3D laser scanning delivers many benefits for industrial and engineering projects, providing precise and reliable data which allows for improved planning and scheduling. Without physically touching what is being measured, 3D scanning creates clear and precise digital records of existing conditions. Laser scanners send out a beam that is subsequently reflected off the structure or being scanned. The distance and reflectivity of each return signal is measured and recorded, creating a point cloud.
Hano Oelofse, MD at earthing and lightning protection company DEHN Africa, says this 3D imposition helps to protect plants and other constructions, explaining: “3D laser scanning makes it easy to take the exact measurements of complex objects and building structures. With the help of a laser scanner, existing plants and structures can be recorded and digitalised. At DEHN Africa, we are able to offer this service not only for lightning protection systems, but for any building, structure or plant that needs precise drawings of the complete layout.”
3D scanning works as follows:
• The scan produces millions of measurement points called coordinates. Together these points create the raw data for the point cloud.
• Point clouds are then processed and consolidated using appropriate software.
• The result is a detailed 3D model.
Oelofse continues: “The intricate detail of the points means that an exact measurement anywhere in the point cloud can be obtained. DEHN Africa is able to use laser scanning to put together a lightning protection design for an existing building or plant. The process of creating the lightning protection design also gives a 3D model of the plant itself, which can then be used for other types of planning and processing.”
Oelofse says the advantages of the DEHN 3D offering include the following:
• Recording the as built situation creates an accurate design.
• While the preliminary planning stage benefits from time saving, time-consuming redesigns that are based on old as-built drawings are also no longer necessary.
• Different formats are available for further use.
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