Reality Capture technology brings new innovation to the field of digital asset documentation, engineering, and plant management. Reality Capture is the science of bringing the real world into a digital computer model, using a variety of advanced techniques, and is traditionally used extensively to document real world conditions in the field of energy, aerospace, and heavy industry as well as to solve complex engineering and design challenges.
Accurate, digital models of existing facilities greatly enhances the ability of managers and engineers to make critical decisions concerning ongoing maintenance of a facility, budgetary concerns, safety, and other liability concerns.
Historically, many of the tools and techniques used in the computer modeling field have remained expensive and inaccessible to all but the largest companies willing to make significant investment into digital record keeping. To compound the initial cost of entry, a lack of standardization for working with digital 3D records meant the effectiveness of the data to assist managers and engineers was limited.
This paradigm is now changing as companies like Noorda Technologies introduce new innovation in the field of Reality Capture to significantly reduce the cost and technical expertise required to achieve the benefits associated with digital documentation, such as the ability to seamlessly translate complex laser scan data to industry standard formats like Autodesk Revit, Autocad, and Recap. In the past, creating standards based, parametric models from laser scan data was a laborious process requiring many hours of work. The process of accurate model generation can now largely be automated, using Noorda Technologies proprietary tools.
Due in part to standardization around free Autodesk products like Recap, visualization and interaction with Reality Capture data has become far easier, and allows for a true, “there in person”, experience. Entire facilities may now be stored in a workable 3D digital format, and be kept electronically, on consumer grade hardware. Noorda Technologies, along with other companies such as Faro have made great advancements in the compression of large amounts of spacial data, allowing even the most modest computer hardware to view 3D records kept in digital formats, as well as viewed and collaborated on via tools like Autodesk Web Viewer.
3D Laser scanning is an integral part of the Reality Capture ecosystem and many facilities management groups tend to associate laser scan data from manufacturers such as Leica or Faro as Reality Capture. Indeed, Reality Capture is now much more than simply laser scans, and includes drone photography, satellite, ultrasonic, x-ray, and other imaging data, composited into a single model.
As it applies to Oil and Gas, Reality Capture has several benefits as opposed to traditional documentation techniques. The first, and most obvious benefit is one of speed and accuracy. A typical laser capture tool can scan a 360 degree section of space out to 350 meters, capturing every surface at an accuracy of about 1mm in just under six minutes! When combined with a typical consumer grade drone overflight, a small brownfield site can be totally captured into a digital format in as little as day, at an astounding level of accuracy. This data can then be translated by Noorda Technologies in a matter of hours to any industry standard format.
The second primary use of Reality Capture in the energy sector, due in part to Noorda Technologies, is one of as designed / as built verification. Using the Reality Capture data, several automated procedures exist to compare the Reality Capture data directly to the 3D CAD model data and generate quality control reports. This allows engineers to completely understand their pipeline and stations, down to the smallest detail, in an easy to read report that highlights and tracks as built discrepancies as small as fractions of a millimeter. Inspections of this nature take place on a scale and speed never possible before the use of Reality Capture techniques.
Many other cost saving, safety, and inspection applications exist for Reality Capture in the oil and gas industry. New drone technology, VR visualization, Autodesk collaboration, and affordable services, such as those from Noorda Technologies, are adding new efficiencies to pipeline operations.