Everything is more challenging when it comes to the offshore environment. This detailed article in OE (Offshore Engineer) provides an in-depth look at the benefits of using 3D laser scanning to document the as found conditions of a production platform.
In 2012, Wood Group ODL was tasked with its first whole, colored-platform scan. The platform topsides are about 12,200-tonne, comprising 27 individual modules on seven levels, giving an indication of the scale of the facility. The offshore phase of the survey required 65 days on the platform with two surveyors.
As far as the future goes the author predicts,
“It will not be long before it will be even more cost-effective to undertake whole-platform scans, and use hand-held scanners to provide detailed information on areas of interest, such as corrosion, signs of wear, or tie-points for new or replacement systems.
Using intrinsically safe tablets will enable the onshore and offshore teams to share information almost immediately, and for initial designs to be virtually superimposed over the actual platform structure and equipment to confirm the suitability and practicality of the design.”