Why the Refining and Petrochemical Industries Are Rapidly Embracing Autonomous 3D Reality Capture

The ability to quickly and easily capture and manage an accurate digital record of all plant assets creates new ways to optimize plant performance.

Digital transformation presents significant opportunities for the fuel and petrochemical industries. Optimized production efficiency and improved asset management are just some of the key benefits. But maximizing the value of the investments made in digitalization requires keeping the data current — a task that is challenging for most organizations. The complexity of data capture, limitations on facility access, and difficulty of data management are hurdles that prevent many plants from reaching their potential.

Top-performing operations have already implemented laser scanning reality capture as a way to overcome these obstacles. Now, new developments in reality capture technology are creating a barrier-free pathway to achieve outstanding results.

“It all comes down to simplicity,” says Joey Lafranca, industrial plant solutions specialist for Leica Geosystems.

Autonomy makes 3D digital asset management simple

“Advances in autonomous reality capture technology allow operators to capture inaccessible assets, or assets at high elevation, storage tank roofs and other equipment in areas to which human entry or access is limited or even totally denied,” Lafranca explains. “For example, the Leica BLK autonomous solutions integrate both 3D laser scanning and panoramic image capture to make jobs simple and autonomous.”

These systems enable fast and accurate capture of manufacturing facilities for reverse engineering, deformation analysis, meshing, 3D modeling, CAD integration, and other applications.

An integrated viewing platform streams to any web-enabled device a real-time, immersive 3D experience for all stakeholders involved in project design, maintenance and operation of fuel and petrochemicals facilities, or even training requirements.

Autonomy in the software simplifies data processing and management, enabling existing staff to easily manage the data.

Ease of use enables fast ROI

Both the hardware and software involved in autonomous reality capture are easy to learn and use. Very little training is required to be proficient in using these new systems.

“The overarching goals in the development of these systems was threefold: speed, accuracy, and ease of adoption,” explains Joey. “It’s this ease of adoption that has made them so popular. These systems are designed to be used by mechanical designers, structural detailers, CAD operators, and anyone who is already involved in plant maintenance, retrofit activities and shut-down and turn-around events.”

Demos show clear advantages

As word spreads about the benefits of autonomous reality capture technology, the Leica Geosystems Industrial Plant Solutions team finds themselves with an increasing number of requests for demonstrations.

In October 2022, Joey will be giving three educational demos at the AFPM Summit in San Antonio, TX, focusing on the use and value of the digital data captured with the autonomous solutions. Scheduled demos will take place Oct. 18 in the Independence Room on the 3rd floor of the Grand Hyatt San Antonio beginning at 1:30 pm, 3 pm, and 4:30 pm CDT. Joey will also give impromptu technology demos throughout the three-day conference.

Educational demos on "Autonomous 3D Reality Capture for Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers" will be held in the Independence Room on the third floor of the Grand Hyatt San Antonio at the AFPM Summit on Oct. 18.

“You really have to experience the technology for yourself to understand the tremendous potential it holds for your organization,” he says. “As the fuel and petrochem industries look for new ways to manage unprecedented volatility, autonomous reality capture presents a timely solution.”

If you’re not attending AFPM but are interested in getting a demo or speaking with an industrial plant solutions expert, please contact us.

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