Path Ways to STAAD.pro for Analysis and Design on Plant Projects
If you are an avid STAAD.pro user as I am, or youhave invested many hours learning to efficiently use this structural analysisand design software, then why invest additional time and painstaking effortlearning and using another program that barely suits your design needs? In afew cases this may be an unavoidable reality based on project constraints andrequirements of the project managers.
However, I have good news for you! :)
In many cases (we will discuss some in detail)issues hindering use of STAAD.pro on specific projects can be addressed thrusoftware interoperability and project workflow integration. Well, what do Imean by project workflow integration? For some of us Engineers and Designers,we have most often received input data and produced our deliverables inparticular formats. For the Structural Engineer these file formats consist ofSTAAD files (.std) along with Excel spreadsheets (.xls) and .PDF calculationdocuments. For a Structural Designer these files may be 2D drawing files(.dgn), 11x17 submittal drawings (.PDF), and 3D BIM model (.dgn).
So the question remains, what is meant by software interoperability and projectworkflow integration? Software interoperability is theability to use data produced in one software package, in a different softwarepackage accurately without manually exchanging the data into a new format. Projectworkflow integration is capitalizing on software interoperability to improveproject efficiency, increase accuracy, and reduce cost. Therefore not only canyou use STAAD.Pro as your structural design and analysis program of choice, youhave the added benefit of improved efficiency, increased accuracy, and reduced cost.
If project workflow integration makes so much more sense, why isn’t everyonetaking advantage of it? There are several answers to that question.However, my goal is to address a very important one, which is basic awareness of integration options.Bentley Systems has been at the forefront of integration efforts for manyyears. These efforts have resulted in excellent software interoperability and projectworkflow integration across Bentley structural, civil, and mechanicalapplications to name a few. For structural integration Bentley’s Structural Synchronizer has become the focalpoint for Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM). For example, if you areusing STAAD.Pro for interoperability between structural modeling, structuralanalysis, mechanical modeling and mechanical analysis products, bi-directionaldata transfer can be accomplished with great accuracy and efficiency across thevarious applications.
Many companies have recognized the opportunity tointegrate using Bentley software programs effectively and have leveraged thesecapabilities to give themselves a leading edge in their market place.What if clients, sub-contractors and stakeholders on various projects require deliverables in formats of 3rdparty vendors (Non-Bentley products)? Are we consequently forced to use differentstructural engineering software other than STAAD.pro to accomplish softwareinteroperability? The answer is likely No, we are not! We can use STAAD andhave our integration too.
In addition to the Bi-directional interoperabilityusing Bentley ISM format, there are two other formats widely used for dataexchange on engineering projects. These formats are CIS/2 (.STP) files and IFC(.IFC) files and they can be used in instances where the ISM format is not anavailable option.
So let’s look at some real world project scenarios to see how these project workflow integrations can be implemented.We will focus on Plant Engineering and Design Projects for the examples of PathWays to STAAD.pro for Structural Analysis and Design. Starting within the PlantModeling software, we will discuss options for bi-directional data exchange tothe Structural Modeling software and then finally into STAAD.Pro. Note: ManyPlant Modeling software applications are capable of generating a CIS/2 filethat can be directly imported into STAAD.Pro. Once in STAAD.pro, we then havebi-directional data exchange with our Structural modeling and documentationsoftware. In reality there are several available alternatives for projectworkflow integration, therefore you can integrate in a way that best meets theneeds of your project schedule and optimizes project integration.