Jack of all trades, master of Autodesk’s most advanced software.
A shortage of skills in the civil and structural engineering fields has resulted in the need for existing engineers and designers to adapt and become multidisciplinary. In parallel, advancements in Autodesk’s software capabilities has meant that this process became easier. For Rosnovanu & Associates, Autodesk’s Advance Steel is the latest tool it has employed to help it offer more encompassing services, in this case, structural steel detailing. This was a critical step for Rosnovanu & Associates who typically need to work on projects with steel in excess of 300 tones.
About the Company
Established in 1983, Rosnovanu & Associates has developed a name for reliability and innovation in the consulting, civil and structural engineering fields.
The practice has been involved in the design and supervision of numerous types of projects from roads and services, timber, structural steel and reinforced concrete structures to mining structures and conveyors. The success of this small but dynamic organisation can be measured by the number of developments they are involved in.
This small but agile firm also prides itself on being the top choice for many developers and structural steel fabricators who employ the practice for turnkey developments due to its ability to provide the best and most economic engineering solution for a project.
“There’s a shortage of skills in the civil and structural engineering fields which has resulted in the blurring of lines between the traditional engineer, a design office and site operation. We have to adapt and become multidisciplinary as teams shrink, fortunately, the software has made this process easier and streamlined.”
The Prokon brand and products are known and used worldwide and have been improving the lives of structural engineers everywhere for more than three decades. Prokon is the preferred Autodesk Gold Partner for Civil and Structural Engineering in South Africa. Prokon is an Accredited Training & Certification Centre as well as an Autodesk Authorised Developer.
Prokon is passionate about helping customers to overcome their challenges and grow their organisations. With the aim to do this in a professional, yet fun-loving way. Prokon continuously strives to provide service excellence by understanding business through consultative partnerships and sustainable solutions.
About the Project
Although long-time users of Autodesk software, Rosnovanu & Associates has only been using Advance Steel for a few months. In an effort to increase the scope of the firm’s service offering, it has decided to include structural steel detailing as part of its portfolio.
Not only was this done to optimise its own service offering, but to also offer a service that has traditionally added a lot of time to its own projects. By doing the detailing process directly after design, and while doing the General Arrangements (GA’s), Rosnovanu & Associates hopes to improve its workflow process and save time on projects. All while being able to offer its clients a best-in-class service.
“By taking this service in-house, the practice will be able to save valuable time on already tight project time-lines” says Darrell Emslie, Structural Engineer at Rosnovanu & Associates Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers.
“With the advent of Autodesk Advance Steel, the costs are within the budget of a small engineering firm with one or two draughtsmen. The software has to be able to do everything and do it well, and I’m happy to say that Autodesk took a big leap in the right direction here.”
From design to construction, the advances in Autodesk software has resulted in numerous days saved per-project. Rosnovanu & Associates have been able to streamline its workflow process by cutting out the need for third-party firms to assist with steel detailing, the final and arguably most important step before plans get printed for the construction site.
There has also never before been affordable software that does steel detailing well and as such, it has always been done by hand. This is a slow and meticulous process. Not only does the software mitigate this issue but it makes the workflow between teams a lot more efficient.
Autodesk Advance Steel also gives engineers like Emslie the opportunity to branch out and handle both the engineering and detailing tasks. This results in a project that passes between fewer hands and the engineer who designed the structure can fix and implement changes on the fly. This eliminates those slow turn-around times with traditional detailing.
Having used AutoCAD and Revit extensively before, it was an easy deployment for the team. Onboarding the software in a busy work environment proved effortless, says Emslie.
The biggest challenges for Rosnovanu & Associates are the slow turnaround times on detailing and challenges with regards to learning the software’s intricate features.
The former has been solved with the introduction of Autodesk Advance Steel while the latter is solved by Prokon’s dedicated technical consultants and Engineers.
With software so critical to structural engineering, firms like Rosnovanu & Associates need support from a provider that will have their best interests at heart. With Prokon, this was a match made in heaven.
“Thanks to the dedicated always-available support from Prokon we have managed to successfully integrate Advance Steel in a very short span of time” says Emslie. “This is an ongoing relationship that continually evolves while we keep learning new things every day”
Apart from the numerous time-saving features already highlighted with Autodesk Advance Steel, other less obvious features stand out for Emslie.
“The software recognises South African building industry standards, and this is a big feature - it makes design straight forward. Teamwork and the accurate and correct transfer of information between teams has always been a challenge in engineering departments but it’s incredibly important.” says Emslie.
Thanks to Autodesk Advance Steel, engineers can easily see changes that were made in a design and track them in a working environment. This allows the engineer to have all the data he needs, without having to double check with another engineer about possible changes that have been made.
The biggest budget saver when it comes to Autodesk Advance Steel is the time and money saved by taking Steel Detailing in-house. Considering that the turn-around time of this process has been cut-down from 4 - 5 days, to only 2 days, it’s easy to see why this company is so excited about this technology.
The licensing cost of Autodesk Advance Steel software is also a big deal for Emslie, “With the advent of Autodesk Advance Steel the costs are within the budget range for most small engineering firms who have one or two draughtsmen.”
Data from the company’s workflow processes can also be extrapolated to see savings and results more clearly. With Autodesk Advance Steel in place, Rosnovanu & Associates have been able to realise a 25% improvement in terms of time saved, “that’s a number we’re very happy with” says Emslie.