The global Oil and Gas sector is increasingly using advanced laser scanning techniques to produce comprehensive digital documentation of processing plants, rigs and other large facilities. By utilising accurate records of as-built conditions, companies are able to slash repair and modification times, operate their assets more efficiently and to meet the industry’s strict safety and quality standards.
The Oil and Gas industry’s growing digital documentation requirements has prompted the emergence of specialist companies who are able to perform precise 3D laser scanning and to provide a range of related engineering services. A leader in this rapidly developing field is Aberdeen based Global Design Innovation (GDI).
GDI provides laser scanning, repairs, engineering support and design solutions across the energy sector. The company use a range of advanced FARO laser scanning technologies to capture high-precision 3D measurements and images on projects throughout the world. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, for production planning and for accurately documenting large volume spaces and structures.
Ranging from small operational improvements to major engineering and construction projects, GDI is able to bring projects from conception through to completion. With the aid of advanced CAD software, the company has developed an automated design workflow, from the initial 3D scan through to a completed winsketch. This process significantly reduces the time taken to create a work pack, it eliminates potential for human error and reduces design hours and associated cost.
Once complete, all project deliverables are uploaded within GDI’s Engineering Portal to all relevant parties, allowing instant access for fabrication or for client approval.
Typical of GDI’s projects is the company’s recent assignment to complete an all-embracing 3D scan of a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility that produces oil and gas from a location in the North Sea, 120 miles east of Aberdeen.
Global Design Innovation company owner, Gianni Brooke explained. “We were recently commissioned to undertake a comprehensive laser scan and to produce a complete 3D point cloud model of Dana Petroleum’s entire Triton, FPSO. Although we employed other FARO equipment to complete this demanding task, the main scanner used was our powerful, high-speed 3D FARO Focus3D X 130.
“In addition to extremely precise dimensional data, the finished model provided 360 degree photographic images of the facility in HD and made available a desktop visual walk around capability to the client. The captured point-cloud data represented a comprehensive, three dimensional as-built model of the entire facility. The data provides multiple benefits, including acting as the basis for future FPSO design modifications, it also allows the effective installation of add-on equipment and enables efficient repairs to be carried-out, all without the need for additional survey mobilisation.
“The use of our precise FARO Focus3D X 130 proved ideal for this difficult 3D documentation application. Given the hostile environment we were operating in, the scanner’s robust nature, portability and ease-of-use made our task relatively straightforward. Our speed of operation was helped by the Focus3D X 130’s one million points per second scanning rate.”
The advantages gained by Dana Petroleum’s decision to commission the FPSO’s 3D laser scan, was illustrated by the damage that recently occurred to an important access ladder and the rapid design, fabrication and fitting of a replacement that followed.
Gianni Brooke continued. “As part of the wider project we had previously scanned the ladder, the obtained data was used to instantly generate a drawing for use by our fabricators. The speed of response made possible by the FPSO’s scanned data, enabled the design, fabrication and installation of a replacement ladder to take place in a fraction of the time normally taken.
“Although the efficient replacement of an access ladder is a relatively mundane example of the benefits that result from laser scanning and 3D documentation, the next quick turn-around project may involve the manufacture and installation of a more vital piece of equipment.”
The recently introduced FARO Focus3D X 130, as used by GDI, is a powerful high-speed 3D scanner that was designed to undertake a wide range of applications. The ultra-portable scanner enables fast, straightforward, and accurate measurements of complex structures, production and supply facilities and large-volume components.
Combining the highest-precision scanning technology with mobility and ease-of use, the high-tech scanner offers reliability, flexibility, and the generation of real-time views of recorded data. For convenience, the Focus3D X 130’s 3D scan data can easily be imported into all commonly used software solutions.
With a battery runtime of 4.5 hours, the laser scanner also has a high level of flexibility and endurance, whilst its light weight, small size and SD-card make the scanner truly mobile.
When in use the Focus3D X 130’s integrated GPS receiver effortlessly determines the position of the scanner. This helps to facilitate the registration process and provides the exact time and location of the users’ scans. Also, as a WLAN remote control enables the user to start, stop, and view scans at a distance, the Focus3D X 130 is ideal for use on more challenging projects, such as the recent scanning of Dana Petroleum’s Triton, FPSO.
Gianni Brooke, concluded. “GDI have now successfully delivered more than 400 projects throughout the world, many of them located in harsh environments. The fact that throughout this time no rework has needed, bears testimony to the robustness and great accuracy of FARO equipment. Our Precise 3D laser scanners, such as our FARO Focus3D X 130, not only help us to documents as-built conditions, they enables GDI staff to quickly and easily inspect, measure and align every part of clients facilities and to provide full, in-house management capabilities.”