Skip to main content

The power of digital asset management

Published by
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Dozens of terminals. Hundreds of tanks. Thousands of fabricated valve assemblies, meter runs, filters, separators, and other complex structures. All precisely located and managed through one accurate digital database that shows every piece of pipe, valve, fitting and weld complete with the diameter, grade, ANSI Class, wall thickness, coating, and inspection circuit or pressure zone.

Once considered a futuristic ideal, this level of intelligence is rapidly becoming standard for the oil and gas industry as companies seek to maximise efficiency, sustainability, and regulatory compliance.

Advances in technology over the last several years have made it possible to achieve sophisticated 3D asset management quickly and easily. Specifically, 3D laser scanning technology makes it possible to capture every detail accurately in minutes, and intelligent databases ensure that all of the information is readily available.

The continued innovation in technology transforms the industry’s ability to quickly achieve incredibly accurate digital models that can be used to efficiently operate and manage assets and keep them in compliance.

Fast and accurate reality capture

Laser scanning is a noncontact and nondestructive method of digitally capturing physical objects in 3D ‘reality capture’ using a beam of light, or laser. The laser scanner, typically mounted on a tripod, captures millions of measurement points on any surface. These combined points are known as a point cloud – a comprehensive, clear, and precise digital record of the real-world environment that can be used for design and engineering, analysis, and even maintenance. Unlike CAD models, in which everything is shown level, square and plumb, point clouds capture the actual working system of pipelines, tanks, and facilities in the way that they exist in the real world, with all of their irregularities. Data capture is safe and efficient, with no need to climb ladders or balance on scaffolding to obtain the required measurements.

Oil and gas facility operators appreciate the rich detail of the 3D models developed from laser scanning, as well as the rapid turnaround on deliverables. Measurable point clouds can be available instantly, while models and comprehensive digital databases can be created in a matter of days. A natural progression is to expand digital asset management across entire operations.

But digitally documenting thousands of small facilities, tanks, and fabrications to meet regulatory requirements presents some challenges when compared to the reality capture of large facilities...

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Tanks & Terminals magazine. To read the full article, sign in here or register for a free subscription to Tanks & Terminals.

For more information, download a free copy of Leica Geosystems' latest white paper: 'The Power of 3D Asset Management'. This white paper takes you behind the scenes on how to use 3D asset management to achieve operational excellence. Get your free copy here.

Read the article online at:

You might also like

ELAFLEX and SGB partner up

ELAFLEX HIBY and SGB have announced that the ELAFLEX HIBY Group has acquired the German supplier and manufacturer of leak detection technology, SGB GmbH.


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):


This article has been tagged under the following:

Downstream news