Laser Scanning Improves Petrochemical Plant Design
Laser scanning as a method of storage of spatial information is used in various economic sectors, and is increasingly being used to capture the complexity of industrial plants. The use of laser scanning for industrial design, or more precisely on the execution of a 3D scan of the petrochemical complex for the production of synthetic rubber, was used to create a three-dimensional digital model of four plants for the production of isoprene (raw material for rubber). The TogliattiKauchuk factory is located in Togliatti, Russia and is one of the largest petrochemical enterprises producing rubber.
The project was executed by Acropol-Geo with a process inspection and support of 3DLS’s specialists. 3DLS apply advanced geo-technologies in the field of engineering research and GIS, and have spearheaded the development of laser scanning in Russia.
The plant project involved successfully capturing the factory-built documentation, conducting a survey of industrial facilities, performing accurate measurements for the control of construction, creating topographical plans and maps, calculating volumes of mining and storage of bulk products, performing architectural measurements of buildings, scanning and simulating emergency hydraulic power units, capturing the linear objects of pipeline transportation, carrying out a three-dimensional modeling of complex industrial structures, and performing other activities to visualize and model the 3D scan.
Enterprises increasingly use 3D solutions leading vendors such as Autodesk, AVEVA, Bentley, ESRI and Intergraph to incorporate scans for the design, engineering and project management of industrial management. The leading enterprises that use these technologies are players primarily in the oil, gas and energy industries.
The Leica SS C10 scanner has a high range (up to 300m) and was used for scaled surveying and for scans registration with local coordinate system of plant. FARO LS Focus-3D scanners were used for detailed surveying of objects.
The Leica SS C10 scanner has the best indices while industry laser scanning on the distance more 40m, and has a good signal/noise ratio. The main advantage of Leica SS C10 is that it mounts on standard geodesic tripod with trigger, has built-in centering, double-axis inclination compensator, accepts a standard GPS antenna and has automatic recognition of flat geodesic tags.
The portability of Focus 3D Scanner allowed the crew to quickly transport the scanner from one surveying station to another without having to turn it off. This scanner has proved to be extremely adaptable when working within tight spaces and crowded conditions (lots of pipes, valves, flanges and steel in a confined space). Its small and efficient battery allowed continuous operation for up to 5 hours. The Russian interface of the internal firmware of Focus 3D laser scanner allows any operator to quickly and properly configure the device, and be confident that the desired result will be achieved.
The field work of the scanning of the plant was carried out by a team of four specialists in 34 working days, and consisted of two parts:
- Creation of the geodetic net
- Laser scanning of the object’s elements The technology allows to perform these two processes in parallel
The work was carried out on an area of 5 hectares. However, multi-level interlocking of cables and tubes of different diameters, hundreds of technology setup areas, equipment, facilities, tanks and furnaces increased the technological complexity of the object and its scanning. Shooting conditions were close to extreme: functioning harmful production process, vibration, noise, high temperature piping, the presence of high- pressure steam, harmful chemical emissions, etc.
All elements of the object were subject to scanning, including each flange. Scanning was done from a total of 8,158 positions to achieve the maximum coverage of the elements of the measurement object. The total number of single measurements (in the point cloud) exceeded 12.5 billion. In order to reduce the time, in which this field phase of work was completed, the technology approach of “total scan” was used. The use of a standard survey methods (the use of the order of 7 spheres or marks on each scan) and stitching of such a large amount of data would have required 5-6 times more time. Additionally, the use of proprietary software allowed to successfully solve the problem of compensation for fluctuations and vibrations.
The postprocessing phase consisted of the following:
- Pretreatment of scans using FARO Scene software
- Alignment of the scans in InnovMetric PolyWorks software
- Registration of scans in the coordinate system of the plant
- Build and control of scan alignment performed in Leica Cyclone software
- Creating 3D models in Bentley MicroStation software
- Conversion of 3D model into PDMSmac format
Quality control is performed by visual analysis of cross-linked sections of the cloud of points in the software environment Leica Cyclone. Horizontal and vertical cross sections of the aligned point models have been built in order to assess the accuracy of the models. The points in these cross sections were highlighted in different colors that correspond to the various scanning stations. The quality control inspection results were positive: the maximum difference between the points of scans from different stations amounted to 12 mm compared with the desired tolerance of up to 15 mm in the assignment specification.
The high density of the cloud of points and the adequate coverage of the element measurements enabled the successful deciphering and modeling of the details of the object according to the required specifications. 3D modeling was performed by different software: Bentley MicroStation, Autodesk AutoCAD and Leica Cyclone. This process consisted of inserting vector geometric basics into the appropriate segmented point clouds. The final collecting and checking of 3D models was done in Bentley MicroStation.
The final step was the quality control process to determine the quality of the output results. Together, this provided for an exact match between the executed model and the real measurements of the object. Thanks to complex and flexible tools of MicroStation a 3D model of 3D models was collected from other software. Powerful 3D visualizing and rendering created the final 3D model.
The entire project was completed within 102 working days. The project management team received a database in Leica Cyclone IMP-format, containing the normalized cloud of points along with credible 3D models of the plant in CAD and PDMS format within the coordinate system of the plant. Thanks to laser scanning and 3D modeling, the project for the modernization of the plant will be implemented with the highest quality.