simplify plant p&ID updates using 3d laser scanning

Piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s) are a fundamental tool used in engineering industrial processes. They contain a lot of information such as how pipes connect together, the direction fluids and gasses are flowing, pipe sizes and names/labels. These will be created at the design stage. But over the years as changes are made at the plant, it is often neglected to go back and update the original P&ID’s. Either that, or the updates are few and far between. If your P&ID’s are out of date, 3D laser scanning services can get them back up to par. 

Fast site capture

With a thorough scan, a 3D laser scanner will capture everything in a short period of time. Of course, the word “everything” needs to be defined and understood. By that, I mean that there is a limit as to how small of a detail will be picked up. A 1/4″ tube for example will not be captured. But if reasonable expectations are set, such as 2″ piping and above, there will be no disappointments. 3D laser scanners capture 1″ piping with ease as well, but scanning down to that diameter requires more scans, and scans must be closer to the equipment. But with today’s 3d laser scanning devices that can scan up to 2 million points per second, it is no problem. 

The gap analysis

Once the point cloud is obtained, the task becomes discovering what has changed. That is where the 3D modeling comes in. If you did not already have a 3D model to begin with, the scan can be used to create one. These are excellent engineering tools, and when used in complement to P&ID’s you have a complete picture of the plant. The gap analysis involves working with multiple sources of information including old P&ID’s, old CAD models and the point cloud or newly created CAD model. This is a research effort that can be the most difficult part of the process, as there are often conflicts that need to be resolved. 

create the 3D model

From this new wealth of information provided by 3D laser scanning services, we have the ability to begin creating the newly updated P&ID’s. These can be smart P&ID’s using software such as AutoCAD Plant 3D or CADWorx. Smart means that the P&ID’s are tied to the 3d model so that information remains consistent between the two. The CAD model and P&ID show the same things, but in different ways. The 3D CAD model shows the as-built physical dimensions of the piping and should be a mirror of what is in the field. 

CREATE any 2d drawings

There can also be 2D plan and elevation views created from this 3D model. 3D laser scanning services make it possible for these types of drawings to have accurate as-built dimensions. Without performing the scanning, it would be difficult to verify that the actual field installation has been built according to the original plans. Most often there are substantial differences in measurement. even though the general layout may be the same. 

Keeping it up to date

After performing the full P&ID update, Incremental scans can be done on a project-by-project basis using 3D laser scanning services. These “add-on” scans can be easily incorporated into the original point cloud. Keeping the data files secure and organized is an important factor here. Many companies use 3d laser scanning services only to lose track of the information a few years later and are fully benefiting from their previous work. We can help you organize a plan for maintaining and using 3D laser scanning service data. 

Keep it current with 3D laser scanning services 

One way to maintain accurate records is through 3D laser scaning. Fortunately it is accessible to anyone today with a simple phone call to a 3d laser scanning service provider like Arrival 3D. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you . 

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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