As a project management company, Prime Design Projects hate surprises; surprises are for Christmas, come tied with a ribbon and are found under a tree. In our world surprises rarely come in the ‘pleasant’ variety and will be an unwelcome guest in any project. The humble surprise once unwrapped, usually contains a hard centre of cost and time.
What is 3D Scanning?
As a project engineering company, we like detail; some say that’s where you’ll find the devil but for us it’s a form of risk assessment and risk management. You could say that detail is directly proportional to success, in that the more detail you have, the greater the likelihood of a project being completed on time, on budget and to specification.
At the feasibility phase of a project we are quite often required to evaluate several scenarios, any one of which could become the eventual scope for the project. A new line, a new machine, increased output, space rationalisation; all need accurate information in order to give definitive answers. It might fit or it might work are simply not acceptable.
We needed a process that could survey and capture large factory environments quickly, efficiently and accurately. This need led us to the purchase of a Faro Focus 3D scanner.
3D scanning allows us to capture data points which can be seen as 3D images of the space we are scanning. This provides us with an “as-built” image, which is our beginning and our end. You can’t plan a route to your destination unless you know your starting point. Not only can we now create as-built layouts more efficiently but also we have this vast data bank of 3D information stored and ready to use: the point cloud. We can see machines, conveyors, roof detail, pipes, trunking, drains, walls, floors, kerbs, doors, windows, steps …. and the good thing is, we only convert (draw) what we need. If our customer says ‘will the line fit at the other end of the factory?’ or ‘have we got room for a mezzanine?’ no problem, we have the information on which to base a meaningful proposal.
The installation phase brings home the real impact of the project. The project’s influence is now being felt in the real world as drawings and spread sheets begin to make their mark. Now is not the time to discover an HVAC duct had been missed and the ingress of your 10 tonne filling machine has come to a grinding halt. This is where you’re glad the 3D scan had identified all obstructions on the ingress route and had been addressed in advance. You know it’s going to fit.