The power of digital asset management


Dozens of terminals. Hundreds of tanks. Thousands of manufactured valve assemblies, meter runs, filters, separators and other complex structures. All accurately located and managed via an accurate digital database that shows every piece of pipe, valve, fitting and weld complete with diameter, grade, ANSI class, wall thickness, coating and flow path. inspection or pressure area.

Once considered a futuristic ideal, this level of intelligence is quickly becoming the norm for the oil and gas industry as companies seek to maximize efficiency, sustainability and regulatory compliance.

Advances in technology in recent years have made it quick and easy to perform sophisticated 3D asset management. Specifically, 3D laser scanning technology captures every detail accurately in minutes, and smart databases ensure all information is readily available.

Continuous technological innovation is transforming the industry’s ability to quickly obtain incredibly accurate digital models that can be used to efficiently operate and manage assets and keep them in compliance.

Fast and accurate reality capture

Laser scanning is a non-contact, non-destructive method of digitally capturing 3D physical objects “reality capture” using a beam of light or a laser. The laser scanner, usually mounted on a tripod, captures millions of measurement points on any surface. These combined points are known as a point cloud – a complete, clear, and accurate digital record of the real environment that can be used for design and engineering, analysis, and even maintenance. Unlike CAD models, where everything is displayed level, square and plumb, point clouds capture the actual working system of pipelines, tanks and facilities as they exist in the real world. , with all their irregularities. Data entry is safe and efficient, with no need to climb ladders or balance on scaffolding to obtain the required measurements.

Oil and gas facility operators appreciate the rich detail of 3D models developed from laser scanning, as well as the speed of turnaround of deliverables. Measurable point clouds can be available instantly, while models and complete digital databases can be created in days. A natural progression is to extend digital asset management across operations.

But digitally documenting thousands of small facilities, tanks and fabrications to meet regulatory requirements presents some challenges compared to capturing the reality of large facilities…

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Tanks & Terminals magazine. To read the full article, login here Where sign up for a free subscription at Tanks & Terminals.

For more information, download a free copy of Leica Geosystems’ latest white paper: “The power of 3D asset management”. This white paper shows you how to use 3D asset management to achieve operational excellence. Get your free copy here.

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