Digitally managing power plant assets

Video Case Study

Power plant laser scan

Author: Renata Barradas Gutiérrez

Power plant stations need the latest maintenance, safety and documentation to ensure the generation of electric power. Given their importance, power stations, nor the users dependant on their energy supply, can afford delays or malfunctions.

PT. Indonesia Power, a subsidiary of PT PLN, is a leading power generating company in Indonesia with a total installed capacity of 8,935.86 MW.  Company engineers needed to capture two generator units from the Suralaya Power Station to modernise and maintain them.

Based on the Terms of Reference provided by Indonesia Power, Digiscript Philippines, Inc., a leading service provider for 3D digital reality capture solutions, helped the electric power company to visualise, measure and manage the built-in environment of the two generator units in 3D. The comprehensive dimensional data was captured using a Leica Geosystems 3D ScanStation and registered using Leica Cyclone Processing Software. All data provided will guide any maintenance and design work for the two generator units.

Laser scanning is a great tool to faster document the as-built conditions for any environment helping to manage existing systems during the design, construction and maintenance cycles. Plant documentation of the existing structures using 3D models enables engineers and surveyors to:

  • Create valuable models for planning, fabrication, and clash detection when integrating new equipment

  • Minimize plant maintenance and field work rework and delays

  • Find equipment failures or malfunctions

  • Guarantee installations comply with safety regulations reducing risks and costs

  • Recognise breakdowns to support insurance claims

  • Plan more efficient plant layouts with verified measurements for maintenance or virtual fit ups



BIM & CAD deliverables for restricted environments

Power plant laser scan

Were access is restricted and areas are unsafe, laser scanning is the best solution to capture with detailed precision the as-built data form a safe distance. Unlike conventional methods, that capture specific individual points one at the time, laser scanning captures millions of points per second with rich details of the entire scene, just like a camera taking a 360-degree photo, but with an accurate position for every pixel. 

Digiscript laser scanned two power generators to acquire accurate dimensional data to provide the following deliverables:

  • 3D CAD models of the stator and rotor of both generators

  • 2D drawings for engineering development reference

  • Reports from the results of data processing

“High-Definition Surveying (HDS) is a 3D data capture method superior to conventional as-built surveys due to its higher level of completeness, better accuracy, and quicker availability of 3D as-built data,” said Ronald Sampayan, country manager of Digiscript in Indonesia.


“Our Leica Geosystems ScanStation works through line of sight and captures surfaces and points that are otherwise hard to reach or that may not be safe to access.  Our equipment allowed us to capture up to 50,000 survey measurements per second and up to a maximum range of 300 metres. The accuracy of our ScanStation can be guaranteed up to +/- 2mm.”


Digiscript was also required to add measurement details for two generator units, including:

  • numbers

  • geometrical shapes

  • arrangement and dimensions of the rotor winding and the stator winding.

“The registered point cloud with assigned properties, tagged elements and all measurement data our team created serves as a reference documentation for the plant managers for reverse engineering services, maintenance and retrofits,” said Sampayan.

From point clouds to TruViews in just two weeks

Power plant laser scan

Using other traditional methods, the survey would have taken more than 80 days to complete. Using Leica Geosystems HDS solutions, Digiscript conducted the survey in two days each for each generator. The final deliverables were ready in just 20 days.

To get the most accurate results, the team placed numbered black and white targets around the stator and rotor to facilitate the registration process of the scans and stitch together the point cloud.  Digiscript set up their Leica ScanStation from multiple vantage points using high and low tripod set-ups to capture as many areas as possible. 

Once the targets were set up, all the components were completed with 68 and 41 scan locations with approximately 40 and 20 gigabytes of data gathered respectively for generators 3 and 1. All scans were registered using Leica Cyclone software to generate and extract the as-built drawings and 3D solid models of the stator and rotor of the generator.

360° panoramic photographs were taken at every scan location to render true colour to the point cloud laser scan measurement data. Each survey point of the data does not only has precise measurement survey coordinates, but also a true colour value for each coordinate. These full colour interactive panoramic images were incorporated in Leica TruView software to create a 3D interactive walkthrough of the stator frame, rotor, and underside sections of both generators.

Digitalising power plant facilities

Power plant laser scan

Digitalisation approaches, just like the one provided by Digiscript, are the key to drive effective transformation in the power plant by aligning people, processes and technology. The drawings, 3D solid models, and walkthrough videos delivered provide an accurate smooth map of the generators to provide safe and affordable power. Volume calculations and additional measurements were done by Digiscript without the need to revisit the site.


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