Using Laser Scanning to Collect As-Is Digitized Data for Energy Assets, Engineering, and Risk Mitigation

Scanner 2

Laser Scanning Camera

Advanced technology has created a digitalized society. Data is knowledge and knowledge leads to improved performance for facility owners by reducing costs and improving efficiency. Texas Surveys has been providing laser scanning services for 3D “As-Is” digitized data since 2008. This includes collecting and digitalizing data for energy assets, engineering, and risk mitigation.

We know from experience that the “As-Is” or “As-Built” information is always different from the “As-Designed”. One must know the state of an existing facility in order to engineer an expansion or retrofit. A wise man once said; “There is only one thing worse than having no ‘As-Built’ data and that’s having incorrect ‘As-built’ data”. The “As-Is” digital data is captured in a “Point Cloud” (a scan of a facility grouped into an image much like the dots in a digital photograph), and can be collected in only a few hours; thus, reducing onsite disruption and lost income. Texas Surveys captures this data quickly and accurately, and has the capability of converting the Point Cloud into all the major 3D model formats.

Digitizing data for documenting energy assets is effective and efficient, allowing a streamlined process for identifying and cataloging existing equipment. Once the “As-Is” data is collected, within 48 hours a virtual walkthrough of the facility is created and delivered to the user. This virtual walkthrough is the Point Cloud in “bubble view” images, allowing navigation throughout the facility. The spatial dimensions provided by the Point Cloud create virtual “As-Is” digitized documentation of the facility and can be shared for collaboration with other users. Annotation and comments can also be added.

Scanned Data

Scanned Data

One application of this technology is for operators to supply insurance companies with “As-Built” data which thereby identifies code compliant equipment and conditions. This is a great aid in reducing facility insurance costs. Identifying and documenting the “As-Is” facility allows the insurers to provide competitive bids for lower insurance rates. This data is furthermore used for safety and risk management to further reduce insurance premiums.

3D digitalized data improves the engineering process in many ways. Over the years, equipment, skids, and modules are upgraded and changed. However, the existing drawings and documentation are seldom updated. Engineers often spend days onsite measuring, photographing, and sketching changes as a preliminary step to updating models for a project. Texas Surveys captures the complete facility within hours and converts the data to a 3D model within days. The “As-Is” or “As-Built” 3D model eliminates site update and rework issues that are often observed with the old method of documentation. Conversions, modifications, and upgrades using these scanned 3D models insure accuracy and “first time fit” for piping, structural supports, cable tray mounting, and skids – thus reducing rework by more than 99% with no onsite disruption, lost income, nor schedule over runs.

Identifying exiting facility conditions and applying risk mitigation are important with regard to reducing lost time and revenue. In the case of a catastrophic event, the existing 3D image and model significantly increase the rebuild effort and allow the facility to get back online quicker. The 3D digitalized data reduces the time for insurance processing (within days) and provides engineers with information to immediately begin the rebuild process. For more information on how laser scanning can help you and your company, please contact Texas Surveys:

Contributed by Alex Morgan
Technical Support Manager
Texas Surveys

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