NC taps Research & Innovation team for high-tech reno help

left: Research Assistants Jason Wright and Daniela Cortes set up the FARO Focus 3D laser scanner to take accurate measurements for the FMS division prior to their renovation of the Yerich Auditorium at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus; top right: a screenshot of the scanned room; bottom right: new seating bases ready to be installed.


It sure helps to have inside connections.

When the Facilities Management Services division at the College needed to have a precise, as-built measurement scan prior to renovations to an auditorium, they needed only look to the technology already housed at the Welland campus’ Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Armed with their 3D laser scanner, a team of students and a lab specialist with the Research & Innovation division recently headed to the Yerich Auditorium at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. It’s a space that’s about to get a complete overhaul: new seating, walls, flooring and some added services such as communications, mechanical piping and electrical.

The mission was to produce an “as-built” scan of the room to provide FMS with a data set of precision measurements so they can accurately design their new layout.

“We require the precise location of the walls to each other, the wall distances and related angles,” says Bart Lanni, FMS planning & development technologist. “This will be a great aid in helping us to accurately locate the new seating before drilling the floor slab for the electrical power to each row or fixed seating.

“The fixed seating supplier uses the scan to aid them in locating the floor levels where the transitions occurred from level, to sloped, and back to level.”

The research team utilized its FARO Focus 3DS 120 laser scanner to create a 3D image of the room using visible laser light to measure millions of points, explains Charles Lecompte, senior application specialist with R&I.

“The FARO Focus takes those millions of measurements and creates a ’point cloud‘ that represents every visible surface, which can then be imported into CAD software,” says Lecompte. “From there we can use the updated ’as-is‘ condition of the facility to plan and co-ordinate while mitigating risks that occur when working from incorrect data.”

Centre manager Jim Lambert says this type of technology can be beneficial to industry, particularly for plant design, and in construction and operations. The planning and co-ordination of work around existing facilities can represent large cost savings in labour and materials.

Lambert called the project mutually beneficial for the College; the FMS department gains this as-built model and students receive real world application knowledge by utilizing innovative solutions using advanced manufacturing technologies. “This experience makes them more marketable to [small- and medium-sized businesses] looking to improve their operations.”

Daniela Cortes, a second-year Mechanical Engineering Technology student and research assistant, agrees: “Working at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about and use leading-edge technology for various applications.”