Laser scanning in manufacturing industries : The potential and usability of laser scanning for industrial applications
Making mistakes or discovering errors too late in the factory layout process is very costly. Unfortunately, the layouts aren’t always accurate or updated which creates a degree of uncertainty when it comes to installation of new equipment and rebuilding facilities. It also leads to a lot of waste in movement when employees has to go out in production to perform measurements, take pictures and take notes in order to remember important details to avoid errors. Lasers in land and engineering surveying instruments have been widely used for the last 30 years. A natural development has been to add a scanning mechanism to a total station that were already equipped with laser rangefinders and angular encoders, allowing automated measurement and location of thousands of nonspecific points. The automobile industry has begun to see the potential of laser scanning, mainly because of the development of the software handling the scan results, the point clouds. Scania, in collaboration with the FFI research project at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), therefore wanted to investigate how the new possibilities of 3D laser scanning can facilitate the development and maintenance of production systems and how it could be implemented in the current factory design process. By scanning three locations at Scania related to machining, assembly and aftermarket service the usability of the results has been investigated with the software Faro Scene and Bentley Pointools V8i. The results of the study showed that the laser scanning technology can generate several possibilities for manufacturing industries. The technology can be profitable and the modern point cloud software and applications could support the work of the layout design process greatly. Three main application areasfound:
Visualization & communication: The point cloud is an excellent information carrier and can easily be used as a visualization aid for meetings or simply to refreshing memories of a location. It also provides the possibility to view and examine a location remotely.
Gather information: The measuring possibilities are immense, allowing single point and distance measurements without the concern of interfering with objects. The method can to some extent replace the current approach in measuring buildings and floor flatness.
Simulation & verification: Software can perform advanced simulations and verifications of existing and future layouts, models and installations. Parts of the point cloud can be colorized, hidden, removed, duplicated or transformed. Existing 2D layout drawings or 3D models can be attached and verified relative the point cloud. The attached objects can be simulated with clash collision or differencing.
Keywords: 3D Laser Scanning, TLS, CAD, Point Cloud, Factory Layout, Faro Scene, Bentley Pointools V8i, FactoryDesign Process, Factory Scanning Process.
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