Demonstration and Use of Advanced 3D Measuring Techniques using Portable Laser and Arm Technology

Project ID: 19146
Principal Investigator: Jordan Lemer
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019, 2020 and 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can Reclamation gain a powerful new toolset and knowledge base to three-dimensionally map componentry and equipment, with high-accuracy and speed, while subsequently reducing maintenance and repair costs through time-savings and an expansion of in-house capability?

Need and Benefit

Across Reclamation there is a need for a more powerful toolset for precision infrastructure measurements and
dimensional mapping of critical components. Reclamation's large variety of infrastructure and the age of most of this
equipment provide a vast need for a laser tracker and track arm toolset. Some of Reclamation's existing
measurement technologies are obsolete, some dating back to the early 1900's. Todays advanced technologies utilize
high precision laser instrumentation and techniques to digitally ‘map' critical components, both large and small, by
quickly taking thousands of precise measurements, where before only a single measurement would be taken. This
new technology provides a substantial increase in speed, measurement precision and reliability.
Procurement of a Laser Tracker and TrackArm would provide substantial value for Reclamation, such as:
•Longer machine life through improved precision measurements of critical components at Reclamation dams and

•Substantially improved geometrical measurement ability for use during rehabilitation efforts on Reclamation hydro-
unit generator-rotors and stators, such as outer and inner diameters, runout and full orbital shape characterization

•Improved ability to verify that contractors have met Reclamations tolerance requirements on rehabilitation projects
•Unparalleled scan detail of important components like guide bearing babbitted surfaces, gate sealing surfaces, and a
multitude of sub-components in pumps, motors, engines, hydraulic assemblies, etc. where no drawings are available.
The scan detail is so precise that when digitized, a detailed drawing can easily be created and a replica part may be
directly CNC machined or 3D printed.
•Additionally, Reclamation field offices have communicated specific use cases for this new measurement technology,
such as: seal ring diameter and concentricity, turbine and generator guide bearing diameters, concentricity and
perpendicularity, stator ID concentricity and circularity, rotor spider arms, gate and valve in-place dimensions, plant
shift, shaft straightness, generator-to-turbine shaft flange mating surfaces, head cover flange perpendicularity and
levelness, wicket gate curb/crown levelness and concentricity, mapping of auxiliary piping for replacement, crane
travel rails, crane trolley and gantry beams, etc.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Demonstration and Use of Advanced 3D Measuring Techniques Using Portable Laser and Arm Technology (final, PDF, 7.3MB)
By Chad Paulson
Report completed on January 31, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20