Transfer point specialist Weba Chute Systems & Solutions is leveraging three-dimensional (3D) scanning technology to ensure there are no surprises when designing and installing its products.
“The accuracy of 3D scanning means that we can rapidly gather detailed measurements of large infrastructure on a customer’s site,” Alwin Nienaber, the company’s Technical Director, says. “This data allows us to generate highly accurate 3D models of on-site conditions, which refines the accuracy of the equipment and componentry we develop and install in that environment.”
Greater accuracy keeps rework costs in design and manufacturing to a minimum and reduces any downtime during the installation phase, according to the company. Detailed 3D scan data allows all elements of the existing infrastructure to be considered during the preliminary design stage, so the customer is assured of a reliable costing in a project’s early feasibility stages.
Nienaber highlights that there may be numerous deformations or undocumented alterations in the customer’s existing infrastructure that could complicate the design and execution of a project. Manual measurement of dimensions may also not deliver the levels of accuracy required.
“Especially when we are replacing transfer points or chutes, we can significantly de-risk the process with our capacity to reverse-engineer the solution within the existing constraints,” he says. “The scanned data is superimposed on our design intent, alerting us to interference that will disrupt smooth installation.”
One of the key advantages of 3D scanning, therefore, is it contributes to the level of certainty that Weba Chute Systems & Solutions can achieve in the design and implementation of projects. The precision and portability of modern laser scanners have made them invaluable in designing, building and extending technical facilities, the company says.
“Our decades of experience in the mining environment give us the capacity to fully leverage the value of 3D scanning to the benefit of our customers,” Nienaber says. “This means accurate costing and seamless project roll-out – on time and on budget.”
This is increasingly important as mines drive for productivity gains and prioritise uptime, with many retrofit or maintenance projects required to be conducted during the strict shutdown periods on mines.
“Our engineering know-how is central to integrating 3D scanning into our design and manufacturing processes, improving our planning and scheduling through more precise data,” Nienaber says. “We translate this capacity into reduced project risk and lower contingency costs – allowing us to work efficiently at a low margin of error even under the time constraints in these projects.”