6 Ways 3D Laser Scanning Can Save Time, Money

IDI has been using 3D laser scanning technology from FARO for years, and we’re continuing to uncover new advantages to doing so. It’s an efficient and cost-effective way to collect the exact dimensions of existing structures needed for 2D and 3D retrofit projects. Here are six benefits that stood out in two recent projects we did:

  1. Geography is no issue: IDI was recently hired by a contractor that was designing new equipment for a metals manufacturer we had worked with several times. The contractor was in another state, not able to be on site to see existing conditions, and needed as-built documentation. After completing 56 scans over 2.5 days, we were able to provide the contractor with a 3D model that captured all the important features (including roof trusses, overhead piping, building columns, cable trays, overhead crane, top of rails in pit) and point cloud, as well as tie the scan data to the survey control points used on the project.
  2. Neither is height. Or tight spaces: A project we did with a paper manufacturer involved a two-story production line that would have been impossible to hand-measure. The facility was too tall and there were components that would have impeded our ability to capture everything.
  3. Much quicker: Time matters. Had we attempted to do the aforementioned project by hand, it likely would have taken more than two days, which would have had to be scheduled during production shut-down times. Scanning allowed us to get all the measurements we needed in just 4 hours.
  4. No return trip: The laser scanner’s comprehensive data collection eliminates the need for return trips to a client facility for additional measurements—something that can be required if a measurement is forgotten or missed, or if the design takes another direction and requires additional measurements. In the case of that paper manufacturer project, had we not done the 3D scanning we would have had to return for follow-up measurements. This would have to be scheduled around when the line wasn’t active, which would have slowed the project.
  5. Permanent record: The data collected provides a permanent record that can be used many times over in future design projects. For example, IDI often uses the point cloud data collected using the laser scanner in facility management projects to show the exact location of machinery and equipment, which aids in the design process.
  6. Size is irrelevant: Scanning isn’t useful only for big jobs. We’ve done as few as four scans and as many as 300, with each taking approximately 10 minutes per scan.

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