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3D scanning and reverse engineering for marine retrofitting

Ballast water is one of the most pressing current issues for marine industries: Due to the introduction of invasive species to marine ecosystems via inadvertent ballast water transportation, the global shipping industry has been asked to implement new and better ballast water treatment systems.

In order to keep these upgrades affordable, shipowners need to figure out how to retrofit vessels with the least amount of hassle possible, changing only what absolutely needs to be changed. This is where 3D scanning technology comes in: Existing vessel drawings and schematics are often inaccurate, making precise upgrades difficult, so having a 3D laser scan performed is essential to producing accurate retrofitting designs and therefore maximizing cost efficiency. Laser scanners can take into account every structural element, including pipelines, and generate a fully-functional 3D model that makes it easy to prevent errors and conflicts between the retrofit design and the ship's existing design.

Laser scanning is accurate and thorough, being usable throughout every stage of the retrofitting process, including the initial feasibility assessment, the concept design, and the final detail adjustment phase. Laser scanners boast an accuracy rate of +/- 2 millimeters, enabling engineers to generate extremely precise data and therefore create optimally detailed three-dimensional images of whichever part of the vessel is to be retrofitted. In many cases, laser scans can be performed in a single day, and during smaller operations, such as BWTS or scrubbing water system retrofits, laser scans can often be performed while the crew is still on board the vessel performing their duties, saving a great deal of time.

Laser scanners are also extremely useful during ship inspections as they can be used to quickly and easily prepare 360-degree images and detailed maps of scanning positions, which can then be stored in a vessel's inventory library for use by anyone. In summation, laser scanning is a quick, easy, and extremely accurate tool for both everyday ship management purposes and retrofitting projects.

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