CASE STUDY: Scanning an Industrial Plant in the Central Coast, CA.

Heavy industrial environments are always changing, like this one we scanned near San Luis Obispo, CA. With capital projects, the stakes are high and it has to be done right. That is why this company trusted Arrival 3D to capture as-built information of their plant for engineering and planning purposes. 

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    What Was Scanned

    Our client, an innovator in renewable energy, was planning additions and improvements to their advanced manufacturing facility in California. As their trusted 3d laser scanning service provider, we have now scanned several of this companies’ facilities. They needed a unified point cloud in full color which serves as a starting point for documenting the existing structure  using 3d reality capture technology, which is where we come in.

    The 3D laser scanning process took only a couple days onsite. With the equipment being compact and clean, we were able to work around their process equipment with no impact to their operations. 

    The resulting scan data , a point cloud comprising millions of points in 3d space, was utilized by the client for both measurement and spatial planning. We also provided them the option of creating an accurate, as-built CAD model. Arrival 3D routinely provides to clients both point cloud and as-built 3D model CAD models in Revit or other common CAD formats such as DWG, STP and Solidworks. 

    Electric Vehicle Factory 3D Scan

    The Central Coast, CA facility to be 3D Laser Scanned is protected technology, so stock images are used for illustration.

    Location of Scan

    Central Coast, CA.

    scanner with piping

    3D Laser Scanning is especially useful when plant equipment has evolved from “As built” conditions and existing blueprints may not be representative.

    Scanner(s) Used

    The Arrival 3D team has a large inventory of 3D Scanners suited to a variety of tasks. The tool of choice in this scan, and often our favorite multi-tasking 3D laser scanners, are our Leica RTC360’s. Arrival 3D owns a fleet of new Leica RTC-360’s positioned strategically around the United States. We use the RTC360 frequently due to its great versatility, portable size, long range accuracy and rapid scanning capability. Here are some specs on the Leica RTC360:

    3D Laser Scanning industrial plant on the Central Coast, CA.


    Our client chose, in this case, to receive a full-color, unified Autodesk ReCap (RCP) file with color panoramic images. This file type comprises the combined points from several scans into a single, registered point cloud. The data is an accurate, full 3D representation of the subject which can be navigated through, and which can provide measurements and angles. Also included are the panoramic images created at each of the scan positions, referred to as “Viewing Bubbles”. 

    3D Laser Scanning facilitates the creation of highly accurate CAD models, a service that Arrival 3D routinely provide to our clients.

    Added Value

    Our expert 3d laser scanning team is frequently called upon to scan architectural and industrial projects where the client had attempted, unsuccessfully, to take manual measurements of the area they have intended to change. Later, having spent a great deal of time & money, and having constructed sub-assemblies that won’t fit, our team comes to the rescue with accurate 3D laser scanning services. It is quite common for existing drawings or blueprints to be out of date or missing, especially in dynamic plant environments where structures and equipment can change dimensionally over time from their initial build conditions, for countless reasons. 

    We are equipped with the 3D technology provide relief for this problem by rapidly documenting current existing conditions and providing that data to our clients in a multitude of formats, ultimately saving our clients time, trouble and valuable funding when undertaking renovation and upgrade projects. The peace of mind comes with an accurate a digital representation of the plant is priceless, and the ability to share this accurate data with the entire team instantly, and often remotely, is one of the wonderful benefits that these technologies allow us today.