3D plant planning using 3D laser scanning

Pipeline and plant planning with laser scanning for an international chemicals corporation

The existing production plant for dietary supplements of a customer from the chemicals industry required planning and execution of an extension to increase quality and capacity. The planning partner for this fast-track project in the year 2020 was SI-TEC. Despite very narrow structural dimensional tolerances, SI-TEC was able to guarantee adherence to the quality requirements and achieve a reduction in time and costs.

Using 3D laser scanning and with a great deal of planning experience in the field of existing plants and short conversion windows, we helped to accelerate and implement the lifetime extension.

Following a break in production, only short lead times were available for planning and execution. Aspects of safety technology meant that classic on-site records (measurements taken manually) were insufficient, the requirements placed on the precision and quality of the planning documents became stricter.

Our services and core activities


We took charge of all services in the fields of 3D planning with CAD/BIM for our customer, using 3D laser scanning, including all the preparatory measures. From the outset, we provided the customer with support in customer management consultancy in relation to BIM and the use of 3D laser scanning. Our services including determining the quantity frameworks to establish the fixed price, drawing up the pipework classes and setting up the project (from ICT through to modelling structure/models). We checked the quality of incoming process planning guidelines and set up the project in an evaluation software package. Our assignment was to create the planning documents for layouts, drawings of support structures and isometric projections. Until the above materials were delivered, we assumed responsibility for all quality inspections and the stress calculations.

»Precision under pressure of time – that is what we achieved here: a slight production stoppage meant that we had an extremely short conversion window for the dismantling and new construction work required for the plant extension, while prefabrication and assembly were subject to high precision. During this process, the objective was to minimize any planning errors through process optimization and deliver very precisely detailed fabrication documents for the installation.«

Customer benefits through SI-TEC

The of 3D laser scanning means that the quality of the 3D planning and hence the dimensional accuracy of the production documents is very high. We achieved a similarly high level of prefabrication and hence short conversion windows due to the precision of the high-performance scanner (approx. +/-2mm) and the large amount of information from the point clouds that provide highly precise documentation of the existing plant. Finally, we increased the precision of the installation for the equipment, support structures and pipelines, which contributed to a dramatic reduction in the error or failure rate (e.g. scrap from pipelines).

Rohrleitungen // pipeline

Overall, laser scanning means that the customer now benefits from a faster, more reliable and more precise survey of the existing facilities. The forecast scope of planning can now be achieved precisely and the fabrication documents are of high quality. We were able to meet all the critical deadlines – and remain within the budget as well.

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