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SKS Survey Using Topcon 3D Laser Scanner

Capturing opportunity with scanning technology

Adelaide-based survey firm is winning work across multiple industries after extending its services to include laser scanning using Topcon’s new GLS-2000.

SKS Surveys specialises in construction, engineering and property surveying for customers throughout South Australia. Recently, the company invested in laser scanning technology to extend its service offering to new and existing markets, with a wide range of projects already completed and many more on the horizon.

Company Director and licenced surveyor Scott Bacchus explained the reasons behind investing in the technology: “We’ve been keeping track of developments in laser scanning in recent years and recognised that it’s now moved from emergence through to wider acceptance in the industry,” he said.

“Having missed out on a couple of projects due to not having the technology, we saw it was time to extend our services to include it and meet the demand.”

The company researched a range of laser scanners available on the market and opted for the new Topcon GLS-2000. “We were looking for a good all-rounder that could be used for large scale volume and topographic applications through to smaller scale, high detail projects,” Mr Bacchus explained. “The Topcon GLS-2000 fit the bill for us in terms of price and functionality, enabling us to offer scanning services to a broad range of industries.”

Topcon’s GLS-2000 is designed for internal and external scanning applications, with a range of up to 350 metres. It delivers a full-dome 360 degree scan is less than three minutes and offers signal processing including wave form for precision measurements.

In the two months since purchasing their system, SKS Surveys has completed a number of projects for clients in the civil construction, engineering and property industries, including warehouse scans, building facades, pipe work and excavation scans.

“The excavation project was interesting as the client required volume data for the holes they needed to excavate, however there was a safety hazard as it was a landfill site and the material being excavated was unknown,” Mr Bacchus explained.

“Using the GLS-2000, we were able to deliver highly accurate volume data whilst scanning from a safe distance, eliminating the risk from potentially hazardous material,” he added.

Mr Bacchus said that setting up and using the scanner in the field was quick and easy. “Collecting the data is very straightforward, the challenge is what to do with the amount of data that’s captured,” he said.

“We are still developing the ideal workflow for our scanning projects, to deliver valuable products to our customers at the end of the process. Often the clients don’t have a clear picture of the results they want, whether its edge sets or a 3D model.”

The company has been outsourcing the post processing work to overseas service providers. “Post processing software is expensive and it takes training and expertise to get good results from it, so currently we prefer to outsource that aspect of the workflow,” Mr Bacchus explained.

Mr Bacchus said the company is excited by the prospect of using laser scanning technology in alternative applications such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and monitoring. “A couple of years ago I would have said that BIM was just a buzzword and there was no viable workflow to deliver on it.”

“Now, however, I think it is definitely something that the survey industry must embrace and understand its role in. Whether it involves inputting, outputting or interpreting the data, surveyors have an important part to play and scanning technology is another tool we have at our fingertips for BIM applications.”

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