Home Articles Expanding capabilities with the FARO laser scanner

Expanding capabilities with the FARO laser scanner

The FARO Focus3D X 330 is highly portable and lightweight. It functions accurately either indoors or outdoors, and offers ease of use and fast data collection speeds.

Provides millimeter-accuracy measurement of large environments and objects within a few minutes, enabling to achieve significant project time savings of up to 50%

As technological advancements continue to gather pace, businesses often face the challenges of managing rapid new product developments and ever-changing consumer behavior. In this climate, innovation is now more than just a buzz word. It has become a vital effort for businesses that want to gain a competitive edge.

Amnex Infotechnologies (Amnex) believes this to be true. The Ahmedabad-based company was established in 2008 as Infinium Solutionz and started out by providing its clients with end-to-end solutions for Urban and Mining solution, engineering, and construction through the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies. Amnex subsequently invested in new Geographic Information System (GIS) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) solutions to offer clients more options and to better meet their needs. Over the past decade, Amnex has amassed a wealth of experience through various projects, including many government sector and municipal corporation assignments such as the Smart Cities initiative, and projects across a variety of industries, such as mining, ship building, and ports.

More recently, the company went through a rebranding process to cement its direction for the future. As part of the rebrand, Amnex began offering solutions that more prominently featured Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company now provides its clients with a full suite of services — such as surveying, database preparation, post-processing, maintenance, and web application reporting.

Recognizing the need for change

In the past, the surveying and mapping work that Amnex would undertake required the conventional technique of using Total Station survey instruments. These instruments involved at least 2 people — one to handle the reflector while the other handles the machine. When surveyors were done for the day, the data then had to be mapped based on the .csv format provided by the machine. This process was both time consuming and laborintensive. In addition, due to the reliance on human intervention with this method, where errors could be made in the handling of either the machine or the reflector, the accuracy of a whole day’s work may easily be compromised. This could then impact the overall output of a project and put it at risk of poor results.

Shravan S Bhati, Vertical Head GIS & Remote Sensing, Amnex Infotechnologies shared, “When we first started out, Total Station instruments were sufficient, though the process for project completion was often quite lengthy. However, it didn’t take us long to decide that 3D laser scanning technology would be the right innovation for us to reduce the issues we had with human intervention errors.”

Improved efficiency with FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 Investigations

In 2016, Amnex was commissioned by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to scan and document all of its 49 ports along the Gujarat waterfront, the longest portsline in India. Amnex decided then to adopt 3D scanning as it believed that existing technologies would not grant the success it desired.

“As a company, we believe that holding on to older technologies won’t allow us to succeed,” Bhati commented. “At Amnex, we have always looked forward in terms of being in-line with the latest technologies available.”

Amnex had 2 key requirements when searching for a suitable 3D scanning solution. First, the scanner had to cover a distance range of up to 330 meters. At the same time, data quality was a non-negotiable factor.

Bhati added, “We viewed FARO’s demo and felt that the data quality was good when compared with others. FARO offered a solution that was cost effective yet uncompromising when it comes to data quality, which was exactly what we wanted.”

The project proved to be a huge task, due to the multiple sites that had to be scanned and documented. Armed with the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330, Amnex found that its capabilities had expanded significantly. Other than the assets on the Gujarat ports, the team was also able to capture scans of the jetty where vessels offload their goods, along with information on GMB’s offices and employee residential areas. Amnex provided GMB with the base map that it required for all the ports of Gujarat. The result enabled GMB to resolve the 3 major issues that it faced — not having a specific base map for all its ports, the lack of awareness about its current asset situation, and the lack of awareness regarding the boundaries of their land which had led to the issue of encroachment.
Bhati revealed, “With the FARO Laser Scanner, we were able to provide results that satisfied GMB needs. They were able to view all their ports on a single screen as a base map, and even access this information from other areas outside Gujarat.”

The use of the FARO Laser Scanner greatly reduced manpower needs for the project, requiring just 1 person to handle the device, compared to 2 to 3 people for a Total Station instrument. This manpower saving is attributed to the portability, simple operability, and high accuracy of the FARO Laser Scanner. The device’s measuring range of 330 meters and measuring speed of up to 976,000 points per second allowed the Amnex project team to cover large areas in a shorter amount of time. The high-speed FARO Laser Scanner provides millimeter-accuracy measurement of large environments and objects within a few minutes, enabling Amnex to achieve significant project time savings of up to 50%. The team was also assured of the accuracy of the scan results, as data is kept within a ranging error of ±2 mm. This allowed Amnex to repeatedly produce highly precise point cloud data for efficient post-processing.

Potential of 3D scanning

As a forward-thinking company, Amnex recognizes the true potential of 3D scanning and its applications in Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Commenting on the company’s direction for future growth, Bhati said, “Looking ahead, we feel that 3D scanning and BIM are two areas that will continue to grow in India. Being a technology-based company, we’re not limited to a single vertical and are already involved in multiple verticals, including smart cities and 3D mapping of underground assets.

“We’re keen to explore various other sectors to broaden our scope, should the opportunities arise, and with our good experience so far, we’re certain that FARO’s innovative solutions will continue to be beneficial for our future projects.”