Fabrication Information Modelling – Integrated Engineering Project Management from Design through to Site Erection!Abhilash Joseph, Regional Manager, AceCad Software India, Mumbai
How can the often complex structural steelwork supply chain be organised to the benefit of all involved, enabling the necessary individual competitive advantages throughout contracting, whilst delivering complete project management facilities to the Engineering team? The answer lies in a very real and direct implementation of the long expounded BIM or Building Information Modelling concept. Many have talked about BIM and also claim full working implementation, although this author would claim that in reality we are still a long way from seeing a single model hold all the information required from the Architect to the Facilities Manager! Indeed, what many claim to have implemented is in truth simply integration between 'islands of interoperability' within areas of the chain, or more generally import/ export through a series of links.
It is clear that the immediate future lies in specialised industry de facto and best of breed databases that integrate as far as possible and inter communicate across the entire supply chain. With this in mind and as a result of unique positioning and significant knowledge of the structural steel engineering, detailing and fabrication industries, AceCad has developed a complete single source solution from engineering design through detailing, fabrication and ultimately erection. This solution, which AceCad has called Fabrication Information Modelling, has been brought about through best of breed integration of StruCad, the Worlds leading 3D structural detailing system and StruM.I.S .NET, the ultimate fabrication management system for steelwork contractors.
AceCad Software is delighted to announce the global release of StruCad Version 14 in June 2008. At the heart of AceCad's Fabrication Information Modelling solution, this exciting first new StruCad release of 2008 includes significant new content across many of StruCad's key functions, including the StruCad 3D modelling environment, integrated connection design program (StruConnect), the StruCad 2D drawing viewer and the StruCad CAM/CNC output system.
Model Faster and More AccuratelyStruCad V14 features substantially enhanced 3D modelling tools, delivering even more accurate positioning and identification of critical holes and locating bolts. Combined with a powerful new clash analysis facility, structures may be managed throughout a project in the knowledge that all access and conflict aspects are resolved to the satisfaction of the user. With graphical user workflow based interfaces and the very latest solid modelling technology, the StruCad 3D modelling environment delivers ultimate detailing performance, rapid project detailing completion and automatic production of fabrication data.
Integrated Connection Design
AceCad is pleased to announce the inclusion within StruCad Version 14 of additional significant connection design facilities within the StruConnect system. This integrated connection design software within StruCad, enables connections to be both designed in real time according to published standards and instantly transferred for modelling within StruCad. New simple connection design macros incorporated within StruCad V14 also enable users to streamline their detailing processes and may be used in varying modes to facilitate manual connection design, full design checking and 'look up' facilities with published standards. These engineering applications further aid links across the design phase of a typical structural steelwork project, integrating job functions and delivering streamlined Fabrication Information Modelling.
Ultimate Fabrication OutputStruCad V14 also boasts significant new functionality in terms of output. Whilst increased modelling speed and accuracy, coupled with new design tools and greater integration facilities are all vital; output is ultimately the key element of all CAD systems. StruCad has always delivered class leading accurate automatic drawing output, dramatically reducing total project detailing time. StruCad V14 builds on this deserved reputation and provides yet further flexibility in the form of a Nested Drawing function enabling combined material list grouping. Additional access and new management tools within StruCad's 2D viewer deliver easier selection and ordering of drawings– by for example phase, lot and mark number.
Output and fabrication integration is further strengthened through major enhancements to StruCad V14 CNC download facilities and a new graphical user interface for editing CAM data file parameters. AceCad continues to integrate across the fabrication process and leads the way with DSTV standards for advanced CNC connectivity.
Fabrication Information Modelling
AceCad's commitment to delivering productivity advantages throughout the steelwork supply chain has resulted in de facto product adoption and, combined with years of best practice research and partnering with leading steelwork contractors, enabled an integrated and unique single source approach. Fabrication Information Modelling benefits the entire structural steelwork supply chain from the engineering team, through detailing specialists, steelwork contractors and erection teams.
