Falcker collects data with data-driven drone-in-box systems

With the help of OutSystems, Falcker takes the next step in realising its international ambitions. High-tech company Falcker retrieves inspection data from hard-to-reach and unsafe areas, such as storage tanks, with data-driven drone-in-box systems. Falcker originated in the port of Rotterdam and develops state-of-the-art digital asset care solutions for companies in the energy and petrochemical sectors. The cloud environment of the dronebox is linked to the Falcker platform. This platform was developed by Symbioo with the modern application platform OutSystems and digitises assets and creates so-called ‘digital twins’. The big advantage of a drone-in-box is that the inspector needs to spend fewer hours on location, which makes the work safer, faster and more efficient. Falcker is also taking the next step in realising its international ambitions.

The desire to scale up becomes reality

Because of the energy transition, tank operators decide to manage storage tanks smarter by investing in digital maintenance. The fact that legislation and regulations have recently permitted the use of a drone-in-box offers Falcker a solution. Due to increasing demand and the tight labour market, the high-tech company had long wanted to scale up. With the advanced cameras in the drone-in-box, 360-degree photos are taken that show material degradation, gas emissions, temperature (insulation) and deformation. These photos are uploaded to the cloud environment of the drone box which is linked to the Falcker platform. Then, using a technique developed by Falcker, all the individual photos are merged into one and inspected.

From national to international

Falcker started as a start-up five years ago with the desire to digitise the inspection work of storage tanks, for example, using robots and drones. Because of its scalability, fast development, digital security, flexibility and extensive web and mobile options, Falcker chose to build its platform on OutSystems. Moreover, OutSystems is easy to integrate with other systems. Major industry names using the Falcker platform include BP, Vopak and SABIC.

“When operating a drone, you need a pilot on location and you are more dependent on the weather forecasts. This is not the case with a drone-in-box. We have long wanted to roll out our Falcker platform more widely, but it is not feasible to have vans and pilots driving around with drones. Let alone abroad. This innovation offers us countless new opportunities and is groundbreaking in our industry. Without OutSystems, we would probably never have been able to realise this data-driven drone-in-box solution,” says Duco Boer, CIO at Falcker. “I have been working in the IT sector since 1993. During my career, working with IT systems often led to disappointment and disillusionment. Four years ago, I already suspected that OutSystems had everything to offer in terms of digitalisation. And to this day, the platform has never let me down.”

Bart Meursing, VP EMEA North at OutSystems: “Retrieving inspection data from storage tanks with the drone-in-box system is a textbook example of data-driven work. Falcker collects a lot of valuable data in the first place and has developed a state-of-the-art digital platform with Symbioo that then processes the data. We are proud of the fact that the Falcker platform is built on OutSystems. It is the basis for a new way of working at Falcker that is safer, faster and more efficient. In this way, Falcker is taking significant steps towards realising their international ambitions.”

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