WHY USE METROLOGY
In short, metrology offers a practical,
easy way for plant managers, engineers
and project managers to make more
informed decisions about the operation
and maintenance of their plants. Smart
application of a growing number of tools
can increase detailed control of all project
elements. In turn, this can help prevent
mistakes, saving time and budget. Overall,
metrology reduces project dose, risk and
time, and improves safety, predictability
and financial success.
Author: Bob Timberlake is the product line
manager for AREVA NP’s Metrology Services. He
has more than 30 years of applied practice in the
the most effective. But, the exact
technology used often depends on what
one is trying to measure. For example,
when measuring large areas for projects
that require load path interference
analysis or to capture plant as-builts
in the case of planning and designing
a plant modification, laser scanning
technology is typically applied. This
technique produces accuracies in
the .065” to .125” range. However,
when installing a new component or
retrofitting piping, a higher degree of
accuracy requires technologies such as
photogrammetry and laser tracking.
These produce accuracies in the .001”
to .005” range.
• Total station – This device captures
measurements of anything within
its line of sight, similar to a land
surveying instrument. This single
tool actually incorporates all those
used for land surveying, including
an electronic distance meter
(EDM) that aims at a point and
shows distance from scope center,
and computes slope and angle to
provide 3-D coordinates at that
point. It is typically accurate down
to ± 0.024”.
For nuclear plants, where plant
managers most frequently need to
ensure accurate measurements on as-built plans prior to planning plant
upgrades or replacements, laser- and
photography-based tools are frequently
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