Consider manual distributed tendons that are spaced at a regular spacing and cover the entire slab. The Optimizer would optimize each individual manual tendon independently. This means that each tendon could have a different quantity or profile, which would not be a constructible design. To avoid that problem, you would want to group the individual tendons together so that the group is optimized with the same quantity and profile. This is exactly what the tendon parameters do and why they are used for optimization and not manual tendons.
Prior to Version 6.5.0, jacks were only available for manual tendons and could not be modeled at the ends of generated tendons. This limitation forced many users, especially RAM Concept users outside the United States, to use manual tendons in their designs. A jack region tool was added to the Tendon Parameter Layers in v6.5.0. This tool automatically generates jacks at the ends of generated tendons with the Jack Region polygon and allows for the PT loss calculation of generated tendons.
The Optimizer is not just finding the lowest amount of PT. Instead, it is finding the optimal amount of PT quantity and drape that results in the lowest total cost for the entire floor, including mild reinforcement and stud rails. For example, the Optimizer might add some PT to eliminate mild reinforcement or adjust tendon drape to better balance moments at a column and reduce or eliminate stud rails. Such possible solutions are often not considered in manual designs due to time constraints and because it is not always intuitive that these changes minimize overall cost. Finding the lowest PT cost is fairly easy. Finding the most optimal total solution is exponentially more difficult as it has many interdependencies.
No, the optimization feature is not available in RAM Concept models that are created when RAM Concept is launched from RAM Manager. However, the optimization feature is available in integrated models that are created by first launching RAM Concept and then clicking on File - Sync RAM Structural System.
For RAM Concept models embedded in RAM Structural System models, you can create a copy of the embedded file by copying it from the Working Directory of RAM Structural System and then placing the copy in another folder. Then, you can open the copied file in a separate RAM Concept window, prepare the model for optimization, and run Optimization scenarios. After the optimization is completed and the optimized run is loaded, you can copy the tendon parameter information from the clipboard and paste it back into the .cpt file that is embedded in your .rss file.
Click here for more information on unlinking RAM Concept models from RAM Structural System files.