Improving Efficiencies In Your Structural Engineering Workflow
Last month, we talked about bidding on jobs and the business benefits of improved efficiencies, but what about benefits for engineers who work on a cost plus basis? What if you don’t want to reduce the time a project takes to complete? What value does an improved workflow bring to my business?
One of the primary reasons structural engineers choose GT STRUDL is the analytical robustness – getting the right answer. But what if the right answer is not constructible because of a lack of coordination? Does being hyper focused on one aspect of a structure lead to designs that appear disjointed when viewed from a field visit? How much unbillable time is spent on a project correcting these issues? More importantly, how many times are you hit with change orders from the construction site, and what effect does that have on your profitability? Has your client ever commented on project delays due to structural issues? Have you lost repeat work from a client due to lack of coordination or construction issues on a project?
An improved workflow can enable your structural engineers to deliver a better quality of service in the same amount of time. Your client receives a better coordinated and reviewed project without additional cost – giving you a competitive advantage over “the other guys.” You reduce your risk of change-order liability when your designs are well coordinated, reviewed, and documented before they’re sent out.
Recently, the product owner for GT STRUDL, Joe Harrison, presented a webinar on how GT STRUDL works with Intergraph’s SmartPlant solution. Simple things like being able to visually confirm when the structural engineer has changed the size or location of structural members (without making blind, wholesale changes to the overall plant design model) allows you to make sure that those last-minute changes are incorporated into the digital model and included on construction documents.
As engineers, we owe the world safe designs, and we owe our clients an efficient design that is constructible. I would encourage you to look at your workflow and tools to see where you can leverage the integration and sharing of digital information to reduce errors and improve the product you deliver to your clients.
Vol. 3 | Issue 5 | May 2016
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Where do you find that you make the most errors? For me, one of the most time consuming and error prone tasks is the specification and checking of the loads. A quick check that may aid you in determining if you have an error is the LIST SUM REACTIONS command. Read more on LinkedIn by Dr. Kennth M. (Mac) Will Director of GT STRUDL Development
Did you know that you can animate the deformed shape of the structure due to a static loading? Why would you want to animate a static loading? In some instances, I have found it useful in detecting errors in the structural model and loadings. I have found part of the structure moving independently of a part that it should be contacted to and also found a part of the structure moving in a different direction than it should due to an error in the direction of the loading. The animation can often aid in the determination of these errors especially in larger models.
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by Dr. Kenneth M. (Mac) Will
Director of GT STRUDL Development
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Geoff Blumber North America Channel Manager
CADWorx & Analysis Solutions