Off-shore oil rig

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.

The company contends that 3D scanning enables engineers to remotely plan upgrades to oil and gas assets in a virtual setting using models. Although the original scan needs to be performed physically by an engineer, most of the work can be done remotely on computers or other shared devices.

Mark Franklin from Kleinfelder, told Rigzone that 3D scanning devices capture millions of data points to measure an object or space, producing detailed 3D images in minutes. The images consist of millions of 3D data points, which are known as a “point cloud,” he said.

“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 3D scanning applications for the oil and gas industry 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-colour 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-through for project scoping, volume calc reports, bidding or planning purposes

Franklin also noted that some emerging uses for 3D scanning include:
• Capturing and analysing site conditions
• Identifying peripheral asset clashes
• Performing 3D modeling and design
• Measuring piping, steel, and infrastructure elements
• Turnaround support and planning.

Applying 3D scanning also provides a pathway for oil and gas companies to integrate various technological concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT), digital twins, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and mixed reality, added Franklin.

See the full story at Rigzone.com