Three benefits of 3D laser scanning that can help manufacturers stay ahead of the game

In a world where manufacturers are faced with crushing deadlines, critical decisions and the need to adapt to evolving market demands, access to accurate, up-to-date information is key. That is especially true for industrial plants producing crucial supplies from personal protective equipment and medical equipment to those producing food, energy, pharmaceuticals and goods that are in high demand.

To help manufacturers transform to meet these demands, the latest advances in 3D laser scanning technology allow a single operator to accurately capture millions of 3D data points in minutes – without shutting down production. These combined data points provide a comprehensive, clear and precise digital record – or ‘digital twin’ – of a plant.

A digital twin is essential for knowing exactly what is in an industrial plant, which is vital to understanding and planning what changes can be made in what timeframe. Cloud-based 3D spatial data of a plant facility – including measurable images, layers of rich visualisation and tags that contain useful meta data such as notes and project context – enable non-technical teams to swiftly and confidently make complex decisions, manage the plant from a remote location, and plan necessary changes.

Having a digital twin based on accurate, as-built data makes all the difference in a team’s ability to respond and rise to the challenges while delivering three key benefits:

1. Strengthening Efficiency and Safety

Accurate point cloud data lets collaborators know each and every detail of a facility, from the location of conveyors and lines to the anchor bolts in the floor. The data eliminates guesswork and provides informed answers to crucial questions about how a plant can be adapted and changed, such as retrofitting lines or adding new equipment. It also ensures quality control and safety of people in the plant because data can be accessed remotely, minimising exposure to potential hazards, or interruptions to work at the plant.



2. Maximising Agility and Productivity

With 3D spatial data and visualisations in an accessible cloud-based data library enables stakeholders – even from a remote location – to see the precise placement of existing ductwork, conduits, machinery, and equipment in the plant. This makes clash detection possible, reducing up to 95% of rework and change orders that usually occur in new equipment installations.

The data also helps drive productivity and responsiveness of the plant. It is possible to virtually walk through the digital twin of the plant and effectively take snapshots and measurements from images and create tags with notes and links. The data can also be viewed in CAD packages to develop existing-condition drawings that remain accurate as the plant changes.


3. Driving Innovation

Innovation has never been more crucial in plant manufacturing as it is now. Processes must be reliable, fast, accurate and support critical decision-making at every step of the way. Virtual, fully connected production lines are on the rise. These are facilitated by 3D laser scanning technology and are capable of running systems, monitoring and completing physical processes, communicating in real time and ensuring the quality of operations.

Never before has a digital twin in manufacturing been so imperative. But never before has the digital twin been easier to achieve.


To talk through ideas or gain more insight on how to leverage 3D data to maximise your plant operations, please contact us.


Mr. Joel Hurt, Vice President – Industrial Plant Solutions | USA/Canada with Leica Geosystems, leads a team of subject matter experts responsible for and specialising in technology solutions for the industrial plant industry. Mr. Hurt has been a global leader in developing and driving laser scanning technology for over 15 years. Prior to Leica Geosystems Joel was the President and COO of VisiImage, also specialising in laser technology. Additionally Mr. Hurt has worked extensively in the engineering design industry. Joel executed key roles with major Engineering, companies on projects around world; with 20 plus years with Bechtel, Raytheon and Jacobs Engineering. Mr. Hurt, a Mechanical Engineer, an alumnus of Texas Southern University, brings a vast amount of practical real-world field experience as well as insight as a leading-edge technological innovator.


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