Scan-to-BIM means greatly diminished downtime.

How does Scan-to-BIM help with materials handling efficiency?

Whether you’re a shipping company, e-commerce distribution center, or an airport, you know that when you walk into a package, material, or baggage handling facility, you are welcomed by a sea of conveyors worming in all directions. As demand and volume increase, getting more capacity out of existing spaces is vital. Because of the labyrinth of conveyors on top of conveyors, retrofit designers often don’t know where to begin.

PrecisionPoint knows that downtime must be kept to a minimum in these facilities. Our role in working with the retrofit designers is that of a “3D systems integrator.”

PPI comes into the facility and captures the buildings and systems using its dimensional control 3D scanning methodologies to produce point cloud models that are accurate within 5mm.

The point cloud models are then registered and turned into precise building information models. At this stage, PrecisionPoint brings the proposed 2D retrofit design into the BIM for clash detection analysis. Identifying problems before construction not only saves your organization money, but also drastically reduces downtime and all but eliminates mistakes and delays.

Package Client Snapshot

Client: Major International Shipping Company

Project: Expand capacity of a 250,000 square foot overnight shipping hub by adding a new network of conveyor belts within the same space as an existing conveyor system.

Problem: When a shipping company shuts down one of its major hubs for a retrofit, it must re-open precisely on schedule, which leaves very little time to encounter unexpected design problems during installation.

Solution: To expand capacity, an engineering firm had designed a new network of conveyor belts. PrecisionPoint was brought in to 3D scan the inside of the facility. Fortunately, PPI’s crew had handled complex jobs of this size before, and we completed the work in just six days despite the fact that the conveyors operated nonstop the entire time. Careful point cloud verification onsite ensured no spaces were missed.

Next, PrecisionPoint processed the scans into point clouds and proceeded to extract and model the existing conveyor belt network and its support structures from floor to ceiling. Included in this process was the task of modeling the “clearance boxes” above the belts. Each conveyor surface had an invisible space above it so packages of a maximum size could pass through without obstruction.scan to BIM PrecisionPoint Package Handling

Once the 3D Scan-to-BIM was created with positional accuracy of conveyor locations meeting the +/- 0.25 inch specifications, PrecisionPoint moved into the 3D coordination phase. In this step, we received a 2D digital drawing of the planned conveyor belt network expansion. We converted this into a 3D model and then ported it to the existing 3D BIM and point cloud for clash analysis.

The software pinpointed nearly 100 instances where the proposed conveyor network would clash with the existing conveyors, supports, or other interior structures. PrecisionPoint reviewed each clash with the engineering team during an online 3D collaboration presentation. The clashes were quickly redesigned, and construction on the retrofit moved forward as planned.

The entire project took five months and saved the client considerable money and hassle. This PrecisionPoint client felt that the 3D Coordination project was well worth their investment.

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