inFlights started working with BESIX in November 2017. Together they tested how insights based on drone data can be integrated in the inventory management workflow of BESIX' asphalt production sites. Since February, inFlights provides monthly volume measurements on all Belgian BESIX Infra sites. Next to that they have also inspected hard to reach assets and did thermal infrared analysis of newly finished buildings for Besix.
Milan Reniers (Digital mapping engineer at BESIX): “When we started working with inFlights, our main concern was to be able to get reliable measurements and merge this seemingless in our processes. How did you manage to get this done?”
inFlights: “As a tech-based company that uses drone technology and data to provide insights for industrial businesses, we believe that our clients should not handle or worry about any of the different procedures linked to the flights that need to be performed. That is why it is in our DNA to provide an all-in-one solution for our customers. Once we have analysed their requests, we manage to find the drone pilots, get all the legal procedures done efficiently, supervise the flights and process all the collected data to bring valuable insights for their businesses, all integrated into their processes. In the case of Besix that meant carefully listening to your current processes and making sure that our solution fitted right in. The BESIX team did not need to learn new software because our results were adapted to the existing software.”
M: “You are now the largest drone supplier for BESIX world wide. We feel this is because inFlights willing and able to go the extra mile…”
inFlights: “At inFlights, our main goal is to help the client, and thus to have a close cooperation. We try to be attentive to what the client wants to reach with the flights, and make sure that what we deliver easily fits in the way of working of the client. We adapt ourselves and the output to their current workflow, so that employees do not have to deal with new software etc. Furthermore, being a team of engineers makes the cooperation with clients more powerful. This is especially true when our end product has to answer to various technical requirements.”
M: “What about your platform? What is your vision on that?”
inFlights: “The purpose of the platform is to make things as easy as possible for our clients. Once they are logged in, they can book a flight in just a few clicks. We also make a point of keeping them aware of each step of the procedure. We create transparency towards the client of every step that is taken care off, that is in progress or that will be tackled in a later stage. At the end, clients are able to access all the data and insights they needed via the platform.”
M: “At BESIX, we needed to perform measurements in different sites at the same time, how did you make that possible?”
inFlights: “One of our biggest strengths is working with an important network of certified drone pilots based not only in Belgium, but across the world. That is how we manage to perform different types of flights on short notice. We also make sure that pilots know exactly how to perform the flight, and we focus on legally sound and safe flights. Our long experience in the sector also allows us to be sure that flights are done with the right drone with the right quality.”
M: “Where does inFlights want to be in three years?”
I: “Our main goal is making it even easier to order and follow up drone flights. We will continue integrating our services and the results even better into our clients’ systems.
More importantly, we will invest in developing cutting edge algorithms and processes to ensure the right insights are generated at very high speeds. This will bring substantial time savings to our clients, and hence substantial benefits to the bottom line.”
M: “To conclude: what was your nicest flight with BESIX?”
I: “Well, there are quite a few spectacular flights we had together… Be it standing on the top of a new building at 7 in the morning, inspecting the internal coating in a chimney in Ghent, or even watching in awe as pigeons come dangerously close to the drone that was intruding ‘their’ area. Good times! (laughs)”
Hugo De Blauwe and Pierre Maere, two passionate drone lovers, founded inFlights in 2016. Hugo, a private pilot, worked more than 7 years at McKinsey with a focus on aerospace industry. 10 years ago he designed control systems for drones at Georgia Institute of Technology. He also has a engineering degree from KULeuven. Pierre worked at AB InBev for 4 years and has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from TUDelft. He performed research with the first iPhone operated drone and wrote a journal article on planning strategies for drones, both at MIT in Massachusetts, USA. He has been flying gliders from the age of 16, before he could drive.
More info on www.inflights.eu