automet® FAB System
automet® software is well known for its use in many engineering survey tasks. One of the main tasks is pipe spool fabrication inspection. automet® FAB has been developed to focus solely on pipe spool fabrication inspection. This product was developed so that we can deliver an efficient solution to all pipework manufacturers, expanding on the focus market, Oil & Gas, and diversifying into other areas such as distilling and shipbuilding.
How automet® FAB Works
Pipework fabrication shops (fab shop) manufacture pipe system sections (or spools) for clients from schematics. These schematics precisely specify the geometry of the spool in every dimension, and should be followed by the fab shop to a tight tolerance. If these tolerances are not adhered to, the pipe spool may cause assembly issues when it is installed on site, and may not fit at all - wasting large amounts of money and time for both the client and the fab shop.
automet’s core functionality is to electronically survey a pipe spool and automatically compare it to the design schematic, to verify that the spool has been built within tolerance, and inform the fab shop what changes need to be made.
The Survey involves taking various points on the pipe spool using a measuring instrument and a reflective measurement prism. The user holds the prism against specific points on the spool, and the exact position is recorded by the instrument.
Two types of points can be taken – Flange points, which verify that the positions of flanges and boltholes at the spool ends are correct – and Circle Fit points, which verify that the pipes themselves are in the correct position.
The import of specification and geometrical data through IDF or PCF file formats from a plant system that can export [PDS ®, Bentley AutoPlant, AVEVA PDMS and AUTODESK INVENTOR ®].
Alternatively data can be entered using autoDesign a manual input option.
automet® FAB measurement is quick and accurate providing early detection of none conformity. Manufacturer should see the benefits as this highly skilled job of checking conformity can now be performed by a wide variety of personnel at each stage of fabrication.
The in shop fabrication process is often an easy target in many cases blamed for items not fitting. With automet® FAB the fabricator can demonstrate compliance with the design.
Using a Leica robotic total stations allows automet® FAB to be operated by one person. This is not unique but with visual cues and intelligent software removing the need for hand controllers this allows the operator the freedom to perform the measurement with speed and accuracy.
Leica robotic total stations are a good fit for medium to large pipe spool measurement. Fabrication shops are cluttered and busy places the system can be set up in any location on a tripod or clamp, levelling of the survey instrument is not required. The pipework can be in any position, setting up is not required. All pipe sizes can be measured, catering for pipe spools from 1” to 72” in many varied configurations. Dust is a factor that must be consider in this harsh environment with Leica instruments proving themselves over many years to be more than capable of coping with this workshop environment.
Drawing Information Input for Comparison
Import design data directly from an IDF or PCF file or input manually through autoDesign.
Image below shows how a PDMS model appears when imported into automet® FAB. Piping specification and geometry from the original design model is imported ready for comparison against pipe spool survey data.
Perform Pipe Spool Survey
Live QA checks during capture are crucial so that survey data observations are checked for integrity and any group of flange observations that are outside limits can be observed again. For a pipe spool with many interfaces this is major benefit removing the need for a complete resurvey.
Pipe Ends and Flanges can be checked for specification, this is a simple check of pipe ID or flange PCD confirming the correct fitting has been used, this is performed automatically.
Spool Fabrication Report
automet® FAB is not reliant on any third party software to create a final graphical inspection report. The below report is generated and drawn by the automet® FAB software with one button press. For a typical pipe spool with three flanges the entire process design input, survey and final report will take approximately 5 minutes. (Example of final report below)