Modern technologies improve the security of ORLEN’s Production Plant in Płock

​PKN ORLEN is using an unmanned aerial vehicle as a security & surveillance solution at its Production Plant in Płock. Operating in a fully automated and autonomous way, the drone helps patrol the refinery and petrochemical plant premises. The solution has been implemented under the Space3ac Scale Up II acceleration programme.

The technology employed by PKN ORLEN is executing fully automated surveillance and patrol missions over the plant’s premises. Its purpose is to minimise the human factor, while ensuring swift response to any detected threats to infrastructure security. The system, now being tested by PKN ORLEN, consists of a docking station, UAV device and application for monitoring its missions. The docking station enables the drone’s autonomous take-off/landing and battery recharge, providing shelter in between missions. Powered by six engines, the UAV can reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h.

‘Smart systems, increasingly accurate and capable of operating on an automated and regular basis, provide an alternative to traditional methods of infrastructure inspection. The drone docking station is one of the solutions delivered by our synergic cooperation with an innovative start-up on expanding the functionalities of PKN ORLEN’s security system,’ said Patrycja Panasiuk, Head of the Innovation Office at PKN ORLEN.

The UAV patrol missions are executed automatically, the drone operator having access to camera images and being able to view the mission via the dashboard. The operator is not directly involved in a patrol flight, take-off or landing procedure, his sole role being to remotely supervise the operation to ensure its security. However, the operator can step in if a mission fails or other issues come up. The course of an entire mission is controlled by a web application that enables route planning, equipment monitoring and footage viewing.

‘As we want to rely on the latest solutions in security, we are now testing a drone to check any reported attempts to enter the premises of our plant in Płock. The drone can perform such checks really fast. It will also record and send back images from the place of an incident, allowing us to check whether a security breach did indeed take place. If the testing results are positive, we could use the drone to patrol the almost 250 kilometre-long section of our product pipeline, given especially that it runs through areas difficult to reach by foot or mobile patrols,’ said Jacek Kotulski of the Control and Security Office at PKN ORLEN.

The technology is being tested under the Space3ac Scale Up II acceleration programme, intended to foster business relations between medium-sized or large enterprises and innovative start-ups. Work to deploy the technology started in May 2019, and a final decision whether to use the UAV solution on a permanent basis will be made by PKN ORLEN early next year.