI – a company that uses a national network of local, fully licenced drone operators to capture stockpile data from quarries and then upload this information to a dedicated team of volumetric measurement specialists for processing and reporting results.

Over two days, 50 local drone operators used standardized methods to capture and provide volumetric data on the stockpiles at 57 sites across six states and territories.

Shane Braddy, national quarries general manager for Boral Australia, said the integration of drone operations was a cost-effective way for the company to complete the reporting and comply with the strict safety regulations during COVID-19.

‘Recent advancements in capture technology and mapping software have resulted in increased accuracy for the purposes of volumetric assessments. By leveraging this improved technology, we have been able to improve efficiency and reduce costs,’ he explained.

Sebastian Robertson, chief executive officer of BIRDI, said: ‘It was great to work with Boral and demonstrate the national reach and responsiveness of our network. The turnaround was swift and the collaborative nature of the engagement meant that output needs were clear from the start. Safety was the number one priority and was carefully considered in every step of the process.’

Mr Braddy added: ‘Boral have always remained committed to supporting the local communities in which we operate. By engaging BIRDI’s distributed network of more than 1,800 local operators, Boral were able to support local employment across the country.’

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