Easily Update your Power Plant CAD models through 3D Laser Scanning

Power Plant 3D Scanning

3D Scanning for your power plant project

3D scanning a power plant  is not an easy thing to do. The sheer size and complexity of a power plant makes the job a challenging one. However, our customers agree that 3D scanning is worth the effort and cost because of the many benefits that 3D technology brings to project engineering. Using digital 3D scan information as an as-built reference, engineers can design complicated retrofits and upgrades that fit with existing equipment the first time, avoiding costly and usually inevitable engineering errors or miscalculations. For example, you can route new piping and duct around existing structural steel with very high precision, down to 1/4″ for highly precise design work. This helps the actual installation to go smoother and faster, resulting in less delays and downtime. 

3D technology makes engineering and design work easier to do.  People have a natural sense for things they are doing are inefficient, and have an natural desire to work smart and efficiently. So even there were not huge cost savings to be found (which there are). just for the simple fact that it will reduce the difficulty of engineering tasks and make the job more enjoyable increases morale.

But the biggest reason to do it is to position your organization to be prepared for the future, when 3D engineering is the standard. You won’t be left behind when your competitors embrace 3D engineering, in fact you’ll be far ahead. 

3d scanning can help your engineering team

3D scanning has the ability to accurately capture everything that is seen in any particular location, including structural steel, ducting, and even small stuff like lights and handrails. It provide engineers a “digital twin” to refer to.  Within this digital plant they can look around, take measurements, and even create 3D models and 2D drawings that can be used to support specific projects. We can also create these types of useful items for you should you need that service. The resulting CAD drawings and models created from 3D scans will put your engineers’ minds at ease knowing that they are working with current information and they can design with confidence. This is critical for minimizing interferences and choosing the optimal and least invasive locations for new or retrofit equipment. 

What are the steps for power plant 3D scanning?

1. Identify the scanning scope area
2. Capture a series of scans
3. Merge the scans
4. Align the scans with plant coordinates
5. Produce a 3D cad model or other desired deliverable.

what does power plant 3D scanning cost?

Power plant 3D scanning starts at about $3,000 and can range up to  tens of thousands depending on the scope area and type of files delivered.

what is the process like?

3D laser scanning works by capturing a 360-degree sweep of all nearby of equipment in a single scan. By merging multiple scans, sections of the plant may be captured in a single day. Highly congested areas can be scanned in this manner. 3D scanners are capable of taking measurements accurate to 1/4” from a distance of 100 meters or more, resulting in accurate as-built data. The ability to capture measurements from a distance can increase safety and reduce scaffolding expenses. The resulting 3d scans provide a wealth of data from which can be extracted CAD model, panoramic imagery, ortho-images and other useful aids to your projects.

Leica 3D scanner
Typical scanner used to scan a power plant

Are there limitations to the size of plant you can scan?

Great news! We can scan anything from very small plant sections to huge plants. Large scanning projects are made manageable through the use of coordinate systems and breaking the big scan into smaller parts. 

Is the process safe?

The process requires standard safety precautions, similar to that of a photographer or surveyor. It is completely unintrusive and will not interrupt or interfere with operations. 

Can multiple scanners be used?

Yes! We can utilize a technique called swarm scanning, where multiple scanners are used simultaneously to rapidly capture the area. Different types of scanners can be utilized to take advantage of their strengths. For example, a Leica C10 may be used outside, and a RTC360 may be used inside. 

how accurate is power plant 3D scanning?

Scans are typically accurate to about 1/8″. Accuracy over large areas can be achieved by combining the scanning with total station survey techniques.  

Examples of point clouds and CAD models created from power plant 3d scanning

Here are some examples of plants that have been scanned for clients.  

3d scan power plant
flying between two turbine train skids
Small turbine train
CAD model over point cloud
Coal unit in the Heartland

interested in having your power plant scanned?

call 866-687-7784 or email [email protected] to get started with reverse engineering services.

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