Why 3D Laser Scanning is Essential for Industrial Plant Designs

by Engineering Geek Expert in industrial engineering including piping,
Technology advancements have significantly improved the efficiency of industrial plant design & construction projects. The software for modeling, process control, and more, along with other automation tools provide significant benefits to the industry.

A 3D laser scanning tool is one such software that has a wide-spread use among the CAD professionals and design engineers across the world. It helps reduce site visits & maintenance needs, improve safety & co-ordination, enhance engineering design accuracy, and shorten project timelines.

Though, how a 3D laser scanning technology works?

The 3D scanning device projects a laser on the surface and captures the reflection that comes back. It then analyzes and compares the differences in the frequency of the light reflected and the phase shift of the reflected wavelength. It helps the design engineer to determine the specific object’s position and acquired space in the plant.

Further, the dedicated team converts the point cloud data into a 3D model for the existing or new facility. They can help to integrate the proposed design into the point cloud and further create an augmented reality model directly.

Now, let’s look at why 3D laser scanning technology is useful for industrial plants.

Benefits of 3D Laser Scanning in Industrial Plant Design

  • Mitigates Risk: For any industrial project, the cost, timeline, and safety are some of the essential factors to be considered from start to finish. And to keep them in control, an accurate and complete as-built documentation is required. 3D laser scanning workflows help reduce the project risks. It is primarily for the brownfield projects where the site access is difficult, high energy densities are present, modular design methods are already deployed, and the project schedule is critical. As part of this, engineers can take necessary measures like:
    • Providing right and consistent as-built documentation for the overall plant layout
    • Creating digital models and drawings 
    • Updating documentation based on the CAD design specification and other diagrams
    • Analyzing the plan and crosscheck for any clashes between the existing and new design elements
    • Accommodating future expansion scope correctly
  • Reduces Budget and Duration: It is observed across industries that 3D laser scanning reduces project costs for the brownfield projects at an average of 5% to 7%. Also, it helps reduce the need for rework on any development to less than 2% compared to any other traditional methods of survey. If we consider the significance of the industrial plant designs and construction phases, these outcomes are remarkable. However, to achieve such results, the plant owners might need to make high investments in the 3D modeling solutions. Once the laser 3D scanning technology is deployed, these costs can be covered easily, in any case. According to a survey, 3D laser scanning helps compress the schedule up to 10%. For instance, projects like nuclear power generation or offshore platforms have the outage time or production values reaching up to thousands and even millions of dollars per day. And, the use of 3D laser scanning applications can help them reduce cost and schedule significantly.

  • Compliance to Safety & Regulatory Standards: The plant owners are required to follow the government policies and rules not only for the as-built but also an as-maintained condition of their industrial projects. For this, they can take help from a professional 3D modeling services company, which follows all the healthy, safety & environmental standards of the industry. Additionally, digital scanning methods are much safer than manual data capturing processes. The 3D scanning technology captures the data at a faster pace from a more reliable distance and also reduces the job site exposure for the workforce.
  • Quality Improvement: Apart from the economic advantages, laser scanning also provides many collateral benefits. It ranges from the increased ability to complete asset simulation to the improved equipment performance for training, visualization, and monitoring. Also, it provides the flexibility to accommodate the scope of project expansion for future demands. As a result, the quality and efficiency of the project improve considerably. 


3D laser scanning offers many opportunities to improve industrial plant design, construction, and operation across facilities. Toward this, an experienced and professional engineering team can efficiently convert the point cloud to 3D model. These models can then be assessed through software like CAESAR II, SolidWorks, and more. It helps analyze the risks & failures, design changes, baseline inspections, as-built drawings, and other factors for the entire plant and its assets.

As a result, EPC contractors, owners, and committed teams can achieve efficient and effective planning, execution, and maintenance of industrial engineering projects.

Sponsor Ads

About Engineering Geek Junior   Expert in industrial engineering including piping,

1 connections, 0 recommendations, 12 honor points.
Joined APSense since, November 20th, 2019, From Seattle, United States.

Created on Mar 18th 2020 08:37. Viewed 443 times.


No comment, be the first to comment.
Please sign in before you comment.