Kespry offers pulp and paper industry’s first drone-based aerial intelligence

Menlo Park, CA-based Kespry offers what it terms the pulp and paper industry’s first drone-based aerial intelligence solution which delivers more accurate and timely supply chain material inventory data while improving site operations and safety.

Pulp and paper companies often face several issues when it comes to inventory and supply chain logistics. Infrequent surveys of wood chip piles and round wood inventory cannot provide the daily or weekly data required to optimize production in a business that often adapts to demand on a daily basis.

Using third-party surveyors limits the frequency of inventory data capture due to the high cost of the services. Many of the manual or third-party approaches to measuring material volumes are inaccurate, further complicating the process of optimizing inventory to meet demand profitably. Finally, many pulp and paper producers struggle to plan and lay out their production or storage sites as they lack up-to-date site survey data which can also affect employee safety on those sites.

“Measuring chip piles at a pulp mill has always been a challenge. In the past, a team of surveyors would climb onto the chip pile and arrive at a manual measurement,” said Mitch Dunlop, accounting manager, Celgar, a leading North American pulp and paper organization.

“This method is slow, poses safety concerns and is not very accurate. Hiring a contractor for monthly surveys of the chip pile was not economically feasible. Having the Kespry drone on site, we can survey the chip pile every month and we have more accurate inventory volume reporting.”

Kespry provides mills with highly-accurate survey and inventory data across both production facility and round-wood storage sites - data that match the update frequency required to optimize profitability of the supply chain as well as more effective site planning.

Mills are able to optimize not only the efficiency of a site lay-out and where material is stored but also the benefits spread throughout an entire team. For example, site controllers can confidently reconcile inventory data with accurate survey data, operation teams can optimize on-site logistics and schedules to accommodate production demand and supply managers are able to improve customer material handling with frequent real-time inventory assessments.

“Paper production plants can process millions of cubic metres of wood material annually and tracking such a high volume of inventory can be challenging,” said George Mathew, CEO and chairman, Kespry. “Moving away from expensive third-party surveyors by having an accurate drone solution available to fly on-demand results in more precise and frequent inventory assessments and, ultimately, improved profitability.”


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