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The Maintenance Management Blog

January 05, 2015

What You Need to Know About Drones

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 an 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 the 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: it's 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 CMMS 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.


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: drones — Lisa Richards on January 05, 2015