by Javier Chavez, July 6, 2015

Making Sure Things Fit - Using Scanned Data to Manage Manufacturing Facilities

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Join KETIV and special guests, David Dreff and Ryan McMahon from Autodesk to learn how they have helped the Big 3 automotive companies use laser scanners with Autodesk solutions to:

  • Capture, register, and manage point cloud datasets
  • Use point clouds in combination with CAD assets for building and factory layouts
  • Use point cloud datasets with CFD to perform environmental analysis

July 10, 2015
10 am – Noon – Lunch provided
@ KETIV Training Center in Brea, CA 

RSVP here

In my background working for the RV industry my primary responsibility was to design and build a better motorhome or travel trailer. But that was just a small part of this process. As a company we also had to facilitate the production of our product. I worked closely with a Manufacturing Engineer who would manage our manufacturing plants and assets throughout the US and Canada to help ensure quality and consistency between our products. He would layout these facilities in 2D and help procure new equipment in an effort to increase efficiency. 

Needless to say he did a lot of traveling to all of these facilities trying to capture the location of existing machinery and physical boundaries of the buildings. This was constant back and forth process of measuring and recording information necessary for a specific improvement or retrofit. When the next improvement was needed this process was repeated again. We (Product Devlopment) had 3D data to help document our products. This data was rich in information that we could leverage for FEA or to obtain physical properties such weight. But we were nowhere close to this when it came to documenting our plants and facilities. 


What do you mean it doesn’t fit?

In one specific instance a very large CNC router was purchased that simply did not fit in the facility. I still remember over-hearing someone say “What do you mean it doesn’t fit?”. The machine was eventually used in another facility however as you can imagine this came at a cost.

I still find many organizations that struggle with this process. And it’s not limited to just manufacturers. As an example the food processing industry is also constantly trying to document as-built data and manage their facilities. 

Finding the Solution


I’m currently exploring ways to help our customers with this and I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities. A solution that consistently comes up is 3D laser scanning. 3D laser scanning offers a way to help with:

  •         building management
  •         collision detection for retrofits
  •         as-built documentation for CAD modeling
  •         and other plant design tasks

Laser scanners can be used to capture 3D points with high accuracy from the surface of an existing physical object, such as region of a building, facility or plant. This data can then be saved as a point cloud.

The result is a highly detailed 3D model for use in asset and facility management (such as the point cloud above). Several Autodesk tools such as AutoCAD, Inventor, Navisworks, Revit, and Recap can then integrate the scanned data in conjunction with your 2D or 3D data to ensure layouts are logical and efficient.

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