Apex Structural Design with its head office in Red Deer, Alberta recently completed the detailing of a Mine Project totaling 2,000 tons. The shaft consists of three main compartments, a "Skip" compartment for ore material, a "Cage" compartment for manpower and equipment, and a "Counterweight" compartment. All fabricated from over 24,000 feet of galvanized HSS guides. Each shaft is separated by brattice partitions used to direct air for ventilation. These wall panels are welded angle frames filled with either an expanded metal mesh or corrugated gauge steel sheets. Extending down to over 270 different platform levels and opening up to 15 larger "Station" levels. Each of the 270 levels consists of platform bar grating, a manway ladder and guard railing. The guide elevations were designed and detailed to 1/32" tolerances to keep the HSS as true as possible.
We began this project back in May 2018, and as of this writing in June 2021 we just issued the last of the revisions at the shaft bottom below the deflection chute (below). What began as an aggressive 3 month project has taken over 3 years of starts and stops. The biggest factor in this extended time frame has been a constant arrival of new and revised design drawings including 35 major change orders. We started with 45 different consultant drawings and now have 145. One shop drawing is at Rev.18 due to multiple quantity increases. Our original drafting quote was based on a huge amount of repetition throughout the shaft, but much of that repetition was lost due to these changes. But thanks to our extensive experience using Tekla Structures we were able to mitigate much of this extra work. Keeping the model and drawings up to date over a 3-year period was an exercise in persistence.
Challenges and achievements
One of the unique challenges at the beginning of the project was a temporary Test Tower to be assembled in the yard and shipped to site (literally across the road from the steel shop). The interior steel of the Test Tower consisted of three complete levels of the mine (below in red). While the exterior steel skeleton was designed to mimic the connections to the mine shaft rock walls (below in green). At 40 feet tall the finished product resembled something of a rocket launch pad.
Using Tekla software
One of the biggest challenges was maintaining the same mark numbers through multiple different phases. The reason for this was so the shop could re-use jigs for the thousands of beams and columns. But thanks to our understanding of Tekla Structures software and the custom components we were able to control the model consistency through automation.