3D laser scanning for chemical plant applications 

Piping equipment is one of the best applications for 3D laser scanning. The ability to accurately map structural elements allows engineers to avoid conflicts that in the past would not have been caught until the construction phase. The accuracy, time savings, and most important safety; make 3D scanning the most complete way to as-built these facilities. There are many distinct advantages of using 3D laser scanning for chemical plant applications. In this blog by Hive Virtual Plant, we talk about 3D laser scanning for chemical plant and industrial plant applications. 

How the data from 3D Laser Scanning is used 

Just as engineering is more than providing construction drawings, three-dimensional scanning is more than just providing point cloud data. The scanning consultant should not be a one- dimensional solution provider. Although the point cloud data can be considered a commodity to be purchased at the lowest cost, there is a significant value-add from engineering consultants who can integrate the 3D scan with the proposed new work. 

The value of 3D laser scanning lies in how the data is used after the scan. If the point cloud data is used only as an image of the proposed work area, the advantages of laser scanning have been lost. Once again, if your laser scanning consultant does not integrate an engineering solution directly into the point cloud, then the technology has not been used to its greatest advantage. 

What are some questions to ask to define the project purpose? 

Understanding the purpose of the 3D laser scanning project will set the tone for additional conversations related to the project. Several common questions are: 

  • Is the 3D scanning to be used to as-built an existing process or facility? 
  • Is the 3D scanning needed for a future project where the scope is still being defined? 
  • How large is the area to be scanned? 
  • Is an existing process or structure being modified? 
  • Are there specific interest points, such as tie-points or other critical information, that need to be captured? 
  • What level of detail is required for the 3D scan? 
  • Is the area to be scanned electrically classified? 
  • Is the work inside or outside? 
  • Does information related to exterior building walls or elements located above the roof need to be captured by the 3D scan? 
  • Are there multiple levels that require scanning? 

Point cloud usage 

The most important reason for 3D laser scanning is to collect data on the existing process or facility. There can be significant advantages to having the Engineer of modeling and scanning provide services rather than “scanning only” companies. The engineer can integrate the proposed design directly into the point cloud to create an augmented reality model showing existing information and new work sharing the same space. 

As the project develops, the 3D model/point cloud is very useful for coordination and communication between the engineer and owner. Once the model is developed, plan and elevation drawings can be automatically created, with annotation of the drawings to be completed by a designer. 

There are many reasons why you would want to employ 3D laser scanning for your chemical plant applications. For more information about this technology, we encourage you to get in touch with the professionals at Hive Virtual Plant. Click here to find our contact information.