AVEVA scans new horizons with LFM software acquisitionFollowing the acquisition, AVEVA has established a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for 3D data capture in Manchester. The CoE, led by Gary Farrow and Graham Dalton (formerly the two directors of the software company) will remain focused on continuing to develop the LFM software suite, as well as taking full business and product development responsibility for all of AVEVA's 3D data capture software.The acquisition will come as no surprise to many, as the two companies have worked closely together for a number of years. AVEVA has been a long-term partner of Z+F and the software team based in Manchester since before 2005. This ongoing partnership has yielded numerous innovations and industry firsts, such as AVEVA Laser Model Interface (LMI) and AVEVA Laser Modeller (LMR).'We are delighted to be part of AVEVA,' says Gary Farrow. 'LFM is already an established solution worldwide but now, as part of AVEVA, we can make it the industry standard. Part of LFM's success and appeal is its openness. Over the years we have worked hard to make LFM neutral and open to all, which is a principle we share with AVEVA. Our aim is for LFM to be compatible with any laser scan data format or hardware, and to interface with any 3D design system and CAD package, not just PDMS. Since the acquisition we have extended the openness of LFM, and we plan to announce more integrations soon.'Since acquiring the LFM business, AVEVA has entered into new partnerships with most of the leading laser scanner vendors. 'We have received a warm reaction to this acquisition from many laser hardware companies and we are very happy to be entering into new partnerships with them,' says Paul Cooper (VP Strategic Alliances).AVEVA IntelliLaserAVEVA's aim, now that LFM is part of the product family, is to accelerate the growth of the core LFM product suite, reaffirming it as the solution of choice for handling and managing scan data from process, power and marine applications. Moreover, AVEVA plans to continue building solutions on this platform to offer its customers greater benefits and efficiencies. LFM will remain relevant throughout the laser scan data lifecycle, from initial processing through to registration, modelling, working with data in target CAD/design packages and finally using the data on the Internet. There are two main use cases for laser scan data in the process and marine industries. Firstly, the use of the raw laser scan data to act as an accurate as-built reference in revamp projects. Secondly, to provide a highly productive solution allowing the creation of intelligent models of an operating plant.On the 3rd of October 2011, AVEVA announced the acquisition of the software arm of Z+F, bringing the LFM software suite to AVEVA. LFM is the market-leading product suite for managing laser data in the process and marine industries.Les ElbyVP Business Strategy, AVEVALFM is a powerful 3D laser scanning software package which allows users to import 3D data from most 3D laser scanning formats, and export to PDMS as well as to other 3D plant design systems and CAD platforms.LFM, which was launched in 1998, was one of the first 3D laser scanning software packages in the market. Since its trailblazing debut, it has become the number one package for the process, plant and marine industries. Graham Dalton has led the technical direction of the company, enabling a cycle of continuous development which means that LFM is now one of the most innovative and efficient 3D laser scanning packages available. Many AVEVA customers are already long-time users of LFM, and are loyal and enthusiastic about the product, not only because the solution meets their needs, but also because of the exceptional level of support which they receive.LFM 3D laser scanning software provides a complete solution from registration of laser scan data to as-built modelling. It provides tools for brownfield projects and assists management for owner operators. Service providers use LFM on a daily basis to process and deliver their projects. The time- and cost-savings and quality improvements afforded by LFM surpass those traditionally associated with 3D laser scanning.LFM 3D laser scanning software is 'hardware neutral' and accepts data from numerous 3D laser scanners. LFM is also CAD vendor neutral. AVEVA maintains close relationships with all the leading CAD vendors, allowing the customer to benefit from a seamless interface between LFM and a large number of CAD products.About LFM software22AVEVA World Magazine 2012|Issue 1
AVEVA IntelliLaser and LMR are the first products that build on the strength of LFM, with IntelliLaser allowing users to automatically hotspot laser bubble-views so, once integrated into an asset management toolset such as AVEVA NET, users can effortlessly navigate a plant by clicking and interacting from the comfort of their own desks. This saves time on site for engineers, reducing cost and risk, and improving project efficiency.AVEVA Laser ModellerWhile the use of 3D design software such as PDMS in engineering design is now commonplace, plant owners and operators are starting to see the value of owning a model in operations for project revamps, upgrades, operator training and orientation. Traditional data capture methods have proved uneconomical, slowing the adoption of 3D in brownfield facilities. AVEVA Laser Modeller eclipses more conventional and time-consuming processes through the use of semi-automated catalogue-based modelling methodology. This allows users to quickly create a fully intelligent 3D model of their asset at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.'The reaction from customers and service companies has been amazing,' says Ricky Padhiar (Product Manager). 'People immediately recognise the value that LMR brings, and are blown away by how quickly they can turn laser data into a meaningful, intelligent model. Whereas, in the past, their budgets would have restricted them to a dumb geometric model, with LMR they can create an intelligent 3D model in less time. This represents an enormous cost saving and brings new efficiencies to ongoing plant operations. We were overwhelmed with offers by customers wanting to be part of the beta program we ran during 2011, and we are now working on significant new projects with LMR for 2012.'The future for LFM SoftwareThe outlook at the new 3D Data Capture CoE in Manchester is very positive, with Graham Dalton and his team leading the company's technical direction to offer AVEVA customers even further efficiencies and savings with laser data. 'Before the acquisition we had a lot of activity in the pipeline, which we were looking forward to talking about during 2012. Since the acquisition, these possibilities have ballooned, which makes for challenging yet exciting times,' says Graham.For more information on LFM, visit the AVEVA website or www.lfm-software.com.AVEVA's history with the LFM team2005 Jointly developed AVEVA Laser Model Interface (LMI).2006 Became a certified development partner.2009 The two companies announced an even closer technical partnership with the intention to jointly develop new product lines.2010 Jointly developed and released AVEVA IntelliLaser at SPAR Europe.2011 Released the jointly developed AVEVA Laser Modeller at SPAR Houston.3D laser scanning3D laser scanning is technology that can digitally capture an environment (such as a process plant) or the shape of physical objects, using a beam of laser light. 3D laser scanners measure fine detail and capture free-form shapes in order to quickly generate highly accurate 'point clouds' of data. They can capture up to one million points per second. The data captured allows a physical object's exact size and shape to be determined, and is of such a high quality that it can be used to produce a detailed and accurate digital 3D model.AVEVA World Magazine 2012|Issue 123The intuitive and productive AVEVA Laser Modeller; a BubbleView showing as-built intelligent PDMS objects. The AVEVA Revamp solution; extremely high resolution laser scan data being brought into PDMS by LFM Server/LMI, showing automatically detected exact clashes.