The Structural Engineering department at Pearl Engineering regularly tackles a variety of different projects for our clients, one important service, in particular, being assessing, measuring and documenting dimensions of buildings and spaces.

In doing so, the team can provide clients with precise measurements and recommendations that can be used as they plan to replace or install new equipment, make significant structural changes or even add on to the existing space. In order to deliver reliable and accurate information, the Structural Engineering team relies on a few pieces of important technology.

Using lidar laser-scanning technology, Pearl Engineering utilizes FARO scanners to measure and document the size and dimensions of large objects, spaces and even buildings. However, there have been some exciting additions to Pearl Engineering’s toolbox that have opened up new possibilities.

Where the team, led by Lead Structural Engineer Shane Burkart, once relied on a single FARO Focus3D X 330 scanner, Pearl Engineering has now added two new scanners, the FARO Freestyle and the FARO S 350.

“These pieces of equipment have opened up a lot of possibilities and allow us to take on larger and more unique projects,” Shane said.

FARO Freestyle

The FARO Freestyle is a high-precision, handheld object laser scanner – a somewhat miniaturized version of the FARO Focus 3D. With verifiable accuracy of 0.5mm and real-time cloud virtualization, the FARO Freestyle can be used to efficiently and reliably scan small and medium-sized objects and secluded, hard-to-reach areas like behind tanks or large vessels.

The applications of handheld scanners range greatly from product package designing to analyzing the scene of a vehicle crash. Although they have yet to take on such a project, this scanner gives Shane and the engineering team the capability of doing reverse engineering.

FARO S 350

An updated version of the FARO Focus3D X 330, the FARO S 350 surpasses previous models in functionality and performance with a longer range than previous models with the ability to scan objects up to 350 meters away with accuracy within 1mm.

Its massive range of over three and a half football fields gives the FARO S 350 potential applications both indoors and outdoors including accident reconstruction, architecture, civil engineering, construction, forensics, industrial manufacturing and land surveying.

Scanning Eliminates Human Error

Pearl Engineering’s primary usage of these tools are for structural conditioning, using scanners to acquire 3D models, take measurements and identify skews and potential trouble areas. The full comprehensive scans and readings these pieces of equipment can provide isn’t just more accurate, they also act as a massive time saver for both us and our clients.

“Six or seven years ago, we performed from-scratch measurements for a wood processing facility,” Shane said. “The measurements required three to four people per day taking measurements and took about a month to gather every necessary piece of data. Using these scanners today, we can complete the same level of gathering with two people in just two days.

“Not only faster but with greater accuracy. When you measure something by hand, whether it’s a simple misreading of the measurement, writing it down incorrectly, inputting it in the computer incorrectly or any other variable, human error can run rampant. These machines eliminate that.”

The measurements and models taken by FARO scanners are imported to FARO Scene, which allows the team to revisit models and measurements anytime or anywhere to double check.

Additional tools like FARO As-Built for Autodesk Revit can even further eliminate human error and extract extraordinarily difficult measurements such as structural elements, piping and fittings with ease that can be added to the list of assets these scanners can obtain.

FARO scanners do come with their own set of limitations, such as the need for multiple scans to accommodate breaks in line of sight, some issues processing polished or reflective surfaces and challenges measuring extremely dusty environments.

Our Process

Shane’s process for implementing Pearl Engineering’s scanning capabilities begins with an assessment of the needs of the project, asking some of the following questions:

  • What kind of scans need to be taken?
  • What kind of quality do we need?
  • What measurements need to be gathered?

Systematic scanning can then be conducted, often times without disrupting the workflow or regular activities of the space. FARO Scene conducts an automatic scrubbing of data pulled from moving objects, so workers and employees are free to go about their normal day-to-day operations and eliminate downtime for the facility.

Combining the scans acquired with original design schematics give Shane and his team the “holy grail,” the best and most complete set of information, measurements and data needed to make the most accurate recommendations.

Have a complex situation that can utilize Pearl Engineering’s enhanced scanning capabilities? Shane and the rest of the Pearl Engineering team can provide you with an innovative solution to your situation. Contact the team to learn more!