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Case Study: Use of Drone Technology for an Internal Tank Inspection

Presenter: Bradley Owen
Sr. Specialist – Asset Health Monitoring, Cameco Corporation - Cigar Lake
As part of its digital transformation efforts in the area of physical asset management, Cameco is continuously exploring the use of IIoT and other technologies to reduce costs, increase uptime, and reduce or eliminate safety and environmental consequences. This presentation will discuss drone technology, in particular unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and how this was utilized for an internal tank inspection at Cameco’s Key Lake operation in northern Saskatchewan. The inspection was performed as a trial to determine the feasibility of this technology for this purpose, as well as the pros and cons of establishing a company wide drone-supported inspection program. It was discovered that there are several aspects and considerations to owning and operating an aerial drone. This presentation will cover several of these aspects such as insourcing or outsourcing drone expertise, drone selection, quality of the inspection, safety, and financial analysis. The actual business analysis for this use case will also be presented. At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees will have a better understanding of whether drones could be applicable for their application, and what questions need to be asked if pursuing this technology.
About the Presenter:

Brad Owen is a member of the Asset Management and Reliability (AM&R) team in Cameco’s Operational Excellence group, where he leads the researching, trialing, implementation and execution of predictive maintenance and asset inspection technologies for Cameco’s Saskatchewan mining and milling operations.
Brad joined Cameco in 2006 and has various roles within the company all related to maintenance engineering and reliability. Previous to his current role with Cameco, he served as a Specialist – Lubrication and Industrial Fluids where he responsible for implementing and maintaining lubrication programs at Cameco’s operations.

Brad holds the following professional designations: Applied Science Technologist (A. Sc.T.), Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) through PEMAC, and Machine Lubrication Engineer (MLE) through the International Council for Machinery Lubrication. Brad has been featured in several magazine and online articles including: Machinery Lubrication Lube Room Challenge (Dec 2016), Machinery Lubrication Magazine (March-April 2017) Get to Know, Plant July/August 2018.