5 Ways Oil Plants Can Benefit From 3D Models of their Plant & Pipes

The fundamental deficiency in the life cycle management of any oil plant is mainly caused by insufficient flow of intelligence in the form of data, drawings, or documents entered during activities of the plant's objects. For example, equipment such as valves or pipes. Such difficulties are encountered by all types of operating plants, most especially oil and gas processing plants. The manual and semi-automated procedures used by the plants to overcome these kinds of problems are usually very slow and costly, resulting in an increase in plant maintenance expenses.

The ideal solution in such cases would be the building of intelligent 3D plant models and piping systems for the operating plant which is done using lasergrammetry system. The system transfers relevant data to application software for pressure drop calculations, structural analysis, pipe stress analysis, and project management. This is all done through the interface software, in order for each client to effectively continue using their choice tools. There are many ways that an oil plant can benefit from using a 3D environment. Apart from the fact that 3D models of the plant and pipes help the designing contractor to conduct a timely review session with the client team to inspect whether the designing is done according to the project's specification, below are other benefits that are enjoyed by the plant.

5 Ways Oil Plants Can Benefit From 3D Models of their Plant & Pipes

1. Integration

Converting laser scans into intelligent 3D models helps to integrate the built plant environment with the modern digital enterprise. Petrochemical plants all over the world are applying 3D solutions for their piping and vessels inspection programs. By adopting this technology, the plant can maneuver complex components during major outages. Using 3D models also reduces the number of inspection points by fifty percent and similarly, the inspection hours reduce by 20 to 30 percent, with an inherent increase in the safety and reliability. The increase in safety and reliability will work for the benefit of the plant's compliance with Safety and Health Administration Standards. Intelligent 3D models also improve the consistency and accuracy of the documentation and placement of the measurements of pipe thickness plus the monitoring of locations.

2. Color Coding

Using 3D models of the plant enables the color coding of pipes to reflect the areas of high, low, and medium acceleration of corrosion susceptibility. This allows the plant personnel to quickly learn the the system fully as well as enable them to include data in the form of text. Having 3D models of the plant's existing equipment is a huge step in that, the technology distinguishes insulation from piping, which allows the workers to know whether the replaced section of a pipe is one foot or three feet. Reports from analysts also show that the technology could greatly help with the transformation of hand drawn isometric models of the actual equipment to digital models, ultimately enabling the shift from location or time to condition based inspection methods.

3. Increased Productivity

Using 3D plant and pipe designs increases efficiency with a tightly integrated set of tools to design intelligent pipes, raceways, and equipment. The technology saves time and money with industry proven software that increases the collaboration across the project designing team. A lot of time is also saved by the use of a single, streamlined application with comprehensive functionality including building models and the creation of accurate isometrics.

4. Reduced Cost of Projects

The total cost of projects is also reduced by integration of the plants functions through the collaboration of management data applications through a common plant project database. The technology also uses a scalable software that is designed to grow as the plant grows, and can also stand alone or be used on large projects, hence saving money.

5. Lower Risks Projects

The technology is mature and industry proven and offers leading design component libraries. It also executes design reviews, resolves clashes, and optimizes layouts faster within the plant's context using a navigator. Using a 3D model of the plant before construction also increases the accuracy with an automatic clash detection across the 3D piping system, the structure, the equipment and the electrical connections. It is therefore possible to resolve clashes immediately after they are detected, which in turn lowers the risk.


The use of 3D laser scanning has rapidly demonstrated an array of of benefits that has resulted in greater efficiency, improved safety, greater accuracy, improved cost saving and a possible reduction in the cost of projects due to improved design accuracy and quality control.

#3DModels #Plants #3DLaserScanning

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