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Advanced 3D Laser Solutions: Optimising Assets On Site

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

The team at Advanced 3D Laser Solutions explain how laser mapping assets can benefit your tank terminal


Your terminal assets are instrumental to the success of your business. A3D’s digital products will give you the flexibility to view and manage the health of your terminals with confidence – to achieve operational, safety and regulatory compliance and to manage market volatility, environmental, financial and employee risks to achieve your productivity goals. With accurate data captured from laser scanning, A3D can provide a complete documented picture of your facility. With its 4D Lizard software, terminal operators can plan schedules, manage maintenance, prevent common problems and spend less time dealing with unexpected issues that arise.


Building A Digital Library

In one case, A3D encountered a terminal operator who wanted to create an as-built documentation digital library to maximise the facility’s operational efficiency. A3D’s specialist laser surveying team captured point cloud data on the 120- tank terminal containing chemicals and petrochemicals, creating Smart P&IDs, 3D process models, civils models and incorporated a brand new asset nomenclature and standards for all site asset numbers.



Technical: The client desired a very detailed line numbering and asset tagging system that they wished to roll out at all their terminals. A3D attended face-to-meetings to work through the feasibility of various numbering options before deciding on the winning formula.

Validation: A3D developed a close working relationship with the client’s project manager as the team validated up to 95% of site data, removing a huge stress from the client including the collection of extra data such as E&I and data plate information.



Pre-planning: A3D used its bespoke software to produce a scan plan to logically work through different terminal areas. This meant that all areas could be scanned correctly, avoiding repeat visits, and ensuring efficiency, minimising time on site.

Logical Path: A3D scanned all areas and climbed the tanks to hand draw tank tops, where a scanner cannot be used due to health and safety. The scan data was then uploaded to secure servers every evening for backup and pre-processing.

Post-survey: A3D processed and registered the captured data.



A3D actively engaged with the client and took considerable care to ensure the P&IDs and models were provided in the requested format. A3D’s engineering director’s skillset is such that he was able to validate 95% of the P&IDs and 3D model correctly before redlining. The smart P&IDs contained the asset manager with detailed information on each scanned asset, which was much appreciated and utilised by engineers at the terminal. Process models were colour-coded by product and/or service for easy process visualisation. Using A3D’s Virtual Site Tour system, the terminal engineers now have the ability to interrogate the site remotely, from all angles, and take measurements for design changes, without having to make repeat visits to site. This has reduced health and safety risks as well as time spent travelling, and the carbon footprint of running the site.


Optimising Model Visualisation

It’s widely accepted that good visualisation helps the human brain process data more quickly. Without quick and easy access to data, site staff are less likely to file information in the right place, or will simply keep returning to site to find information; costing time, money and increasing safety risks. A3D can create a digital twin of a terminal, which benefits from 4D Lizard Smart Hub’s data accessibility. This acts as an as-built site documentation library, linking to existing systems on site.

4D Lizard’s 3D Model Visualisation is the heart of A3D’s asset management system, providing a rich, interactive canvas where data comes to life. This advanced visualisation tool transforms static asset data into a dynamic, interactive 3D representation of the entire site, directly derived from 3D CAD files generated by laser scans. It offers users an immersive experience to navigate, analyse, and manage assets within their real-world context, significantly enhancing understanding and decision-making processes.

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