DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

Engineering Schools, Jobs and Resources

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Mar 22, 2017 6:43:00 PM

Engineering is such a broad industry with so many different disciplines. So let's break it down a bit. In this blog we will discuss Engineering Schools, Disciplines, Job Opportunities as well as some specific everyday resources used by the DIS-TRAN Steel engineers.

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According to Grad Schools, the top 5 Engineering Schools are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA
  • Stanford in Stanford, CA
  • University of California - Berkeley in Berkeley, CA
  • California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA
  • Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh, PA

Not to completely leave out the Louisiana Schools that ranked for Top Engineering Schools, here are our locals:

  • Louisiana State University (LSU) ranked 100
  • Tulane University ranked 105
  • Louisiana Tech University ranked 139

Now that you know where the best schools are, here is a list of the main Engineering Disciplines and Job Opportunities.

1. Chemical Engineering is expected to grow 2% between 2014-2024. Not much growth here but many opportunities. Some continue to be Biomedical Engineers, Chemical Technicians, Nuclear Engineers and Chemist & Materials Scientist.

2. Civil Engineering is expected to grow 8% between 2014-2024. These seems to be the opportunity for some growth in this field. Job opportunities may consist of Architects, Civil Engineer Technicians, Construction Managers, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering as well as Surveyors.

3. Electrical Engineering is expected to show little to no growth between 2014-2024. You may look into Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Electricians and even Sales Engineers.

4. Software Engineering is expected to have the highest growth rate (17%) between 2014-2024. Opportunities consist of Computer & Information Research Scientist, Computer Hardware Engineer, Computer Network Architects, Computer Systems Analyst, Mathematicians and Web Developers.

These are just some of the TOP disciplines in Engineering. As you can see, there are many opportunities in the Utility Industry. DIS-TRAN Steel provides civil engineering services along with our products. We design, detail and fabricate steel transmission and substation structures. Our engineers focus on designing structures that can withstand the loads needed to transport electrical systems to the end user like you and me. The two main structure types are Standard Steel and Tapered Tubular. Each structure is made from different steel shapes. Standard Steel structures are made from preformed beams, angles, plates and tubes. Tapered Tubular structures start off as a flat piece of plate that is then bent and formed into a tapered pole. Just like these structures use different steel pieces they also use different design software and standards.

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Design Software:

Standard Shape - typically use an analysis software (RAM, STAAD, SAAP, etc.) as well as calculation sheets created in either Excel or Mathcad. At DIS-TRAN, we currently use RAM Elements as our analysis software and rely heavily on Excel to create supporting calculation sheets (i.e. load development & connection design sheets).

Tapered Tubular - The standard edition of PLS-CADD is a line design program that includes all the terrain, sag-tension, loads, clearances and drafting functions necessary for the design of an entire power line. TOWER analyzes, designs and optimizes steel lattice towers for transmission and substation applications. PLS-POLE analyzes and designs structures with wood, laminated wood, steel, concrete or fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) poles, or modular aluminum masts.

Design Standards:

Substation Steel Structures - relies heavily on both the AISC Steel Construction Manual (Fourteenth Edition) as well as ASCE 113-08 Substation Structure Design Guide. There may also be specific design standards requested by the customer.

Transmission Steel Structures- relies on ASCE/SEI 48-11 & 74-09 for the design of steel transmission pole structures. Others are RUS Bulletins 1724E-214 (Guide Specification for Standard Class Steel Transmission Poles) and 1724E-204 (Guide Specification for Steel Single Pole and H-Frame Structures).

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Tags: Engineering, engineering solutions, engineering resources

Better... What's your ONE word for 2017?

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Feb 2, 2017 3:53:19 PM

 

Okay, so I maybe a little late for this post but I wanted to make sure it got posted. As I sat back and reflected on all that happened last year, I think about what I want for the new year. One word comes to mind, BETTER. I want to be better in everything I do and everything I am. This includes me as a Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend and Employee. We as individuals or as organizations don't always have to be the best but if we strive to be better than we were yesterday we will see true growth.

 The new year brings huge opportunities to be BETTER. Since this blog is not meant for my own personal rants I will convey how I see DIS-TRAN Steel using this same philosophy.

