Pioneering with 4D

16 Nov 2020

Our experts in Brazil have broken new technical ground in the modernisation of industrial facilities for a large-scale HydroPower Plant. The innovative approach combined 4D BIM and point cloud from laser scanning for the first time in Brazil.

Our Brazilian experts have recently deployed a unique and innovative solution for planning the modernization of industrial plants in a more agile and efficient way. Tractebel was hired to work on the basic modernisation project for Brazil’s 42-year-old São Simão Hydroelectric Plant. Its capacity of 1,710 MW is enough to supply 6 million inhabitants.

To bring new efficiency and agility to modernisation planning, our experts used BIM methodology in 4D, applying point cloud technology by laser-scanning of the plant, associated with the geometries of the new modelled equipment. And all of this, integrated with the implementation schedule. In the past, associating geometry to the project schedule was an arduous task and certain aspects of planning were not visible during this process, especially those related to assembly interferences. With the implementation of this new methodology, we were able to see, through an animation, the replacement of plant equipment, as defined in the project schedule, in an interactive model, and thus to identify possible interferences in advance, as well as to improve the sequencing of the activities of modernisation that otherwise would not be so clear.

Planning with this added 4th dimension is unique in the country, a prime example of how Tractebel is pioneering innovation for its clients.

Alexandre Pinto, project manager at Tractebel, explains: “The HPP was inaugurated 42 years ago and after all this time of operation, the need to carry out a general modernisation of the electromechanical equipment was identified. Thus, since the BIM methodology has been used for some time and improved every day within Tractebel, we decided, with customer support, to combine the current demand with the modernisation demand of the São Simão HPP, applying our experience in BIM projects.”

According to Rafael Moraes, Tractebel's architect, a laser survey was made of the plant's areas where equipment that would undergo modernisation was located. “This survey generated several point clouds, like photographs in three dimensions, with a very high level of accuracy, so that we would know exactly what equipment was installed, what its dimensions were and what was nearby. After this process, we classified the objects surveyed, that is, we described them, gave them a specific name and assigned the information that was relevant. All this information was in these 3D objects, such as name, dimensions, and other pertinent technical information. Our next challenge was to relate these models to the schedule, which was associated with these objects, showing when a certain piece of equipment needed to be removed, how long it would take to remove it, when the new equipment would be installed, and how long it would take to be installed.”

For Pedro Lima, BIM specialist at Tractebel, this project stands out for its magnitude, complexity and innovation. "We have a large team, trained and motivated, working in all engineering disciplines, focused on meeting all demands of the most varied projects and customers, always adding our great experience with the most innovative technologies.”.

The use of this technology strengthens Tractebel's expertise in the modernisation and renovation of industrial plants and other projects developed by us, since we can plan the project schedule with much greater precision and offer the client clearer and more visible information on implementation of their project.

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