If you’re involved in oil and gas work, you understand that preciseness, as well as safety, is paramount to getting the job done well and without incident. The need for reliable, high-quality data for these industries is one of the reasons many oil- and gas-related companies have turned to the use of 3D scanners for a variety of needs.
With the advanced techniques offered by 3D scanning, data isn’t left to chance. Information needed is provided quickly and accurately, even when accessibility is difficult or unsafe. Even highly-congested areas can be scanned accurately, providing information that’s essential for projects such as design, expansions and upgrades, analysis, and more.
Common oil and gas applications for 3D laser scanning
- Maintenance – Site upkeep is essential for petroleum companies of all sorts but, sometimes, determining which equipment needs repairs or updates can be difficult. It often takes more than just a visual inspection. With 3D scanners, companies can access accurate sizing and fit data and can take frequent scans of equipment to determine any problems with erosion, degrading, or similar. A 3D scan can also aid in determining the right size for replacement parts, when necessary.
- Tank strapping – A term not likely identifiable to the general public, tank strapping refers to the need to verify the continued roundness of certain large storage facilities. Strapping measures the fluid in the storage tanks to help determine capacity and dimension. This can be done easily with a 3D scanner, which can map the liquid in the tank and determine whether the container remains safe for storage of flammable products.
- Verification of volume – This can be associated with tank strapping or may be an application all its own. Sometimes, companies are simply looking to assess the capacity of their tanks and a 3D scanner is a great tool for this. It’s quick and easy!
- Equipment inspection – In the oil and gas industry, equipment that is working properly is a must. Using 3D laser scanning, inspections can be made much more easily and accurately. The scans can show current or potential problems and multiple scans made from year to year can be compared to detect changes that could be troublesome. Once changes or modifications are made, a re-scan with 3D equipment can verify that repairs or replacements were done correctly.
- Volume verification in secondary containers – In the oil and gas industry, spills can be a disaster! As such, these industries employ the use of secondary containment systems to keep spills from harming the environment, i.e. seeping into the soil or a nearby water supply. 3D scanners can verify the volume of these container systems and help avoid overflow.
What items can be scanned with a 3D scanner?
Myriad items and equipment used in the oil and gas industries can be scanned with 3D technology, from small pieces of machinery to giant tanks. Here are a few examples:
- Super Structures
- Natural Gas Compression Stations
- Vapor Recovery Units
- Small- and Large-format Piping
- Loading Racks
- Metering Skids
- Freighter Piers
- Towers, Platforms and Bridges
- Pipeline Manifold Shelters
- And much more!
Advantages of using 3D scanning
There are 3 primary advantages to using 3D scanning in oil and gas industry applications.
- Safety – When you research the number of injuries and fatalities in these industries through the years, you understand why safety is so important. With 3D scanning, it’s easier to keep employees and sub-contractors out of harm’s way by allowing them to stay away from hazardous areas, avoid climbing in high places, and more.
- Speed – Gathering measurements and other information quickly can be essential in some oil and gas applications, especially when problems are detected. With a 3D scanner, data is collected much more quickly than if humans had to take measurements manually. This allows companies to stick to timelines, which saves both money and manpower.
- Convenience – 3D scanning is convenient because it saves travel time to facilities that are off-site and also eliminates re-dos in most cases. When employees are trained to use a 3D scanner or when an outside scanning company is hired to go to a particular location, all the data is collected in one trip and can then be accessed and analyzed later. Furthermore, it’s unlikely another visit will need to be made to correct mistakes.
At 3DRE Scanning, Modeling, and Inspection, we are eager to help oil and gas companies in the Greater Vancouver region and beyond with their scanning needs. Our knowledge of these industries provides our clients the opportunity to get tasks done quickly and correctly. We’re also happy to familiarize new clients with the best ways to use our services.
For more information on 3D scanning for oil and gas applications, call us at 604-910-0165.