Case Studies

Greater BIM Applicability with FARO’s 3D Scanning Technology

Greater BIM Applicability with FARO’s 3D Scanning Technology

With increasing technological advancements to 3D laser scanning and Building Information Modeling (BIM), the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is witnessing a scientific and technological revolution since the introduction of CAD. One notable application is the deployment of 3D laser scanning to measure any complex construction environment – regardless which stage a project is at. When integrated with BIM at a construction site, 3D laser scanning technology can greatly improve the quality inspection and acceptance levels of a project.

Reaping the Benefits of a Powerful 3D Laser Scanner

Based in China, SIPPR Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (SIPPR) is a leading construction company that has integrated the use of 3D laser scanners into its operations. Utilizing state-of-the-art engineering technology, SIPPR operates across multiple fields such as large factory and industrial park planning, city planning, and environmental engineering. As SIPPR expanded its business operations, the company procured the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330, and subsequently, the handheld FARO Scanner Freestyle3D, in order to cope with the onerous data collection required for its projects.

Project manager, Mr. Liu Yan, explained, “We wanted to aggregate 3D laser scanning technology with BIM to address practical problems during project implementation, such as missing information from factory drawings, and the difficulty of dealing with the complex nature of an on-site environment. This technology is also convenient for use in data collection and earthwork volume calculations.”

Besides the cost effectiveness of the FARO laser scanners, the simple operability and accurate data collection of the device were among the main reasons why Mr. Liu selected FARO. He also cited FARO’s excellent customer service in pre- and postsales support, including in-depth technical training and projectcentric mentoring as key factors behind SIPPR’s decision.

“The high accuracy of FARO’s 3D laser scanners allows us to obtain highly precise point cloud data of existing buildings, construction sites, as well as of internal pipelines of factory, facilities, and equipment. Coupled with the FARO SCENE postprocessing software, the entire process has become much more efficient,” remarked Mr. Liu.

Scanning traffic conditions at Zhengzhou Airport T2 Terminal with Laser Scanner

Scanning traffic conditions at Zhengzhou Airport T2 Terminal with the Focus3D X 330.

A staff member operating the Focus Laser Scanner at construction site.

A staff member operating the Focus3D X 330 at a construction site.

Additionally, the FARO Focus3D is highly portable and lightweight – it can be operated both indoors or outdoors under the sun – and offers ease of use and fast data collection speeds.

Within two short years, SIPPR has deployed FARO’s laser scanners extensively in all phases of its 13 industrial and commercial projects. These include earthwork volume calculation, reverse modeling of factories, testing completed buildings, facade engineering, and calculation of construction materials. With the FARO Focus3D, SIPPR achieved excellent economic profits and market gains in its projects, receiving a high return on investment within the first year. Examples of SIPPR’s projects include the Henan Provincial People’s Hall, Nanning Cigarette Factory, and Terminal 2 of the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport Phase II.

Using 3D Laser Scanning Technology for Digital Modeling

During a recent digital modeling project of the Nanning Cigarette Factory for China Tobacco Guangxi Industrial, SIPPR encountered several issues such as missing data from original drawings, as well as inconsistencies between the digital model and the actual factory. After analyzing the problem, the project team decided to construct a digital model by applying reverse engineering technology to the underground pipe network data obtained by the 3D laser scanner. This network data was captured by placing the FARO Focus3D and Registration Spheres (or Target Spheres) at several different locations throughout the factory, in order to obtain detailed and comprehensive sets of point cloud data. Using the FARO SCENE with their own software platform, the engineers then aggregated the multiple data sets to create a complete point cloud model of the entire factory.

With FARO’s 3D laser scanning technology, the biggest advantage reaped by SIPPR was the workflow optimization for their on-site engineers. Prior to the use of FARO’s laser scanners, SIPPR engineers utilized traditional methods, such as manual measurements and drawings, which were timeconsuming and laborious. Now, the combined application of technologies allows the team to obtain original technical information easily, so the issue of missing original building plans is no longer a problem.

A factory’s point cloud data obtained by laser scanner

A factory’s point cloud data obtained by the FARO Focus3D.

Extraction model generated based on point cloud data.

Extraction model generated based on point cloud data.

This innovative problem-solving approach enabled SIPPR to take the second prize for the Best BIM Application Award at the provincial level in the 2016 Innovation Cup Building Information Model (BIM) Design Competition, which was organized by the China Engineering and Consulting Association.

Workshop model that SIPPR generated

Workshop model that SIPPR generated.

Accurate Earthwork Volume Calculations Using FARO Technology

On-site terrain scanning using FARO Laser Scanner

Using FARO’s Focus3D for on-site terrain scanning.

The versatility of FARO’s 3D laser scanners was also put to the test during SIPPR’s High-Technology Information Park Project, where the team combined the use of FARO’s laser scanners with BIM technology to perform earthwork balance calculations. With the FARO Focus3D, the team was able to perform high-speed scanning of up to 976,000 points per second at a maximum distance of 330 meters for the excavated foundation pit. Compared with the traditional GPS calculation method, where discrete points are collected and divided on a grid, the FARO Focus3D was far more efficient and accurate.

The effectiveness of the Focus3D X 330 was also further demonstrated during various stages of the project. Not only was the team able to seamlessly integrate the construction data with the design data using the Focus3D, they also managed to devise a new application for the 3D technology in volume calculation, and made headway into other in-depth BIM applications for general project management.

Terrain reconstruction

Terrain reconstruction.

Calculation of earthwork volume

Calculation of earthwork volume.

Future Development and Partnership with FARO

Having conducted various in-depth research on BIM and other related technologies, SIPPR has seen great success in applying its findings to many projects, allowing the industry to benefit from its valuable insights. For the company’s outstanding contributions to the field of BIM technology, SIPPR was named ‘Best BIM Application Company’ for the fifth consecutive year by the China Engineering and Consulting Association.

With the consistent and excellent service received from FARO, the SIPPR project team indicated its full confidence in the FARO Focus3D for producing reliable measurements.

Speaking of future applications of FARO’s technology, Mr. Liu shared, “We hope to harness the full potential of 3D laser scanning in all possible ways, so as to help our project teams complete their tasks more easily and efficiently. Through our partnership with FARO, we hope to achieve more application breakthroughs with BIM, in areas such as intelligent engineering and rapid modeling.”

About SIPPR Engineering Group Co., Ltd.

Established in 1951, SIPPR Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (SIPPR) has a large-scale integrated design and research institute with engineering design integrated Class A qualification. SIPPR is also an affiliated company of China National Machinery Industry Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and a state-owned key enterprise.

SIPPR has received numerous qualifications such as Engineering Design Comprehensive Grade A Qualification, Engineering Supervision Comprehensive Qualification, First Class Qualification for Housing Construction and Construction General Contracting, Engineering Cost Consulting Grade A Qualification, First Class Qualification for Intelligent Building Engineering Design and Construction. SIPPR was also issued the Engineering Consulting Class A Qualification by the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China; Foreign Project Contracting Business Qualification Certificate, Foreign Aid Design, Foreign Aid Supervision issued by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; Pressure vessel and pressure pipe design permit issued by the Quality and Technology Supervision Bureau; as well as other various qualifications such as city planning and installation of electromechanical equipment.

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