Keeping track of inventory on the ground keeps aggregate companies running efficiently while controlling costs. There are drawbacks to having too much or too little, but that’s not what we’re going to get into in this post. The question we want to answer is, “I want to start keeping closer track of our inventory. What’s better for measuring stockpiles, a drone or belt scales?”
Cost to Implement a Drone Program vs Belt Scales:
Implementing a drone measuring program is substantially less expensive. If you were to buy a new drone, a new iPad, and Botlink mapping software you are only looking at a fraction of the price of implementing a belt scale into your operation. This allows you to keep costs low and spend less money on the tools you are using to measure.
Time to Implement a Drone Program vs Belt Scales:
You can set-up the Botlink program from start to finish with actionable data in less than three hours. That's downloading the app, flying the piles, uploading the images, and waiting for processing. That is a significant reduction in time, which will save you a good deal of money in the long run and make measuring incredibly simple.
Time to Receive Measurements from a Drone vs Belt Scales:
Most aggregate sites can be flown in a single flight (less than 20 minutes), and data can be uploaded and processed in less than an hour. This means that you are getting accurate measurements within a very short time span making the process of measuring much easier and less of a hassle.
Measurement Accuracy of a Drone vs Belt Scale:
Drones have been proven to be incredibly accurate - the biggest companies in the world use them to keep track of inventory. Belt scales can be accurate too, but there's a lot of moving pieces on a scale that if not dialed in 100% can result in inaccurate results. Getting belt scales to be as accurate as companies want them to be takes time and expertise. Those two things add up to money, which is another reason why belt scales can be less cost effective to use. Once you have the drone and software there are no other charges and you are able to measure at any time with little set-up to do so.
Maintenance of a Drone vs Belt Scale:
Belt scales are going to eat up time in maintenance, that's just a fact of life with machinery. Most belt scales need professional maintenance when something goes wrong and completely puts a stop to production and measuring. This means you are spending money instead of making it. There's not much to maintain with a drone program, other than charging the batteries. This means less time worrying about malfunctions and more time focusing on the tasks at hand.