At a time when oil and gas companies are paying particularly close attention to improving efficiencies and cost-cutting, they would do well to increase their usage of 3D scanning technology, according to the engineering firm Kleinfelder.
From an article in Rig Zone by Matthew Veazey.
The company contends that 3D scanning enables engineers to use remote asset management to plan upgrades to oil and gas assets in a virtual setting using 3D models. Although the original scan needs to be performed physically by an engineer using a specialized 3D sensor most of the work can be done remotely on computers or other shared devices.
Franklin observed that asset owners need to have confidence in existing conditions and limit costly assumptions before taking on an infrastructure upgrade.
“3D scanning solutions provide clients with highly detailed and reality-rich 3D data that streamlines the design and construction process – reducing project risk,” he said.
Franklin also pointed out that 3D scanning offers oil and gas industry players the opportunity to refine existing processes, yielding safety, construction and maintenance cost benefits and helping to lower the environmental footprint of their assets.
“Having the ability to have highly accurate model information that is accessible through online applications assists with all those aspects and, therefore, we are seeing a lot of support for these new technologies as companies look at any way to improve efficiencies,” he explained.
A partial list of current oil and gas industry 3D scanning applications includes:
>Mission-critical facilities piping and equipment replacement projects
>Safety and equipment reliability-driven degradation and corrosion assessments (such as tank wall assessment and fireproofing)
>Enhanced engineering assessment of large-diameter overhead piping and other complex and inaccessible equipment
>Virtual reality for process operator immersion and emergency response training, along with constructability visualization
>Full-color 3D viewing access to site data without going to the site, including access to a web portal of all projects for virtual inspections
>Ability to conduct a full site walk-throughs for project scoping, volume calc reports, bidding or planning purposes
>Project planning in color 3D high-resolution from a planner’s desk, requiring no site access.
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