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The pos­si­ble pit­falls of 3D scan­ning

Written by: Team Dapp
at at 21 November 2023
The possible pitfalls of 3D scanning

The Possible Pitfalls of 3D Scanning

After reading the two previous articles, you have gained a good understanding of the challenges in the food industry and how 3D scanning can assist. In this final article in our series on 3D scanning, we begin with a brief recap of the previous article, which focused on the benefits of 3D scanning, particularly in optimizing factory layouts and streamlining production and logistics processes. 3D scanning provides detailed insights into physical space and equipment, allowing factories to identify valuable insights into space utilization and potential areas for improvement. Here's an overview of the benefits that 3D scanning can offer to your factory:

  • Optimizing Factory Layouts: Efficiently designed layouts minimize distances and promote a smooth workflow. 3D scanning provides detailed 3D models, enabling factories to optimize their machinery, workflows, and logistics, streamlining their operations.

  • Machine Placement Planning: 3D scanning aids in planning and optimizing the placement of machines in the factory. By virtually testing with 3D models, factories can experiment with different scenarios and choose the most productive and safe machine placement.

  • Identifying Potential Space Optimization: Beyond factory layout and machine placement, 3D scanning can identify areas where space utilization can be optimized. Scanning the entire factory reveals potential opportunities for space optimization.

  • Streamlining Inventory Management: Inventory management is crucial in food factories, and 3D scanning helps accurately measure available space and storage capacity, optimizing the organization of goods and smoothing out order picking processes.

While implementing 3D scanning technology comes with challenges such as initial costs and required expertise, the long-term benefits are significant. Factories embracing this technology can maximize efficiency, innovate, and adapt to changing consumer trends. However, success is not guaranteed for your 3D scanning project! In this final article, we outline some pitfalls related to 3D scanning, summarized briefly below.

1. Incomplete scan data

The success of 3D scanning relies on the completeness of the obtained data. Incomplete scans can lead to inaccurate models and potentially incorrect decision-making. It's crucial to ensure thorough scanning of all aspects of the factory areas, including machines and spaces. We delve deeper into the possible causes of incomplete scan data in this segment and provide strategies to overcome these challenges.

2. Lack of expertise

One of the major obstacles in implementing 3D scanning technology is the lack of expertise. Effectively using scanners and interpreting collected data require specialized knowledge. We explore why expertise is essential, the consequences of a lack of knowledge, and how to address this through training and collaboration with experienced professionals.

3. Costs and budget overruns

While 3D scanning technology offers substantial long-term benefits, the initial costs can be high. We discuss potential costs and benefits, emphasize the importance of a realistic cost-benefit analysis, and provide insights on how to stay within budget without compromising quality.

In the remainder of this article, we will delve deeper into each of these pitfalls, offering practical solutions and advice.

Incomplete Scan Data: The Risks of Inaccurate Scanning

Productivity Loss

Inaccurate models resulting from incomplete scan data can cause significant disruptions in production processes. Imagine situations where crucial machines or transport routes are misplaced due to missing information. This can lead to unexpected downtime, delays, and inefficient resource use. Minimizing productivity loss requires a thorough approach to the scan data process.

Decision-Making Errors

Organizations often rely on 3D scan data for strategic decision-making regarding factory layout and equipment placement. Incomplete data, however, can lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions. For example, deciding to add extra machines based on incomplete information can result in overloading certain areas, posing potential safety risks and reduced efficiency.

How to Prevent Incomplete Scan Data:

Thorough Scanning Techniques

Reducing the risk of incomplete data starts with scanning techniques. Ensure a detailed scanning process covering all relevant areas. Train staff to pay attention to details and identify possible blind spots. Repeated scans and cross-validation of results can increase accuracy.

Control and Validation

Implement strict control and validation procedures after scanning to detect and correct inaccuracies. This includes comparisons with existing floor plans, physical inspections of scanned areas, and regular updates to 3D models. Continuous validation ensures that the obtained data remains representative and reliable.

These strategies form a solid foundation to minimize the consequences of inaccurate models and ensure the reliability of 3D scan data.

