CADMATIC helps Glosten think in 3D

American ship design and repair company uses Laser Scan Modeller to gain efficiencies in refit projects

Customer challenge

  • Increased refit work requires software that can seamlessly interface with point clouds produced by laser scanners. 

CADMATIC solution

  • Laser Scan Modeller used to import point clouds into 3D models that are then used to guide refit design.

“We are very impressed with the way CADMATIC handles scans and we think that it is an extremely useful tool. Importing scans into CADMATIC is fast, efficient and we do not lose quality." – Ashley D. Vetter, Diagram Lead and Administrator

Glosten, located in Seattle, Washington and New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, has used CADMATIC Marine software for several years now. After some detailed demonstrations in 2014, Glosten decided to start using CADMATIC software, mainly because they were impressed with CADMATIC’s ability to quickly build and process models for new projects and because of its early collision detection. Since then, Glosten has successfully used CADMATIC software on a wide range of design projects.

In 2014, Glosten was just scratching the surface of CADMATIC’s capabilities. The team at Glosten could clearly see that CADMATIC provided several advantages over other software products on the market. They recognized that it would allow them to stand out from their competition.

Two key advantages

Ashley D. Vetter, who has been a production engineer at Glosten for three years, thinks CADMATIC has many benefits, but highlights two key advantages:

1.The integration between Diagram and Plant Modeller. Ashley: “It’s an important quality assurance tool for us, so we are certain everything is in the model and is in the correct order based on the diagrams.”

2.The power of the Laser Scan Modeller module. Ashley: “We have scanned everything, from bulk carriers in need of ballast water treatment up to a 124-meter ferry slated for a mid-life refit.” Having experienced other software packages, everyone at Glosten is very impressed with it.

Thinking in 3D

With their latest, fully equipped, 85-meter passenger ferry project, CADMATIC has proven to Glosten that it can process and handle very large models quickly. Ashley indicates that she thinks CADMATIC has been designed around 3D and piping systems, in contrast with other software packages. 

One example is the scroll button on the mouse that can be used to 3D-rotate a view, a feature that is not used by other software packages and is a real plus at Glosten.

Alaska Class Ferries Day Boat

Regularly utilizing CADMATIC has helped Glosten staff become more comfortable with “thinking in 3D”.

“We are often asked to place a piece of equipment in a space to ensure it fits in the environment. This 3D thinking helps us find potential conflicts in the design before they occur. This shift of thinking was accelerated by using CADMATIC.”

Productivity and reliability

In CADMATIC, many processes are automated and many functions increase both productivity and the reliability of results. Glosten recently worked on a refrigeration refit project for a 112-meter factory fish processor. Only pipe runs that where 75 mm in diameter and larger where required routing. With the diagram received, all other runs had to be filtered out. However, Glosten chose to do it differently and created a new process in CADMATIC Diagram with a much simpler diagram that is linked with Plant Modeller. Thereafter, the modeling and reviewing processes where done in Plant Modeller.

The Glosten team’s favourite feature is updating drawings, spools and annotations based on model changes. It saves them from having to do rework on drawings.

Refitting projects

CADMATIC is currently being used for several interesting design projects. The midlife refit of three global class research vessels of the US Academic Research Fleet is one of these projects. The US Navy AGOR-23 class vessels have all passed the midpoint of their service lives. The engineering and design for two of the vessels has already been completed. The design for the R/V Atlantis is still underway.

The projects entail a lot – repowering, replacement, refurbishment of shipboard equipment and replacement of technically obsolete shipboard machinery etc. The project started with Glosten 3D scanning the vessel with an infrared laser scanner. Thereafter, the laser scans where imported into CADMATIC eBrowser and Plant Modeller using the Laser Scan Modeller. The eBrowser was used to visualize the location of the current systems. The scans loaded into the Plant Modeller where used to create new system diagrams and recreated the structure and equipment/piping remaining in the vessel in the Diagram module. Finally, Plant Modeller was used to do routing in the space available, making use of the supporting link between Diagram and Plant Modeler to guide modelling.

Keen on Laser Scan Modeller

Since Glosten has seen a big increase in refit work, they are very keen on the Laser Scan Modeller. It is used frequently and they have gained good experience in its use.

“We are very impressed with the way CADMATIC handles scans and we think that it is an extremely useful tool. Importing scans into CADMATIC is fast, efficient and we do not lose quality. We all think that the scans look great as well. Jumping into bubble views to get a clearer view of the surroundings is a nice addition too. The ability to route pipes based on the point clouds helps to remove some of the guess work when determining the sizes of existing pipes,” Ashley explains.
“CADMATIC has enhanced our ability to produce excellent design work. Because CADMATIC is responsive to feedback and constantly seeking to advance the software with new improvements and features, we recommend CADMATIC to all our clients and partners”, Ashley D. Vetter.
Ballast Water Treatment System

The future looks bright

Glosten often works with clients and sub-contractors that use other modeling software. With CADMATIC, they are able to import and export other models, which eases the process. On many occasions, eBrowser is distributed to other parties. For them, it is an effective tool to communicate with people that are not familiar with modeling, such as some project managers and clients. In the future, Glosten will also look into eShare, a tool that is helpful for users, shipyards and owners. It offers, for example, hyperlinks between drawings and the 3D model and the ability to track equipment installation.

Read more about CADMATIC Laser Scan Modeller

Read how seamlessly and efficiently you can use laser-scanned point clouds in your retrofit projects.