How might 3D technology affect the offshore industry?

One of the trends we’re following here at WorkBoat is how 3D data capture technology – things like 3D laser scanning or 3D sonar – might affect the workboat industry. Recently, we came across a company named BlueView Technologies at the SPAR International conference in Houston, which specializes in underwater 3D sonar scanning. Unlike normal multi-beam sonar applications, where boats scan the bottom of the body of water from the surface, creating large underwater maps, BlueView focuses on static scanning at closer range to create representations of underwater objects that are centimeter-level accurate. 

In the following video, you can see a demonstration of how this technology is being applied to underwater objects, like offshore rigs, that need modifications or replacement parts. By scanning the underwater object, engineers can get such an accurate view of what’s going on underwater that parts can be pre-fabricated and fit in much more efficient fashion. 


Here at WorkBoat we wonder: How will this affect the offshore support needed from workboat providers? Will there be less barge time needed? More or fewer support trips? Will specialized workboats be needed to support increased use of this 3D data capture method? We’ll keep an eye on it for you, but in the meantime, we suggest googling terms like “underwater laser scanning” and “underwater 3D.”

Just watch out for bad 3D movies about sharks… 

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