Luck Stone, the construction aggregate division of Richmond-based Luck Companies, plans to accelerate its growth in Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) technology through a new partnership with Airware, a leading national and global provider of commercial enterprise solutions for capturing and analysing aerial data.
As an early adopter of UAV technology, Luck Stone now owns a small fleet of UAVs that are deployed several times a week to collect data at many of the company’s 22 operations in Virginia and North Carolina. Another corporate investment in this fast-evolving field of expertise was dedicating an associate to be a full-time licensed UAV pilot.
“Luck Stone recognised the need to acquire greater amounts of accurate, repeatable data from the air that could be easily accessed and analysed for improved operational efficiency,” said John Blackmore, survey and mapping supervisor at Luck Stone.
“UAV technology is changing rapidly, so we began talking with Airware last year, and evaluating all of the drone solutions on the market,” he said. “We were very impressed with Airware’s advanced, end-to-end UAV data collection processes and powerful analytics tools that were developed specifically for the mining and aggregate industry, which led to this exciting partnership.”
“As one of the nation’s top aggregate producers, Luck Stone is committed to innovation in all aspects of operations,” said Mark Christian, customer engagement manager for Airware. “We are looking forward to joining forces with a company that understands the value of UAV technology and its potential to dramatically impact their business.”
While flying above the Luck Stone operations, UAVs take hundreds of aerial photos that will be uploaded to Airware’s cloud-based platform. The business intelligence resulting from those images will be used for a wide variety of decision-making purposes to include volumetric measurements, safety inspections, and pit efficiency analytics.
Earlier this year, global construction, energy and transportation manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. announced their investment in Airware through their wholly owned subsidiary, Caterpillar Ventures. “Luck Stone has a long history of working with Caterpillar, and we are excited that Airware is now a part of that relationship,” said Blackmore. “A significant draw for Luck Stone to this partnership with Airware is their integration with machine telematics data. This real-time equipment data makes it easy for anyone to view the data needed and interpret it accurately,” he added. “Our associates can access the information faster than ever before and analyse it to quickly improve our operational efficiencies at quarry sites and make better decisions for the company.”
“Luck Stone’s strong commitment to UAV technology is unprecedented for a privately-owned mining company,” said Emmanuel de Maistre, vice president of AEC Solutions for Airware. “We look forward to collaborating with them to further develop industry-specific analytics that will significantly benefit mining and aggregate enterprises.”
About Luck Stone Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Luck Stone is the nation’s largest family owned and operated producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel. A responsive and creative partner to the construction, civil engineering and environmental industries, Luck Stone provides consistent, quality aggregate materials and services that serve as the foundation of roads, bridges and buildings. Driven by a vision to positively impact communities by building value inspired by customers, Luck Stone offers more than 75 crushed stone products available in a variety of grades, colours, sizes and gradations. To learn more, visit www.luckstone.com.
About Airware Airware provides end-to-end solutions that enable enterprises to digitise their business and turn aerial data into actionable business intelligence. World-class enterprises look to Airware to improve productivity, operational efficiency, and worker safety. Airware has raised more than $90 million to date from leading venture capital investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Next World Capital, with strategic investments from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Google Ventures, Intel Capital. Airware is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has a European office in Paris, France. For more information, go to Airware.com or follow Airware on Twitter: @Airware.