January 05, 2015
What You Need to Know About Drones
Talk of drones is everywhere. It seems you can't go a day without hearing tales of a drone taking out a group of terrorists in a country 5,000 miles away or capturing footage of a wanted criminal. The role of drones isn't limited to police and military usage, either. Drones are being used in the commercial world as well, serving as potential future delivery boys and even as toys for teenagers and adults. In this article, we will look at the role of computerized maintenance management systems in the drone industry.
In recent years, drones have hit the scene in a big way, and as the little critters become more commercially viable and continue to evolve, don't expect this technology to go away anytime soon. Even now, legislation is being worked on to pave the way for the use of drones in our day-to-day lives, dictating how they can be used by big business, law enforcement, and everyday citizens. While privacy concerns (picture flying drones with cameras outside your windows) may slow down their assimilation into society, it does not look like this will be a major hurdle to overcome.
Of course, just like any other technology, drones require plenty of maintenance to function properly, especially higher-end military units. Like any vehicle or expensive piece of machinery, drones have critical parts that can (and do) suffer from the ravages of time and wear and tear from everyday use. Consider drones deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Not only do they have to deal with sand, wind, and heat but rapid temperature changes as well, as they climb and descend into higher or lower altitudes and as temperatures drop overnight. Indeed, many have to work in a vast array of environments, including desert and mountainous regions.
In addition to day-to-day issues, drones face combat fire as well, making maintenance an exceptional challenge. And let's not forget the fact that drones do not operate themselves. It takes a sophisticated array of equipment (computers, satellites, servers, etc.) to make sure data is sent to and from these units. Imaging equipment and data analysis all play a key factor in drone usage as well.
So how is a company, organization, or government agency supposed to keep track of all of these moving parts and assets? Just like any other business or institution that has equipment that requires preventative and proactive maintenance, they should use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
In addition to serving as a maintenance system and asset tracker, maintenance software is also key in another important part of a drone"s life cycle: its manufacturing. Drones, after all, do not grow on trees and have the same assembly requirements as any other vehicle or military-grade equipment.
As drones make their way more and more into our everyday lives (think about Amazon"s recent push to have drones deliver products), the role of CMMSes can only continue to grow, along with the need for maintenance managers and reliability professionals capable of dealing with the unique (and not so unique) requirements of this cutting-edge tech.