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INDUSTRIAL

Tanks 3D modeling and deformation analysis
at HELPE SA Aspropyrgos refinery / Aspropyrgos, Athens - Greece

Purpose
During a refinery's operation, it is a common maintenance task to periodically check tanks and other equipment for deformations, in comparison to their theoretical geometry. Significant deformations are a sign of tank wall weakening and pose a risk of critical damage, thus repairing measures have to be consider.

 

Project tasks
A cylindrical and a spherical tank at HELPE SA Aspropyrgos refinery were checked for deformations using 3D laser scanning methodology. The cylindrical tank was empty and was scanned internally from a single position, while the spherical one was operational and was scanned externally from 3 positions. After basic processing and alignment of scans, the final pointclouds where used for tank wall inspection. In particular, a cylinder and a sphere where best fitted to the respective pointclouds and deviations from those ideal primitive geometries where calculated. Results were presented in 3D, as well as in 2D sections properly spaced, in order to facilitate locating and quantifying the deformations.

 

Results - Conclusions
3D laser scanning is an ideal methodology for this kind of maintenance inspections of industrial facilities' equipment due to fast data capture, non-contact measurement, high accuracy and, most important, complete 3D coverage of the scanned objects. Thus, the whole object is efficiently being checked, while specialized software makes inspection tasks quite easy to perform and their results comprehensively presentable.

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Plant Survey and Intelligent 3D Modeling of HELPE SA Aspropyrgos refinery - Vacuum Gas Oil Storage Area / Aspropyrgos, Athens - Greece

Purpose
Hellenic Petroleum SA holds a leading position in the Greek energy sector, as well as in the greater area of Southeast Europe. In Greece, the Group owns and operates three refineries, in Aspropyrgos, Elefsina and Thessaloniki. The three refineries, combined, cover 76% of the country’s total refining capacity.
As in many refineries and other industrial facilities all over the world, the as-built status of existing equipment and components of the Aspropyrgos refinery is poorly documented. Documentation consist mainly of 2D drawings which are geometrically inaccurate, incomplete and eventually obsolete. Furthermore, for many years, all designed expansions, repairs and maintenance works have been based on those existing drawings, resulting in on-site undocumented interventions, making the situation worse.
Everyday maintenance and management tasks represent a significant part of the refinery's operation cost. To reduce these costs, HELPE SA investigated methodologies to create a reliable as-built registry of its existing equipment, which, through industry standard solutions will incorporate the results in everyday operation of the facility.

Thus, a pilot plant survey and intelligent 3D modeling project was awarded for the Vacuum Gas Oil Storage Area (of medium difficulty), in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed methodology under real conditions, to reveal possible problems, to clarify the owner's requirements regarding the contents and level of detail of the intelligent 3D model and attached information, to define the format of deliverables (3D model and digital drawings' specifications) and finally to ensure the smooth incorporation of the results to the operational procedures of the refinery.

 

Project tasks
The pilot project's area is approximately 27,400 sq.m. large and includes, among other equipment, 4 storage tanks, about 300 pipes and a rather complicated pump station with 19 pumps. The project's tasks were elaborated in two phases:

Phase A consisted of the 3D laser scanning survey works, including:

TLS survey using an Optech ILRIS36D laser scanner:
• 35 total scanning positions
• 10 days of scanning
• About 300 millions of points collected
• Average resolution: 1-2 cm
• Accuracy < 1cm
• Georeferencing by assigning coordinates (based on the refinery's geodetic network) to most scanning positions and additional   control points
• Assigning RGB color to points from internal or external camera photos
• Basic processing of TLS data and other measurements.
• Alignment of adjacent pointclouds and georeferencing using control coordinates.
• Segmentation and preparation of pointclouds for easier management by the 3D modeling software.

 

Phase B consisted of the intelligent 3D modeling process, using
industry standard plant 3D modeling software, including:


Transfer of the georeferenced pointclouds to the 3D modeling software.

Taking digital photos of the area to be modeled.

Collection from the owner of:
• All available drawings (Plot Plans, General Arrangements, P&IDs, Isometrics, Piping Layouts, etc).
• All available specifications (for piping, instrumentation, materials, insulation, structures, etc).
• Drawing and document naming and abbreviations procedures

Software Database Creation regarding:
• Equipment
• Materials
• Piping classification
• Column and Beam Specification

Creation of intelligent 3D model, based on the assets of the created database, on pointcloud geometry and on the information provided by the owner.

The above 3D model was made easily available to the owner in 3D PDF format, together with its attached component database tree structure. Furthermore, the final intelligent 3D model was used to automatically extract updated sample digital drawings for the surveyed pilot area.

 

Results - Conclusions
Intelligent 3D Models of plant establishments have proven to be an essential tool for plant management, maintenance and design. In addition to the geometric accuracy that a simple 3D CAD model can provide, an intelligent 3D model associates every object with a library of components and their full specifications, thus reflecting the true as-built geometrical and - most important - functional state of the plant at the time of the site survey.

 

Using appropriate reverse engineering software tools, an intelligent 3D model can be used to automatically generate any kind of drawing (PlotPlans, General Arrangement, Isometrics, P&IDs, EFDs), to design expansion components, to perform collision checking, to extract material lists, to schedule maintenance tasks, to perform stress analysis and other calculations and even to totally monitor, control and manage a plant environment.

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