Laser Scanning & Digital Twins
Laser Scanning for the Marine Industry
Is the time to install a Ballast Water Treatment (BWT) System or maybe an Exhaust Gas Scrubber rapidly approaching? Perhaps you have questions about the exact size of the cargo hold?
PMC has experience laser scanning ships of all sizes around the world. We are familiar with the challenges unique to marine scanning from security access restrictions like TWIC cards to challenges with last–minute schedules, PMC has been through it and has succeeded.
Tens of thousands of aging vessels will soon need equipment retrofits, most of which require accessing narrow, tight, and limited space areas. Even for those owners who have archives of original drawings, the general arrangement depictions may no longer accurately reflect the vessel – especially one which has been in service for years and has seen its share of repair yard insertions. Hence, equipment retrofit is often extensive, costly, time-consuming and fraught with measurement errors. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The modern approach involves scanning ship spaces with a 3D laser scanner to create a very detailed and accurate 3D point cloud model. Today’s high-speed laser scanners are quite suitable for this purpose as they can perform tens of millions of measurements in just a few minutes. Scans are taken from various positions to provide sufficient coverage around equipment. The scans are then registered together to bring them all into the same coordinate system. Scanning, when done correctly, can be accurate to within 3 mm over 10–meter distances.
Benefits of 3D Laser Scanning
- Laser scanning can be done while the ship is in operation.
- Measurements: more comprehensive and precise compared to hand measurements.
- Reduces or eliminates the need for follow-up site visits.
- Design work can be carried out in office & within the created 3D Point Cloud Model.
- Data allows a larger portion of new or replacement pipe spools to be pre-fabricated in shop @ lower cost.
- Data increases the number of bolt-up tie-ins & reduces field welds, reducing shipyard costs & downtime.
Historic Naval Architecture
The mission of documenting historic sites and structures with laser scanning often includes artifacts of naval history such as historic wooden ships. Given the fantastic human effort to design and build these vessels in centuries past – without the advantages of computers and CAD software – these engineering feats deserve the benefits of modern–day laser scanning for historical documentation and digital preservation.
Design & Retrofit – The Way Forward
Although it is possible to continue using the “brute force” methods of the past, 3D Laser Scanning has emerged as a valuable and accessible technology that will continue to make measurable strides in the shipyard and beyond.
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