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Laser Scanning

Laser scanning is a means of obtaining a 360-degree data capture within x, y and z axes that provides a three dimensional view of a facility. With a scanning camera operating at ultra-fast speed, it collects up to 500,000 individual surface geometry measurements per second and creates a ‘point cloud’ that can be viewed with specialized software. It is a way to bring a ‘smart’ digital picture of a facility back to a designer who, using the industry’s predominant 3D CAD modeling software, can design or redesign facilities.

Mustang utilizes the two principal scanning camera technologies, time- of-flight-based, best suited for medium to long range scanning by capturing approximately 5,000 data points per second. It has a range of about 300 yards. Phase-based, for shorter range projects, can collect data about 10 times faster. Both technologies are effective for specific requirements and, on certain projects, it is advantageous to use both scanners in tandem and coordinate their results.

Laser Scanning Benefits

Laser scanning can record measurements to within 1/8th of an inch and as far away as 300 yards. The camera captures everything within view, resulting in an error rate of less than 1 percent and virtually eliminates the need for field checking.

Cost and Time Savings
Laser scanning projects can be accomplished with a 2-3 person crew, with trips as short as a few days to gather the necessary information, versus traditional methods requiring 8-10 persons of various disciplines who could spend months on multiple trips trying to gather the same information, yet not as accurately. Travel, housing and per diem costs are dramatically reduced. Virtually all of the scans can be collected from various survey points and registered together before leaving the site, so there is normally no need for a repeat visit by a checker.

Laser scanning can be accomplished on the ground or on the deck of a fixed or floating facility. Climbing ladders is minimized. Scaffolding or harnesses are normally not required as the scans can encompass elevated structures with their viewing capability.

Future Reference
Laser scanning creates an updated as-built 3D point cloud of the facility which can be stored and used for future projects. This is advantageous on brownfield upgrades and enhancements.

Shared Information
Multiple disciplines working on the same project are able to utilize the same scanned data, being effective and helping assure consistency of design information.

Design Team Satisfaction
With additional and more accurate information, the project designer is able to make better decisions, avoid rework, accurately identify potential piping clashes and be more productive.

Mustang’s laser scanning team has experience with a broad range of global grassroots and brownfield projects, both onshore and offshore, upstream and downstream.

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David Stevens

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