VR for Facilities Integration: Cable Routing and Rack Configuration

By IQ3Connect
May 3, 2023
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VR for Facilities Integration: Cable Routing and Rack Configuration

iQ3Connect recently partnered with a large facilities management company to solve a time consuming and costly challenge in facility integration: cable routing and cable rack configuration. The complexity of the facilities and the the numerous vendors involved, not only in the construction of the facility itself but also in the provision of the equipment for the facility, consistently leads to changes and/or confusion in the facility plan, from equipment placement to bulkhead/floor penetration sizing, to cable type and cable containment sizing. These constant changes mean that the final cable routing and rack configuration can’t be completed until near the end of the project and require extensive collaboration and field inspections to successfully deliver on time.

Creating a digital copy of the as-built facility through LiDAR scanning provided new opportunities for improving the design process. Scans of critical areas could be completed within hours, with the 3D scan data made available to the engineering team shortly after. However, having just the digital models and data did not allow them to fully realize the improvements to the design process. To do so required a method to visualize the data while designing or updating the cable routing and rack configuration in real-time and in collaboration with other stakeholders.

LiDAR scan of large processing facility. Image and scan data courtesy of MADTECH.

iQ3Connect provided an immediate solution. Our web-based VR/AR collaboration platform enabled our partner to visualize the 3D scan data, simultaneously configure cable racks (CAD models) in real-time, and collaborate with their team and other project stakeholders in an immersive, virtual workspace using only a web browser. While the engineering team had access to VR headsets and could explore the 3D data in a fully immersive environment, other stakeholders could still participate using their PCs or mobile devices and benefit from the real-time collaboration.

Cable racks built in real-time in the iQ3Connect immersive virtual workspace

This new design process was able to reduce the overall time to make decisions on cable routing and rack configuration. Additionally, through our collaboration with our partner, we identified further time-saving opportunities that could be achieved by providing for more accurate and quick alignment of cable racks in the iQ3Connect immersive workspace.

In our latest release, we have built on our capability to seamlessly combine LiDAR scans and CAD data by adding a new feature that enables precise and rapid alignment of CAD objects in the immersive workspace. This will enable teams to more quickly build and modify cable rack configurations on the fly and make adjustments to them as the as-built data changes.