In the production of real skids, FARO workflows help to close the gap between the digital and the re

In the production of real skids, FARO workflows help to close the gap between the digital and the re

Working in flow

The FARO workflows ensure that digital and real world correspond and remain synchronised

January 2019

It is much easier to create, change and move objects in the imagination than in the real world. In the past, planners used sketches on paper to visualise ideas and share them with others. 

Today, advances in modern technology allows us to plan with a level of accuracy and precision that was previously unthinkable. A quantum leap in development has been the ability to visualise millimetre-perfect digital representations of reality and create a digital world.

A digital world in which you can creatively build, plan and experiment. Playful and risk-free, because in the digital world, mistakes are reversible. 

This workflow has been adopted in the world of architecture, construction and plant engineering, where the majority of the project lifecycle can be simulated in the digital world, making it cost effective, safer, and easier to construct.

“FARO Technologies offer the fastest and most intuitive workflows available today, including tools for digital reality capture, visualisation, modeling and analysis,” said a spokesperson at FARO. “With these tools, users can create a digital twin, where the point cloud data can be used to generate 3D BIM models which can then be used as a basis for new designs created within the real world conditions of the point cloud,” he added.

The FARO workflows ensure that digital and real world correspond and remain synchronised.



“FARO has optimised the process of on-site capture. FARO 3D laser scanners can capture complex architecture and industrial plants with millimetre accuracy. The scan files are small, despite being of the highest accuracy, image and colour quality,” he said. 

This is key because larger projects consist of several hundred scans and the data must be manageable.  Once the scan data has been captured, each individual scan must be registered and aligned to create a single, cohesive project. Traditionally, this would require hours of work back in the office. With Faro’s Onsite Registration technology (OSR) the scans are registered automatically during the scanning process, saving many hours in post processing time.

Another advantage of the FARO workflow is that the surveyor sees what has been captured in real time. This gives the user confidence that everything that is required, has been captured during that visit. Any areas of interest were missed or captured incorrectly can be addressed before the surveyor leaves the job site, eliminating the need for costly return visits.

“FARO offers other advantages not found in the competition. ‘Multiple Target Scanning’ considerably reduces the number of required scans, ‘On-Site Compensation’ guarantees highest documented data quality,” he pointed out.



Today, buildings, industrial plants and skids are almost always planned digitally. Skids are used extensively in industrial plants to prefabricate equipment, piping, electrical and instrumentation components into a single ‘module’ that can then be dropped in place and simple connections can be made onsite.

In traditional pre-planning workflows, the connections of supply pipes, energy supply etc., are measured with measuring tapes and tachymeters, a procedure that is very time-consuming and error-prone.

Designers must check to ensure there is room for both delivery and installation of the skids. Based on this data, the skids are designed on the computer, the plans printed out, and the skids are fabricated. It is only when delivered to site that we know if the skid will fit into place, and if the connections will align. If adjustments and re-work on-site are required, the production line stays shut down and the result are production losses.

“With FARO workflows, the skids are designed directly in the digital plant environment. The plant, or factory, is represented digitally inside AutoCAD and Plant 3D software where the skids are being designed. FARO’s Autodesk plugins are fully integrated into the programmes GUI, extending the existing CAD tools with the ability to model and evaluate using the scan data. Piping runs, mechanical components and steel beams are extracted using algorithms based on editable industry standard catalogues. Tie-in points are identified and located with millimetre accuracy – all without having to visit the real plant. Since the skids are designed in the digital world, it is immediately apparent where they collide with existing parts or where connections in the system must be changed. When moving the skids digitally, bottlenecks during delivery and assembly are easily identified,” the spokesperson explained.



In the production of real skids, FARO workflows help to close the gap between the digital and the real world. FARO devices use laser beams to project the CAD geometries onto real workpieces, showing shapes, breakthroughs and assembly points.

Quality assurance and quality control are also part of the FARO workflow. By scanning the assembled parts, you can then run analysis of the fabricated parts against the designed CAD model, highlighting deviations accurate to the millimetre.

The quality control can take place both in the digital world and in the real world of assembling and prefabrication. At the same time in the real plant for which the skids are intended, machines and production continue to run. The downtimes during the installation of the skids are minimal as rework is not necessary.



Modular design and fabrication workflows are just one example of how new technologies are changing the design engineering world. FARO offers similar workflows for the construction industry. Fast data capture of environments and existing buildings allows the construction site to be brought onto the desktop, where users can continue to use their Autodesk software to build and evaluate BIM models directly in Revit. 

Once again, the workflows are seamless and integrated. Construction quality control workflows have become so fast that concrete pours can be scanned, analysed and corrected within minutes of being poured. Assembly of large scaled components such as pre-cast concrete slabs can be aligned accurately using laser projection generated from the original CAD model.



All individual components of the FARO workflow, hardware and software, are among the best products on the market. They can be purchased individually. The software also processes laser scan data from other manufacturers. However, the overall workflow is decisive for the evaluation of AEC solutions.

“The FARO workflow in this form is unique and unrivalled. FARO not only bridges the gap between the real and digital world, but also the FARO workflows in the digital world are consistently direct and smooth without data file format breaks. This is unique in this form and makes Faro solutions the easiest and fastest on the market at very low prices,” he concluded.

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