Leaving a legacy in Vietnam with surveying & laser scanning technology

Case study

Author: Hazlinda Mohd Nuron

Phu My Port is a general cargo port located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Southern Vietnam. Operating since 1993, the port aims to offer a fast, effective and reliable port services available to customers 24 hours a day all year long. When the owners faced challenges in obtaining complete data documentation for the port, Portcoast recommended applying a technique they had used previously: laser scanning to collect data in order to develop a 3D BIM model of the port. The port’s owner commissioned an inspection report for the 132-metre main berth and 72-metre-long access bridge, along with 3D laser scanning of the whole Phu My Port, including yard, warehouses and facilities. By scanning the port and its facilities, the goal was to provide the owners with a digital twin of the whole site for ongoing inspection and maintenance.

The investors in this project were keen to ensure the laser scanning was conducted with the highest levels of accuracy by an experienced team who could categorically verify that the digital twin was correct.

Portcoast is one of the most experienced surveyors of marine, waterway and transport infrastructure sites in the region. With a reputation for accuracy, they have a proven track record in carrying out similar projects in the region, such as the 3D scanning of the nearby Hyosung Vina Chemicals Port, Posco SSVN Port and their work for Hutchison Ports SITV. In this project, surveyors from Portcoast were responsible for inspecting and scanning the whole port as well as providing quality assurance for the final 3D model.

Requiring both accuracy at speed and range as well as the ability to access narrow, challenging areas, the team opted for a combined reality capture solution, including the Leica ScanStation P50 for the long-range scanning work, the Leica RTC360 and the Leica BLK360. For the topographic survey, surveyors on site used Leica Nova TS60, Leica GS18T and Leica iCON iCR80 geodetic devices.

Thanks to its range of 1 km and accuracy of 1 mm, the ScanStation P50 was able to capture detailed, accurate data across large areas, fast. Meanwhile, the RTC360 and BLK360 laser scanners captured the isolated and inaccessible areas under the berth where operating a larger tripod-mounted 3D scanner was not viable. The flexibility of these smaller scanners meant the equipment could be securely lowered into place - a technique previously tried and tested when capturing the Hyosung Vina Chemicals port.

Virtual site visits

With a total area spanning around 30 hectares, the team needed to scan from approximately a hundred positions, combine the data and transfer it quickly from field to office. Rapid capture and transfer of data was imperative in the unpredictable and ever-changing tropical climate of the region.

Based on their previous experience working with the technology, Portcoast again selected the Leica Infinity and Leica Cyclone office software to act as a digital bridge between site and office. Requiring just one second to transfer data the field and office, teams could then view the data in real time, working in synchronisation with the field team.

Dr. Hoang Hiep of Portcoast explained, “The Leica Geosystems equipment helps us to avoid delays in-field data processing and using Leica Geosystems’ software we can check the points every time we need to. With the new total station and GNSS equipment - the flow between the field and office is seamless, helping the engineers to reduce the time between the two places. The high speed and accuracy of the data is why Leica Geosystems’ equipment is our first choice.”

Using the data, Portcoast built the point cloud model for the whole port incorporating all the information from each element into the BIM model. The accuracy of data capture means the user can experience the project through VR/AR. The team is able to carry out quality checks on the locations to inspect details, such as the inclination and rotation angle around the vertical axis of the piles under the berth using the point cloud. Thanks to the precision of the model, the clients and site supervisors can now monitor all the survey data without visiting the construction site.

Building a legacy

Not only will the digital twin continue to add value long into the future, but in carrying out this work the team have also built a legacy of expertise in Vietnam. Portcoast’s pioneering approach has meant that several new Leica Geosystems devices, such as the Leica Nova TS60, Leica GS18 T, Leica iCON iCR80 have been used for the first time in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

The practical experience working with these devices will reduce the operational risk for Portcoast when using them on similar projects in the future, and Portcoast will also pass on their experience through a wider training programme.

Dr. Hoang Hiep of Portcoast commented, “Thanks to the durability and effectiveness of the Leica Geosystems products, combined with the training and support from Leica Geosystems, we have been able to save manpower costs on projects such as this. After the training course, we started using the equipment and are now able to pass this expertise on to others. We are training the whole team to ensure everyone in our company is fully informed about 3D laser scanning. To scan and process data are part of our everyday work at Portcoast.”

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