Path Ways to for Analysis and Design on Plant Projects


Path Ways to for Analysis and Design on Plant Projects


If you are an avid user as I am, or you
have invested many hours learning to efficiently use this structural analysis
and design software, then why invest additional time and painstaking effort
learning and using another program that barely suits your design needs? In a
few cases this may be an unavoidable reality based on project constraints and
requirements of the project managers.

However, I have good news for you!  :)

In many cases (we will discuss some in detail)
issues hindering use of on specific projects can be addressed thru
software interoperability and project workflow integration. Well, what do I
mean by project workflow integration? For some of us Engineers and Designers,
we have most often received input data and produced our deliverables in
particular formats. For the Structural Engineer these file formats consist of
STAAD files (.std) along with Excel spreadsheets (.xls) and .PDF calculation
documents. 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 project
workflow integration?
Software interoperability is the
ability to use data produced in one software package, in a different software
package accurately without manually exchanging the data into a new format. Project
workflow integration is capitalizing on software interoperability to improve
project efficiency, increase accuracy, and reduce cost. Therefore not only can
you use STAAD.Pro as your structural design and analysis program of choice, you
have the added benefit of improved efficiency, increased accuracy, and reduced cost.


If project workflow integration makes so much more sense, why isn’t everyone
taking 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 many
years. These efforts have resulted in excellent software interoperability and project
workflow integration across Bentley structural, civil, and mechanical
applications to name a few. For structural integration Bentley’s Structural Synchronizer has become the focal
point for Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM)
. For example, if you are
using STAAD.Pro for interoperability between structural modeling, structural
analysis, mechanical modeling and mechanical analysis products, bi-directional
data transfer can be accomplished with great accuracy and efficiency across the
various applications.

Many companies have recognized the opportunity to
integrate using Bentley software programs effectively and have leveraged these
capabilities 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 3rd
party vendors (Non-Bentley products)?
Are we consequently forced to use different
structural engineering software other than to accomplish software
interoperability? The answer is likely No, we are not! We can use STAAD and
have our integration too.


In addition to the Bi-directional interoperability
using Bentley ISM format, there are two other formats widely used for data
exchange 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 an
available 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 Path
Ways to for Structural Analysis and Design. Starting within the Plant
Modeling software, we will discuss options for bi-directional data exchange to
the Structural Modeling software and then finally into STAAD.Pro. Note: Many
Plant Modeling software applications are capable of generating a CIS/2 file
that can be directly imported into STAAD.Pro. Once in, we then have
bi-directional data exchange with our Structural modeling and documentation
software. In reality there are several available alternatives for project
workflow integration, therefore you can integrate in a way that best meets the
needs of your project schedule and optimizes project integration.