Rock Products

OCT 2016

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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24 • ROCK products • October 2016 www.rockproducts.com Drones A ggregates producers are quickly finding out that automated drone systems can improve how a company measures aggregate stockpiles, and save them a lot of money. Like many aggregate companies, Whita- ker Contracting and Madison Materials have measured stockpiles for decades using a combination of employees on the ground and third-party surveyors, per the following: •  Employee – Each of the three sites has 30 large stockpiles, and it took a full week to collect and analyze each site. Surveys happened four times per year and resulted in 576 annual man hours, at $30 per hour and $17,280 annual employee time cost. •  Equipment – Finance team estimated that the survey and GPS equipment costs the company $11 per hour, which is another $4,752 annual equipment cost. •  Third Party – Whitaker also hired third-party surveyors to assist with stockpile measurements, mostly with end-of-year inventory, and did one survey by ground at a cost of $4,800, and one by air at a cost of $11,000, or a $15,800 total annual cost for third- party measurement. Combined, the previous annual cost of measuring the Whitaker stockpiles was $37,832 with a six-times-per-year frequency. New Method With the Kespry Automated Drone System, Whitaker pays for the system up-front and then can measure as many sites and stockpiles as they want on their own. The new process is faster and cheaper, according to the company. • Employee – The same employee flies the Kespry automated drone over each site, taking just a few hours per site. For this reason, Whitaker has increased their stockpile measuring frequency to 12 times per year, result- ing in 144 annual man hours at $30 per hour and $4,320 annual employee time cost. Drone Makes Stockpile Cost Savings Fly High Accurate Measurement Of Inventory Can Save Aggregates Producers Time And Money. By Mark S. Kuhar

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