This article describes the plant design scenario demonstrated during the Excellence in Structural Technology seminars presented in Australia in September 2014. Given a preliminary 3D layout for a refinery facility, the audience was taken step-by-step through a coordinated structural workflow that produced the structural design for a substructure within the facility, the updating of the 3D model for the structural design, as well as 2D and mobile formats.
Setting up the Team and Situation for the Demonstration
The mock design team for the demonstration consisted of Josh Taylor, who role played the project manager, coordinating across the various disciplines, and Wentao Zhang, who role played the lead structural designer. The structure considered was a hydrotreater facility pictured in Figure 1. The 3D model represented a preliminary layout with minimal engineering basis. It was the design team's task to design the structural steelworks to support the exhaust tower (see Figure 2) and coordinate the geometry with the mechanical team to ensure there were no constructability problems.
The specific design tasks for the demonstration were:
a. Size the footings supporting the exhaust tower and the footing reinforcing. In addition, coordinate the footing geometry with the nearby exhaust ducts (see Figure 2). This was deemed necessary after clash detection was performed between the foundation and exhaust ducts. The clash detection feature in Bentley Navigator, shown in Figure 4, was used for this task.
b. Coordinate the exhaust stack bearing connection with the supporting steel beams. Specifically, verify that there was adequate beam flange width to accommodate the connection and bolting (See Figure 3).
Figure 1 - Bentley i-model, shown in Bentley Navigator, containing the various disciplines used as the basis of the plant design demonstration.
Figure 2 - A Markup of the first task - Evaluate foundations and coordinate with exhaust ducts.
Figure 3 - A Markup of the second task - Connection bearing width and constructability
Figure 4 - Clash detection feature in Bentley Navigator.
The first part of the process is shown in the following video. The ISM repository of the steel-framed exhaust support structure is imported into Microstran.
Note: This demonstration utilises a development build of Microstran. The ISM-compatible version of Microstran is anticipated to be available in November of 2014.
In Microstran the following steps are undertaken:
Note that in Structural Synchronizer, the user has control over which objects are to be committed to the repository. We selected the beams, loads, load cases, supports, and reactions to commit to the repository, and are prompted with a dialogue box for revision comments.
Note: In order to reduce file size, the following video plays at 2x. To reduce the speed, right click over the video and select 0.5 play rate.
Next we moved to STAAD Foundation Advanced, a comprehensive foundation design program that offers the ability to model complex or simple footings, including those specific to plant facilities such as octagonal footings supporting vertical vessels, strap beam foundations supporting horizontal vessels, ring foundations supporting tank structures, and drilled or driven pier foundations.Common foundations such as isolated footings, combined footings, strip footings, pile caps, and mat foundations can also be designed for larger structures or using parametric wizards. It provides a streamlined workflow through its integration with STAAD.Pro and can also be used as a stand-alone program. Now that Microstran is ISM-enabled, we can design foundations from Microstran via ISM also. After the foundation design was done, we again invoked the Update ISM command, this time in STAAD Foundation Advanced.
Note that ISM is more than just a file format, it is a platform for visualization and change management. Of particular significance is the ability to query the differences between any two revisions in the repository by using the Diff command.
In the next step of the process we used ProStructures to create engineering drawings from the ISM Repository we have been modifying thus far. The steps involved creating work frames, views, and drawing sheets.
We reviewed the original file that the i-Model was created from, and updated the reference of the support structure to point to the revised version from ProStructures. We then went back to the mark-up and reran the clash detection job. As it is dynamically linked to all the reference files, it now shows that clashes around the foundations have been resolved.
We set the status of the markup items to "Completed" and checked the markups back into ProjectWise, completing the loop and notifying the project manager of our completion of the work.