Laser scanning is an efficient and highly accurate technology for 3D measurements and digitalization of complex facilities and layouts. The powerful tool can save both time and money on redesigns, keep design projects on schedule and provide valuable information. In this blog article, I will describe laser scanning, how it works and in what ways the technology can create high value for future factory developments.
A technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects
Laser scanning is a technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light. By identifying the exact size and shape of, for example, an object or a specific environment, the laser scanner collects data that enables the physical object to be transformed into a three-dimensional replica in the digital world. The technology has been used in engineering activities for more than 20 years, mainly in architectural design work. However, it has become more and more popular to use also in the manufacturing industry.
Laser scanners provide information required for further planning
In these situations, a laser scanner can provide the required data on existing layouts with the accuracy needed for further planning. If laser scanning is used throughout the entire development project, the new facility will have documentation from all the major milestones in the project. That means, the scanner can define what is behind the walls, above the ceiling and under the floor as well as create an overview of the machinery on site. This is valuable documentation that production owners can utilize throughout the production plant’s life cycle.
Save time and money when redesigning or creating a new production site
Data is transferred to a CAD system before turned into a 3D model
Remove unnecessary objects to avoid shadows or disturbances on the scan
Before scanning, it is important to remove all objects and equipment from the factory that do not need to be in the scan, or that can create shadows or disturbances on the scan. In other words, the production area should be clean and only contain the equipment and resources needed in the scan. It is also important that operators and people in the factory area are aware that the laser equipment and reference points must not be moved during the scanning process.