Two-and-a-half years ago, members of the Mid-States Concrete Industries team dreamt of drawing in 3D.
With research and training, that dream has become a reality. Mid-States currently has six people on its “Tekla Team,” using Tekla’s BIM Software to model just what the buildings we work on will look like.
Between offering integration with our enterprise resource planning system; a reduction in overall schedule from design to delivery; an automated bill of materials; clash detection; the accuracy of drawings; and more, this software has been well received among those using it for the past year. The IFC format allows the models to be shared, even with partners who don’t have Tekla.
Mid-States’ Jon Recknagel, EIT, Structural Designer, has found working in Tekla allows him to draw roughly 30 percent faster than he was previously, using AutoCAD. Also, because everything is modeled in the software, individual piece drawings can be created more quickly. If a project has a lot of repeating pieces, it can be drawn even faster.
“You’re not drawing lines anymore,” Jon said. “You’re drawing real (multi-dimensional) objects.”
According to Tekla, the software allows you to reduce waste and total cost; estimate accurately and manage risk when bidding; avoid detailing and fabrication errors; minimize the need for rework; link with production machinery; transfer information efficiently to help avoid human errors; and enhance communication and coordination using the model.
At Mid-States, there is excitement among those using the software, as they have gained the ability to really see a building come together. And the benefits go beyond the engineering department. These 3D drawings can be used as part of a model to help the client and Mid-States design the most efficient building. And, where previously pieces had to be manually counted and entered into the system, Tekla generates an automated bill of materials, offering more efficiency for production. The software also coordinates with the lasers in our plant, assisting in an even more efficient set up for our wall panel production. Clash detection also makes it much easier to discover an issue, before it becomes an issue.
“It just makes things a lot easier to visualize and prevent that clash from happening,” Jon said.
BIM software can also assist with safety, as it can be used for site planning. Models provide an opportunity to visualize hazards, spot fall areas, determine locations for crane and truck access and more.
“If you want the fastest, smoothest (project) and least amount of errors, you have to be in BIM software,” Jon said.
As current Tekla team members continue working on their skills, the goal is to eventually have even more of the engineering team trained in Tekla.
“There’s always room for learning,” Jon said. “You can always learn more in Tekla.”