Closing the loop and preparing for future projects - Record Drawings.

One of the most impressive stories to tell is how it’s possible to design and fabricate a highly complex piece of equipment and then install it into an environment already loaded with existing machinery (with a maze of utilities running every which way) without ever once using a tape measure. When you work exclusively in 3D, this is not just a story, it is simply how business is done. Using the power of 3D validation services to develop a highly accurate 3D model of the existing environment creates a background into which new equipment will be designed. This process can happen in just days, whereas the ‘old school’ method of documenting as-built project conditions may have taken weeks or months with surveying equipment and tape measures. 3D scanners collect data at a rate of 900,000 points per second and create a highly accurate 3D building scan of the existing environment that is used as a background as-built model into which new equipment will be designed. Once the background is in place, designing in 3D within that space puts all the physical constraints clearly in plain sight.

Whether as-built drawings are needed for insurance purposes, to fulfill legal requirements for the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) or for planning a major expansion and retrofit, it is important to ensure that they are accurate and readily available. With the realities of daily O&M requirements over years of operation coupled with traditional as-built recordkeeping, it is not uncommon to have as-built drawings that are outdated and incorrect. This is not only a liability for reporting, outdated or incorrect as-built drawings can significantly drive up unplanned costs for a project and drastically increase vendor bids. Millimeter accurate laser scanning ‘reality capture’ hardware can record as-built project conditions in a series of scans.

Even if accurate and up-to-date drawings exist for equipment retrofits and system updates, getting a clear understanding of a plant through decades of 2D as-built drawings is a skill possessed by few. When a new retrofit project or safety evaluation needs to be undertaken, everyone in the team has to be able to see and understand key data points about plant equipment, operations, workflows and clearances. Reality capture helps teams make decisions by ensuring that everyone is on the same page at the same time when it comes to the as-built project conditions.

Record As-Built Project Conditions.

As-Built Records are often compiled from information supplied by many different contractors participating in a project. As such anyone familiar with as-built records knows that while they can provide a valuable and necessary point of reference, it is rare that they represent the entirety of the environment clearly or that they reflect the changes inherent to the normal operation of any industrial or commercial facility. Supplementing traditional as-built records (that are created with survey data-gathering methods) with 3D scanning used to be a special consideration only undertaken for large projects over a million dollars. Using 3D scanning is often considered prudent because unlike as-built records, 3D scanning creates a complete digital twin through the process of millimeter accurate laser-scanned reality capture.

Advancement in 3D scanning technology means that the process of scanning is more accurate and faster than ever while costing less than it ever has before. This revolution in the application and cost of 3D scanning has made it the most efficient choice for many projects, much smaller than the million-dollar retrofits or upgrades that 3D scanning technology was focused on before. It has become feasible to use 3D scanning to upgrade as-built records, create models or drawings for the local Authority Having Jurisdiction or to produce documents for the insurance company. 3D scanning beats traditional survey techniques in cost, accuracy and time to complete.

As a leader in industrial 3D scanning and modeling, Acensium has amassed more than 2 trillion scan points taking up 120 terabytes of data and developed workflows that convert these massive amounts of data into critical digital assets available for immediate use by clients. In the past 15 years, Acensium has provided consulting, operations and engineering support for the execution of construction and retrofit projects for companies that include Southern Company, Duke Energy, Georgia Pacific, and others throughout the United States. Contact Us today to learn more about upgrading your as-built records with 3D reality capture.

Closing the loop

Post Outage Blues

That time when weeks of 7/12 shifts are over and the last thing you want to do is go back and document the project you just started up. But now is the time to capture and store valuable data.


Record drawings and models provide accurate information for the next retrofit at the same site. They provide a detailed snapshot of what was actually procured, fabricated, and installed.

Capture savings and reduce risk with 3D digital twins for construction

3D Scanning for construction provides a digital environment that forms a digital basis for project planning, approvals and execution. Each phase of construction can be designed in one combined environment.

How Engineering Firms can Leverage 3D

Millimeter-accurate measurements can be made from a desk instead of onsite, detailed renderings can be delivered to all project stakeholders to make sure every party is in alignment and project risks can be identified with 3D scanning of a new project space.

Planning in 3D: Getting it right the first time

For project managers and teams managing complex demolition, installation and construction projects, avoiding risk is crucial. Often projects have large contingency budgets allotted to ensure that they can cover any unforeseen issues or difficulties during the project.

What could you do with a high definition scan of your next project? Our millimeter-accurate scanners capture reality in very high detail. Want to learn more? We’re ready to help. Let’s discuss your as-built project today!


Learn how digital assets can enrich and improve your process.