Scanners help detect interference in coal-fired power plant

Scanners help detect interference in coal-fired power plant

Using long-range laser scanning, three software platforms and Building Information Modeling (BIM), a team of engineers at 3D Engineering Solutions (3DES; Cincinnati, OH, USA) created a clash detection simulation that highlighted interferences that prevented replacement turbines from entering a coal-fired power plant.

Initially, the replacement turbines couldn’t fit in the energy facility because the replacement turbines that needed to be installed were too large to fit through the plant doors.

However, after the team calculated interferences, workers were able to cut away concrete from one of the plant doors and shift two sections of high-power conduits measuring 2 feet in diameter. Riggers then moved in massive turbines, with only 4 inches of clearance on either side of the turbine crate.


The engineers at 3D Engineering Solutions employed SolidWorks 3D CAD design software, PolyWorks point cloud manipulation software, and Faro Scene scan alignment software to generate the simulation and recommend which interferences to remove.

The long range laser scanning tool allowed the engineers to capture precise measurements of the power plant as millions of data points, after which the software allowed them to determine a path for the turbines that would avoid danger.

After interferences were eliminated, the turbines were moved into the building in about three hours. The plant never fully went offline.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design



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