Harris Pye takes 3D on board
Laser scanning to help shipping firms manage ballast water regulations
by Sam Pfeifle
April 04, 2012
WALES, UK – When ships take on ballast, they take on more than water. They also
take on any number of marine organisms that hitch along for the ride. It’s how Alligatorweed
hitched a ride from South America to Alabama. And how Purple Loosestrife
came on over from Eurasia.
The problem is
such that the international community has responded with diverse rules and
regulations about ballast handling, including proposed global regulations put
out by the International
Maritime Organization and, in some cases, even stricter regional
regulations like those put out by the state of
California. Essentially, you’ve got to kill off all marine life
living in your ballast before you expel it.
What all of
this means is that practically all ships, around 60,000 of them, that travel
the world need ballast water treatment systems, which are generally installed
in and around the engine room, where space is tight. You can imagine the
workflow the naval architecture team at Harris Pye, a global player in the
offshore oil and gas, industrial and marine industries, had to go through as
they proposed solutions for clients: pick out a potential system to solve the
problem, measure potential spots in the ship’s engine room, put together a
plan, make a presentation to the client.
Then the client
says, “Is there a less expensive option?” Do that all over again.
Enter 3D laser
scanning. “We do quite a lot of work offshore,” said Chris David, group
technical director at Harris Pye, “where it’s quite difficult to survey.” Oil
companies started providing CAD diagrams that resulted from laser scans from
which Harris Pye could fabricate.
“We made the
equipment from those AutoCAD diagrams and it just fit perfect,” David said. “We
said to ourselves, ‘We can do one of these.’”
“We decided it
was worth going down the road of purchasing our own scanner,” David said,
considering the flexibility the company would gain vs. using a scanning service
provider, and the utility of the scanner across much of the larger
organization. “It was a bit of a step, I will say,” David said, “but we’ve got
qualified people working for us, and when you look at employing a third party,
we’d be bringing in someone to do a scan of an engine room without knowing what
they’re scanning for.”
purchased a Faro Focus 3D roughly four months ago and created a workflow that
involves scanning with the Faro and using the accompanying Scene software for
registration. Then, said head naval architect Bolaji Bamowo, the company brings
the point cloud into Leica’s Cyclone product, which can convert the data with
its CloudWorx running in CADWorx P&ID Professional. Thermal stress analysis
and flow design is done using Caesar II, and Staad pro is used to undertake
structural stress analysis. They also use Pointools for visualization and taking measurements.
Even with that
bit of rigmarole, “It’s very, very good,” Bamowo said of the resulting data and
its utility. “We have all that data at hand – we’re able to make our own 3D
model and check for clashes. Then, when we see that everything is okay, it goes
a long way toward our confidence as we move into fabrication and getting
“You can imagine
what the engine room looks like,” agreed David. “First, you have to pick the
most likely area for installation, and if you don’t know what system you’re
putting in, there might be three different areas you have to examine.”
Previously, they’d have taken photographs, some measurements, taken the ship’s
drawings, “and there would have been a lot of time involved with that.”
happens if, as actually happened recently, one of the ballast water treatment
systems being considered is taken off the market and a new one introduced after
you’ve been on site? It isn’t all that easy to get back on the ship, which
might only be in port twice a month and might be half way around the world.
“Now we can do
a 3D walk around the engine room without actually being there,” Bamowo said.
“And you can start to think outside the box, as well. You can come up behind
someone working on the model and say, ‘how about we try this,’ because it
doesn’t take any time to change it.”
worked as planned when scanning the engine room of the Neva River, for example,
the LNG carrier of “K” Line LNG Shipping (UK) Ltd., from pre-ballast water
system CAD design, through to system selection and installation. The scanning
itself took about eight hours, David said, and the CAD modeling was done in
roughly two weeks.
wonderful tool,” Bamowo said of the laser scanning and 3D modeling. “It’s a
wonderful tool, really.”
“It really is a
time saver,” David agreed.