Eka Software Solutions, the leading global provider of Smart Commodity Management software solutions, partnered with the University of Adelaide to revolutionize stockpile management by using drones for commodity surveying.
State of the art drones powered with standard SLR cameras take hundreds of images of stockpiles in just a few hours, completing in one day what would typically take a piloted aircraft or individuals with hand scanners a week or more. The images are imported into Eka’s 3D Stockpile Manager which creates a real-time, extremely accurate 3D volumetric model of stockyards. Drones fly much lower than airplanes, capturing imagery at unprecedented oblique angles and enabling more accurate volumetric models (2cm variation). Unlike airplanes, drones can be set to fly with little warning, making it possible to react quickly to sudden events.
“It is an exciting opportunity to work with Eka for commodity surveying using drones and to contribute towards Eka’s integrated stockyard management software,” said Dr. Tien-Fu Lu, senior lecturer, University of Adelaide. “The benefits of this project are obvious, and teaming up with Eka to develop innovative technology for the commodities industry has been very rewarding.”
Drone surveys replace hand drawings and manual assessments, improving accuracy while drastically reducing the cost and time involved.
“We found tremendous value incorporating drone survey data into our 3D Stockpile Manager. This provides the software accurate stocktake information without the cost of a piloted survey,” said Ben Koch, director of engineering for Eka Software Solutions and leader of Eka’s drone project.
“This technology is extremely exciting to see in action and helps commodity businesses know exactly what they have in stock and what they need to purchase. Drones can save up to 50 percent of the time and 50 percent of the cost of surveying. Surveys that once took a week or more can be completed in 48 hours.”
Eka’s 3D Stockpile Manager is a web-based portal for bulk stock management that provides complete visibility of all stock. With Commodity Site Manager, site operators can define quality parameters for stock then raise orders for the movement of product, including billing information. The software gives decision makers the ability to monitor stock across an entire enterprise from the palm of their hand using a web interface and, if necessary, adjust and regrade the site stock levels.
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