From the laser scanner to office in near real time
Author: Joost Assendelft
To move gas safely and reliably to the end consumer, the Netherlands has a high-quality gas transportation network. For undisturbed gas delivery, it is important that the network is always in excellent condition. Therefore, Gasunie, a European transmission system operator that provides the transport of natural and green gas in the Netherlands and the northern part of Germany, performs daily management and maintenance work to the main gas transportation network and to the regional gas transportation network.
The network in the Netherlands includes:
- 12,500 kilometres of pipeline
- 3,000 valve schedules
- 80 measuring and control stations
- 1,000 gas receiving stations
- 13 compressor stations.
During the execution of maintenance and replacements, the delivery of gas to end customers continues. It is, therefore, a challenge to cause as little inconvenience as possible. For this reason, Gasunie first makes a detailed design of the pipes. Based on the design, the new components are prefabricated, so that the installation work in the field takes as little time as possible.
Combining multiple Leica Geosystems solutions that make laser scanning data available directly from the field to the customer and subcontractors, Gasunie can now save time and money with their re-designed Leica HDS workflows. Before integrating Leica Geosystems solutions, the time to deliver the as-built situation took quite long – now, a precise as-built model is ready within 24 hours.
The mix and match solution
To accelerate and improve the overall process, a pilot has been conducted in combination with Advin advisory and engineering firm using 3D laser scanning. The working process has been reviewed and innovative steps have been taken in the data processing by using Leica JetStream software for simplified point cloud access and ultra-high speed rendering.
After the design, prefabrication and transport of the parts, the new installation is assembled on site. This installation is checked using a Leica Viva GS16 GNSS Smart Antenna and a Leica Nova MS60 MultiStation linked to a CS35 tablet computer with Leica Captivate software. Inside the Captivate software, the Inspect Surface app looks at whether there are deviations between model and as-built situation and will determine whether the new situation meets the requirements of Gasunie.
The entire installation is mapped either with the MultiStation or with a Leica ScanStation P40. This measurement is processed and checked in the field and uploaded directly to JetStream server via a mobile 4G connection on the CS35.
“The system Leica Geosystems has developed fits optimally to optimise our workflows. From the design to the final stage of a construction, this method of working reduces time and, therefore, saves money. In particular, the saved point cloud as asset information during the construction phase may become useful many years later. We are furthermore capable to scan brownfield assets and transform this to real 3D-asset information with new (future) functionality,” said Sijbrand Stratingh, senior pipeline engineer at Gasunie.
Benefiting from the industry - leading point cloud project server
The use of JetStream server has a number of important advantages. The data is centrally available in the cloud so engineers involved can directly access the data. Because the point cloud is available online, Gasunie can also access this data directly via TruView Global and/ or JetStream viewer. The firm can then use the point cloud for discussions using digital reality, making better informed decisions if needed.
The smart point cloud technology in JetStream allows data to be viewed and used without delay via an online connection without missing any detail. There is only one version of the point cloud and, therefore, only one backup has to be made. Unnecessary copies belong to the past.
The selected choice when it has to be right
Thanks to Leica Geosystems combined solutions, the 3D design generated with the point cloud can seamlessly be adapted to the as-built situation. Gasunie no longer has any need to create a completely new as-built drawing from scratch. An update of the 3D-model is sufficient.
“We always strive to work with state-of-the-art hardware and software that can provide the best solution to our customer. The choice for Leica Geosystems, a reliable supplier of highend equipment, was a clear one. When we really have a problem, Leica Geosystems immediately provides a solution,” said Jeffrey den Ridder, surveyor at Advin. “After measuring the project, the excavated pit is replenished immediately with soil. The measurement must therefore be carried out as efficiently as possible and there is certainly no time for delays caused by defective equipment or technical failures.”
After completing these first tests, Gasunie is very positive about the workflow through 3D laser scanning and instant online sharing of data through Jetstream in the cloud with Autodesk® AutoCAD® Plant 3D.