Desapex: Streamline Your Process Plant: A Guide to Laser Scanning and Scan-to-BIM Solutions


The process industry is constantly evolving, with facilities undergoing frequent upgrades and expansions to meet growing demands. This constant change can create a challenge: ensuring accurate and up-to-date documentation of existing infrastructure. Traditional methods of manual surveying and drafting can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and struggle to capture the intricate details of complex process systems.

This is where Desapex's laser scanning and Scan-to-BIM (Building Information Modeling) solutions come in. This powerful technology combination offers a revolutionary approach to capturing existing facility conditions and planning for future modifications.

The Problem: Outdated Documentation and Challenges in Retrofitting

Imagine a factory floor filled with a dense network of pipes, ducts, and equipment. The original "As-Built" drawings might be outdated due to years of modifications and expansions. This lack of accurate documentation can lead to several challenges:

  • Difficulties in Maintenance:  Inaccurate information about the location and size of pipes, ducts, and other systems can make maintenance activities a nightmare. Technicians waste time tracing lines and identifying components, leading to increased downtime and costs.
  • Poor Planning for Expansion:  Adding new equipment or production lines becomes a guessing game without a clear picture of existing infrastructure. Traditional 2D drawings often fail to capture the complexities of 3D space, leading to costly clashes and rework during construction.

The Solution: Laser Scanning and Scan-to-BIM

Desapex's laser scanning and Scan-to-BIM services provide a comprehensive solution to these problems. Here's how it works:

  • Laser Scanning:  Imagine a lighthouse rapidly spinning, emitting a beam of light that reflects off objects in its path. That's essentially how laser scanning works. A high-tech laser scanner emits a pulse of light and measures the time it takes for that pulse to bounce back from a surface. By recording millions of these measurements from different angles, the scanner builds a precise 3D point cloud of the entire facility. This point cloud isn't just a pretty picture; it's a highly accurate representation of the real world, capturing every detail with millimeter-scale precision – even in complex and cluttered environments.
  • Scan-to-BIM:  The captured point cloud data is incredibly valuable, but it's raw data. This is where Scan-to-BIM comes in. Specialized software takes that point cloud and transforms it into a BIM model. BIM software goes beyond simple 3D modeling; it allows us to create an intelligent digital representation of the facility. Think of it as a 3D blueprint on steroids. The BIM model includes not just the geometry of pipes, walls, and equipment, but also rich data about their materials, specifications, and even maintenance history. This data-rich model becomes a central hub of information for facility management, maintenance, and future modifications.

Benefits for the Process Industry

By leveraging laser scanning and Scan-to-BIM, process industry facilities can reap a multitude of benefits:

  • Improved Accuracy:  Laser scanning captures existing conditions with exceptional precision, eliminating the human error inherent in traditional surveying methods. This translates to a highly accurate BIM model that reflects the reality of the facility.
  • Reduced Costs:  Faster data capture and streamlined workflows with BIM software significantly reduce project timelines compared to manual methods. This translates to cost savings and faster project completion.
  • Enhanced Maintenance Efficiency:  With a precise BIM model, technicians can easily locate and identify equipment, access maintenance history, and plan interventions more effectively. This reduces downtime and improves overall maintenance efficiency.
  • Informed Decision-Making:  The 3D BIM model provides a clear and comprehensive view of the existing infrastructure. This allows engineers and planners to make informed decisions about modifications, expansions, and new equipment installations. They can virtually test different scenarios and identify potential clashes before any physical work begins.
  • Improved Communication and Collaboration:  The BIM model serves as a central repository of information, facilitating collaboration between different teams involved in the facility's operation and maintenance. This promotes better communication and streamlines project execution.

Beyond Documentation: Added Value from Scan Data and BIM Models

The benefits extend beyond just creating accurate documentation. The captured point cloud data and the BIM model offer additional value:

  • 3D Visualization:  The BIM model allows for creating realistic 3D visualizations of the facility. This can be used for presentations to clients, training purposes, or even virtual tours for remote collaborators.
  • Navigation and Accessibility:  The point cloud data can be used to create a navigable 3D environment of the facility. This allows for virtual walkthroughs, improving accessibility for training, planning, and even showcasing the facility to potential clients or partners.


Desapex's laser scanning and Scan-to-BIM solutions empower process industry facilities to overcome the challenges of outdated documentation and plan for future growth with confidence. By leveraging the power of 3D capture and information modeling, facilities can achieve improved accuracy, reduced costs, and enhanced decision-making capabilities. This translates to a more efficient, cost-effective, and future-proof operation.

Considering incorporating laser scanning and Scan-to-BIM into your process industry facility? Contact Desapex today to learn more about how we can help you unlock the full potential of your existing infrastructure.

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