Reverse Engineering via 3D Data

Aberdeen-based 3D scanning specialists Viewport3 recently applied its remote rapid response service to help a customer understand an issue with its subsea infrastructure in just 27 hr. The firm resolved a challenge surrounding a subsea flowline tie-in on a subsea tree in the U.K. Continental Shelf.

Viewport3’s remote scanning service integrates photogrammetry expertise with bespoke software to collect and process 3D data from offshore via remote working arrangements.

Following the removal of a blind flange from the flowline, it was noticed that the two flanges appeared to be mis-matched, and as a result, the gasket was warped. Viewport3 was tasked with scanning and reporting on the shape of this challenge as the next step in resolving it.

The Viewport3 team immediately investigated the availability and quality of any subsea camerasavailable on the vessel. In the absence of these, a normal topside camera was located, inspiring the team to turn the challenge on its head: recovering the gasket to vessel and using a 3D scan of the gasket to create a 3D relief of the subsea challenge.

The 3D point cloud was prepared for reverse engineering. Having requested a CAD version of the gasket profile, Viewport3 went on to create a 3D version of the original part, enabling them to make high-accuracy deviation calculations on the overall gasket. By taking profile “slices” at several sections around the circumference and
comparing them to the original shape, Viewport3 was able to detail the “twisting” nature of the warping experienced by the gasket.

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