Earlier this month, 3D Imaging Services Project Director, Michael James, was invited by Hexagon Live to present on how technology can be applied to industrial fabrication. We’re recapping four of the “hacks” he shared that can be applied to your next project.

1. Coordinate in the Point-Cloud

Recently, 3D Imaging Services provided scanning services during the construction of a new 114 MW combined cycle natural gas power plant. Our objective was to identify potential clashes during the in-progress construction. However, the expedited schedule did not provide adequate time to convert the point-cloud data to a working model for analysis. Instead, we coordinated directly in the point cloud. By using this method, we saved time and were able to detect clashes for structures not typically included in the coordination model – such as piping less than 2 inches in diameter and structural support steel.

Coordinate in the Point-Cloud

2. Animate to Communicate

“No one would question how we build cars today. It would be comical to have all the parts delivered to your driveway with a dozen workers to build it,” said Modular Building Institutes, Executive Director Tom Hardiman. “Yet we build our homes, schools and offices in this inefficient and wasteful manner every day.”

When we discuss modular fabrication and construction with building owners, it can be a difficult concept for them to envision. They are familiar with the process of contractors arriving to a project site with tools, parts and supplies. We use animation to communicate the prefabrication process and why it will be more efficient. This simple animation uses a basic point-cloud and dimensions of a modular package to illustrate the installation process. After seeing this, the customer better understood our method for reducing installation time and onsite labor.

3. Centerline Verification of Pipe Spools

Pre-fabrication of pipe spools can make onsite installation fast and efficient – unless human error forces field rework on a project. To remove this potential for error, we use 3D laser scanning to verify pipe spools against existing conditions prior to fabrication. In this example, we utilized the point-cloud to identify the exact locations of pre-installed footings, a pump house and existing tank. The spools were modeled to these conditions and then fabricated. Next, we scanned them again, verifying the centerline connections in Navisworks. When the spools arrived to the project site, they were installed precisely, and with absolutely no field rework.

Centerline Verification

4. Installation Validation

Heavy equipment often requires expensive means of transportation. For the world’s largest ship loaders, the installation required 40 engineers and a crane that cost $30,000 per day. The footings were designed to fit precisely over 144 steel bars, but if the dimensions were off, the ship loaders could not be set into place. 3D Imaging Services used conventional survey techniques and point-cloud analysis software to identify construction and fabrication errors that would have prevented the installation. Instead, the contractor was able to use this data to make modifications and successfully install the ship loaders, saving the project more than $300,000 and several weeks of delay.

Installation Validation

How can we use construction technology to “hack” your next industrial construction project? Give us a call or drop us a line.

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