Benefits specifically to the engineer include integration with leading analysis systems for instant CAD model import, coupled with advanced connection design to facilitate realisation of cost effective connections rapidly, without multiple RFI and variations - to the mutual satisfaction of the architect, engineer and fabricator. With automatic fabrication and general arrangement drawing production, freeware model and drawing collaboration and CNC data generation, the project can be managed more effectively. This project management is taken a step further through production, as the data generated from the 3D model populates the management information system needed for multi project fabrication–the circum– stances of most steelwork contractors. From estimating and tendering, through to purchasing and stock, nesting and routing, the system facilitates all the tasks of the steelwork contractor. With bar coding, budgetary control and analysis, coupled with instant reporting, progress can be monitored from anywhere in the world over the internet. The entire production process can be tracked real time in the 3D model, such that an enquiry may be made of any component by any member of the project team and the exact status revealed. With integrated erection and phasing facilities, detailed planning of complex sites in combination with freeware model viewing tools enables complete assembly clarification.
Fabrication Information Modelling brings benefits across the supply chain to each function, whilst facilitating both detailing completion up to 40% faster than via other systems and the industries most accurate automatic drawing production. Together with efficiency and productivity advantages across the entire production process and complete project management and collaboration tools Fabrication Information Modelling is the off the shelf solution of the future– available now!
AceCad Software Announces Imminent Release of StruCad V15!AceCad Software is proud to announce that due to unsurpassed development initiatives StruCad V15 will be released in the autumn of 2008. With substantial new content in the form of the StruCad Model Manager, AISC simple connection design macros and significant productivity enhancements–all wrapped in a completely new look and feel workspace, StruCad V15 will deliver even greater advantages to our valued users.
AceCad's latest revolutionary development to be launched within StruCad V15 is called StruCad Model Manager and enables rapid and advanced issuing facilities combined with unlimited collaboration opportunities. Basedon the very latest software technology this all new component of StruCad will streamline working practices and deliver significant productivity and efficiency advantages to the detailing industry. Whilst, naturally with StruCad, this new component is designed with the user in mind, the features will surpass expectations and deliver far more than just simultaneous working practice. With a number of drawing offices, detailing professionals and engineers from around the world involved in the concept from the start, the StruCad Model Manager has been designed to deliver competitive advantages in every detailing scenario. Inbuilt safety systems and practical workflow logic, coupled with full audit traceability result in confident collaboration. Advanced modeling tools facilitate rapid detailing, with no risk of work duplication, enabling projects to be completed economically whilst delivering full control and monitoring tools to the Project Coordinator. Models are then automatically issued by the Project Coordinator either in full or in part with unrivalled speed, control and effectiveness.
New software developments within StruCad V15 have resulted in reduced file sizes leading to improved flexibility, whilst key model specific files may now be combined for improved collaboration. Modelling flexibility is further improved through easier definition of parts–enabling users to assign standard components to modelsfor fabrication by differing steelwork contractors. With more powerful graphical user interfaces designed for StruCad's time saving macros and a new look and feel across the system, navigation and performance are both significantly enhanced. StruCad V15 benefits from a completely new StruCad workspace, which not only delivers the latest industry aesthetics but also contains significant new functionality and enhanced user customization capabilities. New features include flexible model listing by definable project attributes; enhanced model previewing and rapid zip file creation with direct email facilities. Together with improved flexibility in terms of new 'drag and drop' manipulation and a number of convenience added features–the detailing experience is significantly improved.
The substantial recent additions to AceCad Software's StruCad Freeware (StruWalker–AceCad's combined model and drawing viewer for unlimited distribution) to facilitate improved model manipulation are continued with a ground plane (or horizon) which greatly aids the user's orientation through the rendered model. A significant aid to cross functional project collaboration StruCad Freeware delivers unparalleled rendered model interrogation with instant drawing access.
AceCad Software continues to integrate within the structural steelwork supply chain through the continued development of StruCad connection design capabilities. StruCad V15 includes American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) design capable simple connection macros, which will complement the existing BS5950 standards. These tools combined with StruConnect– StruCad's inbuilt connection design system further increase functionality across organisations and job functions.