10.30.18 Paul Ross

Maximizing Mine and Quarry Profitability With Kespry’s New Stockpile Measurement Solution Featuring DJI Drones

Today, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with DJI that will deliver a new solution to support our customers’ needs to measure all of their stockpiles across mining and aggregate sites. This solution, available first quarter of 2019, delivers the unique Kespry autonomous flight and aerial intelligence experience for capturing data for stockpile measurement using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone. This new solution will enable our customers to greatly scale the number of sites and stockpiles they’re able to manage using Kespry’s inventory management capabilities. These capabilities are used to drive the profitability of sites by avoiding inventory write-downs, costly overproduction, and missed revenue due to insufficient material to meet customer orders.

There are three reasons for us to release this new solution:

  1. We’re able to offer the unique Kespry experience—from autonomous drone flight, data capture and upload, to the Kespry cloud for analysis, to our drone uptime guarantee—using the DJI Mavic Pro 2 to capture data. Using this mass-produced drone enables us to offer our market-leading stockpile measurement capabilities at a lower cost, thus enabling our customers to deploy it to more sites. We have more and more clients who need to scale their Kespry deployments to tens of sites, so having a drone solution that scales with that will allow us to serve those customers better than ever.
  2. The opportunity for our enterprise customers to more easily standardize how they capture and analyze inventory data. There’s no doubt DJI is leading the way for mass-produced, highly-capable drones that can meet the needs of our customers on the most frequent task they do when measuring inventory. Having more drones deployed across sites meets the needs of sales, finance, and operations teams to work with consistent, accurate data. Our user Kyla Jungclaus, a Senior Accountant at Brannan Companies, puts this in the context of running a profitable operation: “We’re growing our business and recently acquired some new sites. We need all of our inventory to be done in just a couple of days, so introducing the DJI drone to have another pilot surveying at some of our other locations will get inventory done even faster. I know our measurements will be consistent and accurate even if I don’t do them myself, and I can manage them all in a single account in the Kespry cloud.”
  3. Integrating DJI’s drone to capture data for the Kespry cloud is the next innovation in our efforts to develop an industrial sensor platform and network. The Mavic 2 Pro has an excellent camera and new visual data sensor. Expanding the scope of data we can analyze via that sensor is the next step on our journey towards building that network. We recently delivered a unique high-definition thermal inspection drone that brings radiometric temperature data to our platform, and we’ll soon integrate other sensor datasets (some not even captured using drones). We genuinely believe creating the industrial sensor network will enable even more opportunities for customers to monitor, inspect, and survey their assets in ways that will further drive profitability for organizations, empowerment for workers, and safer workplaces.

You can see the forthcoming Kespry stockpile measurement solution in action below, along with the perspective of some of our existing users on what adding this means for their use of Kespry.

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Here are some frequently asked questions we’ve received from customers we’ve worked with to develop the DJI-based solution.

Why add a DJI drone to your mining solutions?
This is the latest in a number of innovations to add more data and data sources for analysis to the Kespry cloud. Like adding radiometric thermal data, including a DJI drone as a data capture system enables us to expand the range and depth of data on our platform at a cost-effective price for our customers. Put simply, using the DJI Mavic 2 Pro to capture data for our stockpile measurement solution allows us to offer our solution at the scale that our customers are asking for, enabling more sites and piles to be measured.

What will the price of the new stockpile measurement solution, using the DJI drone, be?
We’ll announce the specific price of the new offer once it’s ready to ship in Q1 of 2019. However, it will be in line with the price point we’ve been offering the Kespry 2 to customers. Any current Kespry customers who have questions about how the new solution affects them should discuss this with their Kespry Account Manager.

Is Kespry going to force me to replace my Kespry drone with a DJI drone?
No. All customers using the Kespry 2, Kespry 2s, Kespry 2t, or Kespry 2i drone solutions can continue to use their current drone. For Kespry 2 customers specifically, once the new solution is available, we’ll replace those drones with DJI Mavic 2 Pros if and when they returned to us for repair or replacement and will do that in consultation with the customer.

Will the new DJI-based solution offer the same features as the current Kespry 2 solution?
Yes. All the autonomous flight, automated data upload, and Kespry cloud capabilities will be available. At launch, the only difference will be the acreage that can be surveyed in a single mission with the DJI solution being smaller. An enhancement to this feature is expected to be available shortly after launch, removing any difference in core capability between the Kespry 2 and new DJI-based solution.

Does this mean that Kespry is no longer developing and manufacturing their own drones?
Absolutely not. In fact, we’re going to be manufacturing more Kespry drones than ever to meet customer demand for highly-accurate inventory management, surveying, and inspection. The DJI drone is exclusively for stockpile measurement use cases. We’ll continue to innovate and provide the Kespry 2s solution for inventory management and mine planning, the Kespry 2i solution offering rapid and accurate roof inspections, and the Kespry 2t for industrial thermal inspection—each using the Kespry drone platform.

When will the new solution be available?
We expect the new solution to ship in the first quarter of 2019. Today, we’re testing and developing the solution with customers to ensure we meet the accuracy, ease of use, and reliability that customers expect from a Kespry drone solution.

Can customers use their own DJI drones to capture data?
No. Only a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone provided by Kespry can be used to capture data for upload to the Kespry cloud. Kespry will continue to offer a complete solution which means customers to don’t have to manage or maintain a fleet of drones. However, one of the drivers to create this integration is to enable further innovation in the types and sources of data that the Kespry cloud can consume. This means we’ll continue to innovate on the sources of data, including third-party drones, that we will support on our platform.

How can you guarantee the quality of your system and the accuracy of data without using your own drone?
We’ve worked in close partnership with DJI to ensure the Mavic 2 Pro adheres to our exacting standards. It’s the first mass-produced drone that meets the data quality and accuracy bars for stockpile measurement that our customers demand. Embedding it as part of the complete Kespry solution will ensure the same customer flight, data capture, and support experience as they receive using a Kespry drone.

What are you doing to address the data security concerns of using drones manufactured by a Chinese company?
We take our customer’s data security very seriously and have ensured any data captured using DJI drones is only transmitted to and stored within the existing, secure Kespry cloud. No data will be transmitted to DJI systems in China.

Will you eventually replace all Kespry drones with DJI systems?
No, we have no plans to do that. This is about offering the best of all worlds to our customers. They require a range of capabilities, some of which can only be delivered through Kespry drones. For example, in roof inspection, we offer roof claims inspection resolution in as little as an hour. This requires the accuracy and resolution of a 50mm lens, precision landing, and a virtual test square, both delivered through the Kespry 2i. For mining and aggregates companies, if they’re just focused on using drones for stockpile measurement, then the new DJI solution can meet their needs. Other organizations are looking for highly-accurate data to drive inventory management, mine planning, and site operations (to improve safety and operational efficiency). This requires the Kespry 2s system delivering accuracy down to 2-5cm. Thus, we’ll continue to develop and enhance the right solution to meet that need, including developing the Kespry drone platform further.

We are excited to be able to bring this new solution to market early in 2019. We know that having consistent and reliable access to accurate inventory data can make a real difference to the profitability of mining and aggregate companies. Partnering with DJI will make that a reality for more Kespry customers.