Sweet success in plant documentation

Chapter 3: Time and cost savings, plus better information

Sweet success in plant documentation

Time and cost savings, plus better information

Without laser scanning, Michigan Sugar would have had to take manual field measurements, and the documentation process would have required almost two weeks to complete. According to James, for the field documentation alone there was a cost savings of 68 per cent. Total savings, of course, go beyond that because manual measurements could have introduced human error, leading to construction clashes and rework. Industry-wide contingencies for rework on plant data gathered manually typically run from 12 to 30 per cent of total project costs, eating up time and money.

With the data from the laser scanner, all equipment and systems, not just a few chosen plant elements, were captured to within a millimetre of accuracy. Data processing was also fast and cost effective because the team paired the ScanStation P40 with Cyclone software, which work seamlessly in unison. This marriage of software and hardware made it easy for in-house engineers to extract, analyse the data and create a 3D model in AutoCAD® of all architectural, structural and mechanical systems. “Because we controlled all aspects of the project in one software package,” explains James, “we did not have to import and export data from various software packages, saving us a lot of time.”

The survey team also published Leica TruViews, dimensional photographs overlaid on top of the point cloud data, which people can view in Leica Geosystems’ free TruView panoramic viewer. Even though they did not have in-depth knowledge of point cloud software, the professionals at Michigan Sugar were able to review the data and assess site conditions easily with the TruViews. Schanbeck has found the model so useful in helping engineering teams with their design work that he plans to use laser scanning to document the entire facility, facilitating future equipment modifications and additions.

Back to Reporter 76 article overview

Story: Sweet success in plant documentation
Chapter 1: Planning for a tank replacement
Chapter 2: Efficient, accurate data capture
Chapter 3: Time and cost savings, plus better information

Reporter 76

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