  • Providing better customer service - Being available is the biggest part of customer service. That could be answering the phone when it rings, returning calls in a timely manner, being able to answer questions or even directing to the appropriate person.
  • Producing better product quality - Taking the time and effort to perform and follow processes that follow AISC protocalls and creating a consistancy between product families.  
  • Better response times - reducing schedule lead times when neccessary and available, quick and accurate issue resolution...DO NOT leave our customers hanging.
  • Suggesting better engineering solutions - Flexibility has been key to DIS-TRAN Steel since inception and is one of our biggest differentiators. .
  • Search for better cost savings - The old saying, "You have to spend money to make money," doesn't always ring true. Here at DIS-TRAN Steel we think of cost savings as a way to better provide for our customers. It's even one of our Company Objectives (Drive out cost. Everyone. Everyday). What can we do BETTER? Provide easier and quicker access for personnel to identify cost and potential cost savings to make more informed decisions. Making better and smarter material purchases when the costs are down and being able to forecast the future needs.

The list could go on and on and these are only a few of the things DIS-TRAN Steel strives for everyday. Whether you are in the Executive Suites or on the shop floor sweeping up pieces of leftover steel, we all work together to make "blank" better. It's up to you to fill in the blank.

We are DIS-TRAN Steel and we are committed to:

  • Giving our owners and customers expected return on their investment
  • Meeting our customers’ needs with outstanding customer service
  • Maximizing safety and productivity and outperforming our competition
  • Living, working, and serving with integrity

What would you like to see DIS-TRAN Steel do better. What is your "fill in the blank"? We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. If you are not familiar with DIS-TRAN's product family or our services, please check out our website. www.distransteel.com.

Tags: quick response, customer service, engineering solutions

What kind of Steel Structures Does Your Utility Project Need?

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Sep 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Anyone in the utility industry today knows the importance of high-quality products so preparing for any kind of project can be stressful. Structures, whether substation or transmission need to stand up to unpredictable weather and heavy wear and tear. We like to be nimble, adaptable, and fast when we design and fabricate new structures for our customers. Our engineers always design structures for customers with economics in mind, to ensure not just functionality but affordability. They will choose and combine standard shape steel structures and tapered tubular steel structures as they make the most sense for the project at hand.

So, let's break down these two types of structures into why and when they make the most sense and examples of steel structures for each.

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Standard Shape Steel Structures
At DIS-TRAN Steel, our in-house engineering and project management expertise and resources are vast. Using a mix of standard shape material we can exceed your expectations.

Best/Most economically used when:

  1. Low profile
  2. Light loads
  3. Low voltage compact design
  4. Compact design with potential future additions
  5. Shorter leadtime

Types

  1. Equipment Pedestals
  2. Box Bay
  3. Bus supports
  4. Switch stand
  5. Substation riser
  6. Low voltage distribution sub

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Tapered Tubular Steel Structures
Right now, fabricated tubular steel poles form about 80% of non-wood electric transmission structures in the United States.

Best/Most economically used when:

  1. High profile
  2. Heavy loads
  3. Higher voltage
  4. Aesthetic effects
  5. High-tension pull-offs
  6. Deflection concerns

Types

  1. Transmission Towers
  2. Distribution Poles
  3. Standard Class Poles
  4. Substation Deadends
  5. Static Pole
  6. High Voltage Equipment Pedestal
  7. High Voltage Bus Support
  8. High Voltage Switch Stand

The Engineering/Sales office and plant facilities are only 15 minutes apart in Pineville, Louisiana, creating synergy across the design, detail and production processes from start to finish. Sitting on 50 acres with over 260,000 square feet of production space, our plant is organized for execution and volume. Whether you need pre-engineered poles, transmission poles, or substation structures, DIS-TRAN Steel can fabricate them to fit your exact needs and specifications. We’re here to make it happen quickly, effectively, and economically every time.

Learn more about our flexible engineering capabilities and collaborative project process by visiting us online at www.distransteel.com today!

Substation&Transmission Steel Structures eBook

Tags: steel structures, tapered tubular steel poles, standard shape steel structures

DIS-TRAN Steel’s Quality Engineering Practices Ensure Towers Are Built to Last

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Aug 23, 2016 11:57:19 AM

On Dec. 14, 2009, the failure of a broadcast tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma had engineers scratching their heads. The chief engineer said when the guy wire was tested a few months earlier “everything seemed fine.”

Remarkably, 31% of all substation tower failures occur because of the construction crew’s poor judgment or a lack of basic engineering know-how, according to a recent Consolidated Engineering Inc. (CEI) report. Engineering oversights can cause a significant risk to the integrity of a tower and its foundation, which can ultimately lead to collapse.

