WHEN accurate measurement or reverse engineering of a complex structure is required, manual measurement methods can’t be relied on.
3D laser scanning is a non-destructive, highly accurate spatial data capture technology using fast laser and high-resolution photography, and Scan Hub has proven to be the expert in providing cost-effective, precise 3D laser scanning, CAD modelling and 2D fabrication documentation services that ensure accuracy down to the millimetre.
The Scan Hub team has more than 20 years’ combined experience in managing diverse and complex scan and documentation projects across Australia, with the skills and capability to effectively manage local and national clients.
Scan Hub chief executive Terry Robinson said the team can capture environments and objects efficiently and accurately with the latest scanning equipment and software technologies.
“We capture reality in 3D and we’re helping to transform the world into a digital landscape,” Mr Robinson said.
“The scope of applications for 3D laser scanning and CAD modelling is many and growing.
“The built environment and objects can be scanned with millions of 3D points in minutes and stored as a 3D point cloud with millimetre measurement accuracy.
“Traditional surveyors pick up hundreds of accurate points, we pick up millions of points that are millimetre accurate.”
Normal surveying methods can’t be used within a complex structural environment such as a coal processing plant or a ship’s engine room.
Manual measurements and fabrication documentation based on those measurements is full of risk.
Human error can lead to measurements being forgotten or missed and the drafting team may make assumptions based on the incorrect measurements, which lead to expensive mistakes down the line.
“By engaging a laser scanning operator like Scan Hub, you’re using technology that basically captures everything within the defined area that the client wants captured; and it’s brought back to the office so that it can be viewed in 3D, measured in 3D and drafted in 3D,” Mr Robinson said.
“Nothing falls through the cracks because if there’s any important areas in a particular structure, we make sure we got those highlighted to us by the client while on site.
“We concentrate on features to make sure we capture it from various angles to build up the complete picture in 3D for drafting.”
The data collected with 3D scanning also allows mining operations to significantly reduce costs overall – and reduce the risk of something not fitting or clashing during construction or installation.
“Scan Hub will save you time and money by scanning your fixed plant, objects, site, pipes, mobile plant or machinery with highly accurate 3D laser scanning,” Mr Robinson said.
“Our Australia-wide services team have the right tools and know-how to scan and model from 3D point clouds.
“We’ll help you avoid costly mistakes.”
Mining operations can also greatly reduce the risk of error-prone manual survey measurements with reliable 3D models for reverse engineering, documentation, design, reconstruction, maintenance and 3D visualisation.
“Scanning a complex structure and reverse engineering back to fully dimensioned “shop” drawings is nearly impossible to do by manual methods,” Mr Robinson said.
“Picture a coal processing plant which might be a steel structure four storeys high and full of pipes and valves.
“Going in and manually measuring with rulers, or tapes or laser pointers would take months and they would still get it wrong.
“Often we see measurement mistakes that get propagated all the way through to the fabrication drawings and then something gets made and it actually doesn’t fit – so it’s a very expensive exercise at that point.”
Scan Hub simplifies this process.
Recently the company was able to provide precise structural measurements of a client’s coal slurry tank feed structure that was more than 40 years old, with no reliable documentation available to recreate any components of the tank.
“Once our site work was done and the data collected to create the 3D CAD model, we created a 30-40 page fabrication documentation package showing basically every steel piece, every welding joint – all the things needed for somebody else to manufacture a new structure identical to the old one,” Mr Robinson said.
“Not only were we able to reduce surveying and measurement costs, but also the CAD drafting process and documentation.”
Mr Robinson said the 3D laser scanner doesn’t lie, and it doesn’t make mistakes about the dimensions, so there’s a much lower risk of making mistakes and the human error that occurs through manual methods.
“Our 3D laser scanning captures everything within the defined area,” he said.
3D scanning can capture existing structures, machinery, pipes, vessels, framework, plinths and highlight any potential clashes where new equipment may interrupt existing pipes and structures.
This is also a much faster process than manual methods and Scan Hub offers the smooth and reliable integration of existing conditions and construction progress into CAD/BIM software.
“While much of our work is in scanning a building structure, process plant, and industrial objects and sites for measurement and modelling, we also scan objects for manufacturing and reverse engineering,” Mr Robinson said.
“Through the use of laser scanning technology, Scan Hub captures information about any object in a point cloud file, while our team can transform the 3D scanned point cloud data into output formats that are the foundation for virtual walkthroughs, product and structural design, as built documentation, visualization, and analysis as well.
“We can use the data to create deliverables that are useful to architects, designers, engineers, draftsmen, maintainers and contractors.”
The turnaround is also far quicker than manual methods; the 3D scanning can be completed during outages or downtime and the 3D modelling work is done offsite.
“Most mine sites have very limited outages, and we can get in there and do our thing during fairly short time windows; as long as the client can clean the area up for us or have it in a prepared state for us to scan, we can then do our job quickly,” Mr Robinson said.
“The rest of the work is done in our offices and within 24 hours the client receives the scan data.
“Usually it takes a further two to three weeks to create the 3D model for drafting purposes.”
Mr Robinson said that Scan Hub prides itself in its expertise and accuracy through the entire process from start to finish.
“Our staff are Australia’s leading experts in 3D laser scanning and modelling,” he said.
“Our strong project management capability ensures we meet budget on time delivery for all our clients.”