Sheppard Innovations brings design-to-fit into engineering

While LIDAR and laser scanning technologies have been mapping the built environment with great precision for years; they are now coming to engineering.

Sheppard Innovations aims to bring together mechanical engineering design skills and surveying technology to ensure that not only will a new machine perform as required, but will also be straightforward to install.

In reality, the best-designed machine in the world will provide no benefit until it enters the facility, is brought to its intended place, and can be connected to the site services. To a facility in active production, installing a new machine brings the risk that processes will need to be shut down, which affects the site’s profitability.

Machine builders that use an on-site assembly approach may simplify transport of the machinery – as individual pieces can be transported more easily than larger modules – but doing so guarantees disruption during the installation process.

By that rationale, pre-assembled machinery minimises delay, provided it can reach its final destination. Even small errors in measuring openings, rooms and other interferences can make the difference between reaching an inflexible connection, and not. When those errors are discovered as the machine is being installed, fixing the problem can involve delays, conflict, frustration and disruption to the facility.

Instead, performing a non-contact, non-invasive optical scan of the facility along the machine’s installation route enables planning. If things change, there is no need to return to site to make any tweaks, since the team can consult an ultra-precise virtual model instead.

What has held back this offering in the market is the lack of familiarity with scanning technology in engineering. But thanks to supply chain relationships stretching back over a decade, Sheppard Innovations can offer:

  • concept design consultancy,
  • bespoke machinery design,
  • engineering project management (trained to the level of PRINCE2 Practitioner and also PRINCE2 Agile),
  • optical scanning services, including integration into BIM (building information management) software.

Sheppard Innovations’ unique offering promises to provide customers with a bespoke machine, installed to work with minimal site disruption and production downtime.