Lead Forensics

How 3D scanning handles complex factory layouts

Apr 15, 2024 | 3D Scanning, Development, Digital Twins, Industry, Manufacturing, News

3D scanning can be used to de-cypher even the most complex factory layouts, capturing every area with precision. Here’s how this is accomplished:

Comprehensive Point Clouds:

  • 3D scanners emit laser beams, which bounce off surfaces and return as data points (a point cloud).
  • These point clouds form a dense, 3D representation of the factory layout, capturing even the most convoluted geometries.

Multi-Location Scanning:

For large-scale scanning of factories, the scanners is strategically positioned, so that each scan captures a portion of the layout, and the data is later merged into a cohesive whole.

Overcoming Obstacles:

Complex layouts often feature obstacles like machinery, pipes, and support structures. 3D scanners handle these obstacles by:

  • Line of Sight: Scanning from multiple angles to capture hidden areas.
  • Reflections: Detecting reflections to map obscured surfaces.
  • Registration Algorithms: Aligning overlapping scans seamlessly.

Indoor GPS:

  • 3D scanners use reference points (targets or spheres) placed throughout the factory.
  • These act as indoor GPS coordinates, aiding in scan alignment and accuracy.

High-Resolution Scans:

  • To capture fine details, scanners use high-resolution settings.
  • This ensures that intricate features—such as wiring, joints, and structural elements—are faithfully recorded.

Clash Detection and Space Optimisation:

  • Engineers analyse the 3D model for clashes (interferences) between existing structures and proposed modifications. Optimising space utilisation becomes easier with accurate layouts.

As-Built Documentation:

  • The final 3D model can be used to create comprehensive ‘as-built’ documentation, which architects, facility managers, and maintenance teams can use for reference.
  • In summary, 3D scanning transforms complexity into clarity, unraveling factory layouts with digital precision.















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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.