Engineering firms of all sizes are winning more businesses, working more efficiently and maximizing profits with the help of design and analysis software that offers true, proven ability to work seamlessly with other tools. With the industry increasingly moving towards Building Information Modelling (BIM) to conceptualize, plan, detail, create and guide the building of structures, forward-thinking engineers are looking for ways to bring the same efficiency, accuracy and collaboration benefits of 3D modeling to their analysis and design work.
Seamless integration and interoperability
Today, it is the norm for engineers to work with a number of different analysis and design tools for a single project. Typically, an engineer may use up to five analysis and design tools on a single project – one for steel frame design, another for concrete slab design and so on. After the various models are created, they are usually combined into a new BIM model, from scratch – a cumbersome process that wastes time and increases the potential for errors.
The overriding problem is the lack of interoperability between software programs, many of which claim to easily integrate with others, but in reality, they often fall short. This inability to easily transition a model from analysis and design tools to a BIM platform and share it with other stakeholders throughout the design process often diminishes the benefits of using a 3D model in the first place.
Tekla Structural Designer was developed specifically to help design engineers maximize collaboration with other project parties, including technicians, fabricators and architects. Its unique functionality allows engineers to integrate the physical design model seamlessly with Tekla Structures and other leading BIM software. Notable engineering companies in South East Asia, such as AECOM, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers and Mott Macdonald, have turned to Tekla Structural Designer to bridge the interoperability gap as well as to increase business biddings in an efficient manner.
Likewise, Sepakat Setia Perunding Sdn Bhd from Malaysia has also chosen to adopt Tekla Structural Designer in to their business, a decision that has, in their own words, been instrumental in boosting productivity and efficiency.
Sepakat Setia Perunding Sdn Bhd (SSP) is a Malaysian multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy firm with an imminent presence throughout Malaysia and Brunei. With over 90 years of experience in engineering consulting, they have covered a diverse range of projects, including railways, high-rises, tunnels, highways, bridges, commercial buildings and airports, among others.
SSP’s journey with Tekla Structural Designer began in 2015 when Mr. Kuah Kee Hong, Engineering Director of the Building Department of SSP, was trying several analysis and design software tools that would work best for his team. He finally came to the conclusion that Tekla Structural Designer’s superior interoperability with BIM platforms would be a key advantage to remain competitive in the industry in the long run.
“The BIM interoperability and integration that Tekla Structural Designer offers is increasingly crucial as most of our clients have requested for BIM implementation in their projects, especially when it has been proven to minimize the time of construction and improve interdisciplinary coordination and communication. Compared to other software, Tekla Structural Designer offers excellent BIM interoperability, as it easily converts our models to BIM software. This is essential to realize efficient day-to-day workflow and increased productivity within the team.”
Mr. Kuah Kee Hong
Engineering Director of Building Departement
Sepakat Setia Perunding (Malaysia)
He added, “Tekla Structural Designer encourages better collaboration between client, architects and engineers, where all relevant parties can visualize and manage changes to the 3D model on a streamlined platform and resolve errors before the construction stage.”
Integrated single model with user-friendly interface
Tekla Structural Designer’s seamless capability in handling both design and analysis is largely due to its single model concept – the same model from preliminary to detailed design through to construction – which means that the model only carries a single data set to cover your needs. This integrated model enables Tekla Structural Designer to deliver smooth BIM transition and improves collaboration across different project teams into a seamless and consolidated one.
The integrated model also presents a smoother process to achieving the final design solution by eliminating the extra process of purchasing additional modules and switching between software packages throughout the design stage, saving both cost and time.
For SSP, Tekla Structural Designer’s ability to handle both steel and concrete segments was a plus for their commercial and industrial projects. “Tekla Structural Designer’s powerful ability to handle design and analysis for both concrete and steel in a single model is especially time-saving for our projects that normally require both materials,” said Mr. Kuah.
Manage changes easily
Effective change management is critical for staying on task and budget, especially on complex projects. Unlike traditional analysis software, Tekla Structural Designer allows users to create 3D, information-rich models that contain all the intelligence needed to fully automate the design and to manage project changes easily. Through this smart system, faster design times are achieved, in turn maximizing the profitability and productivity of companies.
“The informative 3D model allows our engineers to manage changes in member size and properties and visualize the overall 3D structure at the same time. Because Tekla Structural Designer takes care of the analysis portion of the project, we can focus on managing and making changes quicker and more effectively. We achieved between 15% to 25% of time savings with Tekla Structural Designer’s integrated single model,” noted Mr. Kuah.
The Tekla advantage: comprehensive and hands-on technical support
Tekla’s technical support plays an important role in enhancing the overall Tekla experience. For SSP, the comprehensive support helped soften the learning curve and guided the team on how to better use Tekla Structural Designer.
“Tekla’s fast and excellent technical support gave us a detailed explanation over the phone and e-mail, and even visited our office on occasion to help us resolve some issues. The Tekla Structural Designer Clinic held at Trimble offices was also helpful for troubleshooting issues in using the software,” concluded Mr. Kuah.
Aside from the local Tekla Structural Designer Clinics, users also have the option of watching Tekla’s online webinars from the comfort of their own home or workplace. These sessions provide users with short tutorials on how to optimize Tekla Structural Designer’s features for efficient results and tips and tricks for better modeling.