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DIS-TRAN Steel has built its company on simple values backed by honest customer relationships. Since 1965, customers have put their trust in us to deliver products – from simple substation structures to complex transmission poles – that are made using the best manufacturing process and the highest-quality engineering in the industry.

We offer the kind of security that comes from knowing exactly who is designing and fabricating your structures and how.

Unfortunately, some standards aren’t consistent across the industry. The CEI report found the top five causes of tower failure are caused by construction errors, ice, aircraft, special winds and anchor failure. The Tulsa tower’s failure was attributed to the latter two factors.

A CEI forensic specialist found in every wind induced tower failure he investigated, the tower wouldn’t have passed the current design code. It is important to design, manufacture and erect per current design codes to minimize the risk of poor structure integrity.  Quality issues are not only costly, but dangerous as well.

So how can you ensure you’re working with the right manufacturer?

  • Look for solid investments in the latest equipment and technology
  • Attention to best practices and quality assurance
  • A focus on hiring the most experienced engineers
  • A commitment to top-notch customer service.

So what has DIS-TRAN Steel done?

  1. Doubled its manufacturing capacity and capabilities at its 300,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility in Pineville, Louisiana
  2. Employ the latest fabricating innovations and rely on real-time scheduling and product tracking to ensure projects never fall behind
  3. Our in-house quality assurance and quality control program ensures every structure is examined by independent quality inspectors
  4. We are certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and American Welding Society (AWS) and adhere to a strict quality standard. All of our welds are performed by certified welders and inspected by certified inspectors.
  5. Our engineering department is highly skilled at combining computer-aided design and drafting with numerical control fabricating systems to create the most efficient structures
  6. Provide Project Managers and Coordinators to be at your beck and call for the outstanding service you have come to expect from DIS-TRAN.

After five decades in business, you can trust that DIS-TRAN Steel is using the most innovative technology available to deliver structures that are both sound and incomparable in quality. No one can afford to skimp on quality manufacturing and engineering when it comes to transmission and substation structures. We pride ourselves on the unrivaled attention to detail, solid communication, and genuine customer service that all point to why we’re the elite steel supplier.

Steel Structure Quote Template

Visit DIS-TRAN Steel to learn more about our unique capabilities, mission, team and more.

Tags: substation structures, transmission poles, Engineering

WOOD IS A SOLID CHOICE

Posted by Melissa Hines on Jul 18, 2016 10:32:11 AM

A majority of the 54 million crossarms, which sit at the top of 60 million utility poles in the U.S. are made of wood. Wooden crossarms have been around for decades. Most utilities and lineman are very familiar with it and know how to properly use and handle the product.Since 1965, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions has been the premier supplier of these wood distribution crossarms, pleasing clients with our manufacturing and treating processes. We’re proud to supply the utility industry with our superior products. 

Wood crossarms have a number of benefits, which has made them the most popular choice of the utility industry. Wood is reliable, cost-effective, and has shorter lead times than other materials, which is great for tight construction schedules or emergencies. Wood is also flexible and can be easily modified in the field. DIS-TRAN has pioneered new techniques to make our wood products even more reliable. Our Pentachlorophenol wood treatment solutions are the best in the business and ensure the longevity of your crossarms. Plus, our complete line of Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine distribution crossarms always meet the latest industry specifications – whether ANSI, Edison Electric Institute, USDA-RUS, or your own requirements.Wood_Distribution.jpg

Our commitment to product innovation has helped us maintain our leading position in the crossarm industry. In 2008, we expanded our product line to offer wood transmission assemblies for H-Frame structures, along with the associated hardware. In 2010, DIS-TRAN introduced the DURA-ARM, a crossarm with factory installed galvanized steel end plates that improve the strength of the arm for longitudinal and transverse loading. These plates also eliminate end splits that may develop as the crossarm ages. The result is a longer life expectancy for the crossarm and long-term cost savings for you. Our commitment to innovation is what has allowed us to outshine the competition with products that have shorter lead times, extended life expectancies and greater value.

DIS-TRAN is proud to have been providing wood distribution crossarms to the utility industry for over 50 years, using state of the art machinery and best practice processes. We manufacture all of our materials through our facilities with a focus on safety, quality, and being the best in the industry. As Seth Godin said, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” Our customers continue to love and trust our tested and true wood product line, and we continue to construct and innovate our wood crossarms. If you’re interested in learning more about DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, visit us online at distranoverheadsolutions.com.

 

 Wood Transmission Catalog

Tags: wood transmission assemblies, crossarms, transmission, penta, wood crossarm

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