On March 1, Sitech Services produced digital 3D laser scans of AnQore’s ACN plants. It would certainly be true to say that this initial 3D laser scanning project has been a success. Several companies on the Chemelot site have already expressed their interest, and they aren't jumping the gun – this new 3D laser scanning service offers many advantages.
Many useful applications
Michel Kreutz (Plant Administrator) and Frans de Wijs (Documentor) explain. “A 3D scan of a plant can be used for a variety of purposes, such as designing a new installation. Since you have an exact representation of the current plant, you can precisely determine the dimensions that are possible for a new installation. Walking through a digital factory can also help to avoid misunderstandings in meetings, since you can point things out to people. And lastly, digital scan data can be used in other programs – for example virtual reality instructions or workplace density analyses in turnarounds.”
“Since you have an exact representation of the current plant, you can precisely determine the dimensions that are possible for a new installation”
Michel Kreutz, Plant Administrator
Attractively priced, thanks to the use of the fire brigade
While creating and managing the 3D scans is the responsibility of Plant Documentation, the scanning itself is carried out by the company fire brigade. “This makes it possible to offer the service at a low price,” says Frans. “Members of the company fire brigade received special training in how to use the latest scanner and the associated software.”
Combining points and photos to make a 3D scan
How does 3D laser scanning actually work? “The product you ultimately deliver is a ‘point cloud’ – a collection of millions of 3D points along the X, Y and Z axes,” Michael explains. “All scans refer to surveying or land registry reference points. To begin with, you enter the desired reference point into the scanner, which then turns 360 degrees. Each scan measures two million points. The scanning equipment simultaneously takes panoramic photos. The point cloud and the photos are then linked to each other, producing a 3D image.”
New service generating a lot of interest
The first 3D laser scanning project can certainly be said to have been a success. Are there any more projects on the cards? “We're currently also busy working on a vat scan for ammonia plants,” says Frans. “That is therefore not a scan of the surrounding area, but rather a detailed scan. We’ve also received a request from Fibrant to produce scans of spaces for designing a sprinkler system, and OMF have requested a quotation for scans of the fertilizer plants and the neutra-evaporation facility.” Wilbert Derks, Program Manager Innovations, concludes: “The news of this 3D laser scanning service has already spread throughout the Chemelot site, with several offers now in the making. If it carries on like this, we’re going to need more people in the years to come!”
If you are curious about 3D laser scanning and what it could offer your own plant, then contact Wilbert Derks, Program Manager Innovations.