Lack of Expertise: The Importance of Knowledge

Underestimation of Technological Complexity

A common mistake is underestimating the technological complexity of 3D scanning. Organizations may face unforeseen obstacles in implementing this advanced technology, ranging from selecting suitable scanners to interpreting generated data. Effectively dealing with this complexity requires an in-depth understanding of the technology.

Training Needs for Staff

Successfully leveraging 3D scanning technology requires well-trained staff. A lack of knowledge can lead to suboptimal scan quality, interpretation errors, and inefficient data processing. It's essential to invest in targeted training for personnel at various levels, from operators to decision-makers.

Knowledge of Related Programs

In addition to correctly performing 3D scanning, processing the 3D model into, for example, a 2D floor plan is an essential step in gaining the right insights into your factory. Therefore, the necessary knowledge of programs like AutoCAD is crucial to seamlessly convert your 3D models into a 2D view of your factory.

Strategies to Address Lack of Expertise

Specialized Education and Training

Regularly organize specialized education and training for the staff. This includes hands-on training with the used scanners, interpretation of scan results, and effective integration of 3D scan data into daily operations.

Collaboration with Experts

Where internal expertise is lacking, consider collaborating with external experts in the field of 3D scanning technology. External consultants can provide valuable insights, both in the initial implementation and in solving complex issues.

Continuous Evaluation and Improvement

Implement a culture of continuous evaluation and improvement. Regularly assess the effectiveness of applied 3D scanning technology, identify bottlenecks, and adjust strategies accordingly.

Overcoming the lack of expertise is crucial for the successful integration of 3D scanning technology in the food industry. It requires not only investments in technological knowledge but also in the development of the skills of the involved personnel.

Costs and Budget Overruns: Balancing Investment and Returns

Implementing 3D scanning technology in the food industry offers significant benefits but also comes with challenges, especially in terms of costs and budget control. In this section, we take a critical look at the financial aspects related to 3D scanning and how to keep them within limits.

Initial Investments vs. Long-Term Returns 

A common pitfall is focusing on the initial investments without considering the long-term benefits. While acquiring 3D scanning technology may initially incur costs, the long-term benefits, such as improved efficiency and productivity, can yield substantial returns.

Hidden Costs

In addition to the obvious costs of hardware and software, there are often hidden costs that can emerge during the implementation phase. These can range from staff training to adjustments to existing infrastructure. Identifying and budgeting for these hidden costs is crucial.

Maintenance Costs and Upgrades 

The success of 3D scanning technology depends on regular maintenance and potential upgrades. Ignoring these ongoing costs can lead to technological obsolescence and reduced effectiveness of the systems.

Strategies for Effective Cost Control and Maximum Returns

Thorough Cost Analysis in Advance 

Conduct a detailed cost analysis before starting the implementation. Understand not only the direct costs but also indirect costs and potential risks.

Flexible Budgeting 

Budgets can evolve. Allow room for flexibility and adjust the budget based on new insights and changing circumstances.

Controlling costs and preventing budget overruns are essential for the success of 3D scanning in the food industry. A well-thought-out financial plan lays the groundwork for a profitable implementation of this advanced technology.

Dive into the Future: Transform Your Factory with 3D Scanning! 

The potential of 3D scanning technology to revolutionize the food industry is undeniable. In our previous article, you learned that 3D scanning opens doors to numerous benefits, including 

  • Optimization of factory layouts 
  • Better planning of machine movements
  • Identification of space optimization 
  • Streamlined inventory management 

With options like laser-based 3D scanning, Structured Light Scanning, time-of-flight scanning, and photogrammetry, various tools are available, each tailored to different factory needs. 3D scanning not only provides valuable insights into space usage and streamlined workflows but also contributes to a safer working environment.

However, there are pitfalls to be vigilant about when implementing 3D scanning technologies. In this article, you've read that inaccurate scans, a lack of expertise, and misjudging (initial) costs are among the major pitfalls. You've also learned how to guard against these pitfalls. With this, we conclude our series on 3D scanning.

The future of the food industry rests in the hands of those willing to embrace change. If you aim for optimized efficiency, safety in your factory, and success in an increasingly demanding market, now is the time to leap into the world of 3D scanning. Embrace this groundbreaking technology and equip your food factory with the tools it needs to thrive in the coming years. The journey to a future begins now, with 3D scanning at the helm of innovation and progress.