Case Studies

Okumura Sekkei ‘Brings’ Entire Worksites Back as Point Cloud Data

Okumura Sekkei ‘Brings’ Entire Worksites Back as Point Cloud Data

FARO Laser Scanner Helps Create Highly Workable Designs

Okumura Sekkei Corporation (Okumura Sekkei) — a construction design company based in Meitō-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan — utilizes three units of the FARO Focus3D X 330 laser scanner to facilitate its workflow. The team first scans the landscape in its entirety, then brings the point cloud data collected back to the office to draw up workable construction plans. Tapping on the rich field experience of its President, Mr. Shinji Okumura, the company delivers workable designs that are highly valued by contractors, vendors, and project owners alike, encouraging Okumura Sekkei’s rapid growth.

Drawing-up Accurate Construction Plans

“Construction consultants fail in their jobs when they design with no knowledge of the site’s current state,” shared Mr Okumura. “To get around this problem, we obtain scans of the entire site, including its surrounding areas, using a 3D laser scanner. With the point cloud data collected, we can then check the current status of the site in detail as we work on our designs in the office.”

Despite the need for designers to see the sites for themselves, it is difficult for them to visit the remote locations repeatedly. In the past, the team would make calculations based on images and videos of the site, which often led to discrepancies between the drawings and the actual conditions of the location. With the FARO Focus3D X 330, however, Okumura Sekkei can now create accurate construction plans based on the data collected during site surveys.

Skillful technique is applied in setting up the survey area. At times, the team brings three units of Focus3D X 330 a nd u p to a total of 25 spherical targets (spheres) on site. These targets enable the team to stitch together multiple sets of point cloud data that may have been taken simultaneously on separate devices. This technique decreased the need for repositioning the laser scanners and spheres, thereby increasing Okumura Sekkei’s efficiency in data collection.

Employing laser scanner and multiple targets to scan an entire environment.

Employing the Focus3D X 330 and multiple targets to scan an entire environment.

The tunnel wellhead being surveyed.

The tunnel wellhead being surveyed.

Operators use the Focus Laser Scanner to collect point cloud data.

Operators use the Focus3D X 330 to collect point cloud data.

Detailed recording of tunnel wellhead with surrounding handrails and electrical wires.

Detailed recording of tunnel wellhead with surrounding handrails and electrical wires.

Commenting on their decision behind choosing FARO, Mr. Okumura explained, “We can now complete site scanning in a day, even for a large site spanning 20,000 square meters. This includes the site’s surrounding areas and everything in it — such as the utility poles, electric wires, and street lamps. It’s important to do so because these objects may unexpectedly become obstacles during construction planning. Laser scanners capture the full picture, eliminating the problem of missing information due to an obscured camera angle. The other benefit is that we can create animated simulations using the point cloud data, making it easier for anyone to understand or visualize the site.”

Achieving Highly Accurate Measurements

The team at Okumura Sekkei also pays particular attention to the accuracy of the data that they collect. With the help of GPSenabled survey equipment, Okumura Sekkei further improved the coordinate accuracy of their point cloud data by keeping the orientation points close, setting it at 60 m. In fact, the team holds itself to higher standards and only uses data that is within a 50-meter radius, which minimizes any measuring errors and ensures accurate deliverables. This is also in compliance with the requirements stipulated by the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

Custom-built scaffoldings stacked on top of vehicles

Custom-built scaffoldings stacked on top of vehicles enable Okumura Sekkei to obtain data of large structures from height (6m) in fewer scans.

When it comes to the scanning of large structural objects such as bridges, Okumura Sekkei would deploy the Focus3D in creative ways to overcome specific challenges. In order to avoid registration errors, the team would attempt to capture scans from a higher vantage point, and this came in the form of custom-built scaffoldings set atop their company vehicles.

For surrounding areas of the site that the Focus3D X 330 is unable to scan, the company decided to use the FARO Freestyle3D X scanner to create detailed point cloud data. Easy to use, even by female technicians, the lightweight Freestyle3D X can be operated with one hand, and the data it collects can be combined seamlessly with the data obtained by the Focus3D X 330.

Focus Laser Scanner scans large structures like bridge beams and abutments with ease.

The Focus3D X 330 scans large structures like bridge beams and abutments with ease.

An operator uses the handy Freestyle3D X to obtain detailed scans of surrounding areas (e.g. bridge support beams).

An operator uses the handy Freestyle3D X to obtain detailed scans of surrounding areas (e.g. bridge support beams).

Measuring the embankment with the Focus Laser Scanner

Measuring the embankment with the Focus3D X 330

Over the years, Okumura Sekkei has been involved in more and more point cloud measurement projects: 9 in 2015, 8 in 2016 and 15 in 2017. This is largely due to Mr. Okumura’s commitment and desire to achieve more accurate measurements, through the adoption of various scanning methods.

Workable Designs Key to Industries

In line with Mr Okumura’s various experiences in the construction industry, Okumura Sekkei aims to practice ‘workable designs’.

“In my previous employment, I was often in the project owners’ offices to correct drawings of various sites,” said Mr. Okumura. “There were too many designs that required corrections at the construction stage, hence I saw the need for contractors to see the actual sites even before drawing up plans.”

He continued, “Furthermore, special construction methods have recently been requested for reconstruction projects following disasters like earthquakes, as well as the construction for the 2020 Olympic games to be held in Tokyo. In a time where we face an aging society and technological change, productivity must improve. When we see the actual sites with our own eyes, our designs will be able to reflect the feelings of the people who live there. That’s the sort of design we want to create.”

With FARO’s 3D laser scanners, Okumura Sekkei is assured of the consistent, accurate and quick results on site surveys. However, what is more evident is the company’s commitment to produce designs that takes into practical considerations – such as utility lines – for its buildings’ inhabitants.

Expanding Business Operations with Use of Measurement Devices

Apart from FARO’s scanning devices, Okumura Sekkei uses several other systems in its projects, including drones with high-definition cameras, compact radio control boats equipped with GPS, and echo sounders to survey river bottoms and lake bottoms. The company is also planning to introduce UAV laser survey systems with lightweight laser scanners and highresolution cameras in the future, which will boost its capabilities to cover land, sea, and air surveying, to better serve the needs of various clients.

The company also plans to expand their services by introducing 3D printers to help present models of scanned data. Mr. Okumura revealed, “We plan to use the benefits of 3D measurement solutions to appeal to project owners, so that we can be engaged as main contractors in future projects, as opposed to being subcontractors.”

When asked about his vision for the company’s future, he shared, “We are looking to expand our presence overseas. We have some Indonesian technicians with us right now, and with their help, we plan to establish a base in Indonesia when they return home.”

About Okumura Sekkei Corporation

Since its establishment in 2002, Okumura Sekkei has been engaged in construction planning and process management, as well as quantity surveying for whole construction works, including the design of various structures (e.g. roads, bridges, and river and sand erosion control) for public infrastructure construction businesses. The company has established a reputation for highly workable designs, which can be attributed to its personnel’s rich field experience. Okumura Sekkei started utilizing 3D data when it first introduced the FARO Focus3D X 330 into its fold in 2014. As at February 2018, the company has 30 employees.

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