Quarry to use drones, AI for tracking inventory

Wendling Quarries' workers will no longer hike up frozen, snow-covered piles to survey its stockpiles and will instead rely on a fleet of drones and AI for inventory management.

Wendling, with operations in 13 counties throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, tapped Kespry to carry out inventory estimates at its operations. The drone-based aerial intelligence provider announced the deal last week

"I hated the whole process of inventory," said Tony Manatt, owner and president, Wendling Quarries, in a Kespry news release.

"It was always inaccurate, and it was always an issue to put together a team that would take care of inventory. In a couple days of surveying, we would need to measure anywhere from 100-200 irregular, frozen, snow-covered piles.

Wendling says the service is more efficient, safer and accurate. The quarry operator can also carry out more frequent surveys.

"Before, when we were using just a stick, and we had to climb to the top of those piles, we wouldn't do our inventories nearly as often," said Dylan Daehn, engineer, Wendling Quarries, in a Kespry news release.

"Now, we can go out and fly all our quarries once a month or once every other month. We used to only maybe do it once a year. I can survey a 100-plus acre site in less than an hour, and I've got all this data that is accurate down to a couple centimeters."

Creative Commons image of a quarry courtesy of coloeus&k___a