A point cloud is a digital representation of a 3D physical object or space. It is made of a collection of individually defined points, each one with a set of coordinates relating to physical geometry. Point clouds are generally produced by direct measurements from laser scanners or by using photogrammetry software.
Ingenia has been integrating point clouds within projects to aid our clients when integrating new plant and systems into their existing work sites. Point cloud technology provides the opportunity to confirm fitment and better visualise the solution for the project team. It gives the customer the opportunity to walk though their site digitally with new plant to better understand operations and maintenance issues that might be difficult to identify from 2D drawings.
The dust collector was collecting a lot of fine dust particles from the conveyors at the discharge system of a product dryer. The collected particles were overwhelming the dust collector discharge, leading to poor collection performance. Due to the complex nature of existing plant and steelwork, a point cloud was undertaken to define the existing site geometry and determine the best route for the proposed plant.
For this project, using a point cloud allowed the Ingenia team to analyse the space and confirm the path of a new screw conveyor through the tangle of existing plant and machines. The new screw would allow the collected dust from the dust collector to bypass the local bin and the product returned to the product system in a less dust sensitive location. The transfer of fines to this alternate location enabled continuous dust collection performance which then assisted with the reduction of emissions of this process dryer.
Ingenia provided confirmation of suitable conveyor geometry, as well as a detailed drawing of screw support locations and tie ins to the existing site. The team also sourced conveyor quotations and gave our clients the specifications and location of proposed variable duct balancing valves for better tuning the dust collector system to the dust loads.
The point cloud visualisation of the design provided the client and installation contractors with the opportunity to confirm that access ways would be retained and that any captured product would be returned to the operating process effectively.
Senior Project Engineer, Simon Schulz managed the project, engineering a creative solution to solve the client’s problem. The project included the following undertakings:
- Site scan of targeted areas, capturing dust collector and dryer discharges and local steelwork/obstructions.
- Model drawing of screw conveyor to determine required angle and length.
- Conveyor requirement specifications for supplier quotations.
- Design of accessible balancing valve locations for dust collector intakes.
- Review of supplier provided drawings, providing confirmation that the design met the intent of the project.
At the end of the project, the client was presented with detailed drawings and a confirmed layout of the proposed screw conveyor, along with quotes from suppliers. This meant that they could order the components with confidence, knowing they will fit, can be supported, and expensive site modifications would not be required during installation.
Dust Collector Point Cloud Scanning