DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

5 Articles on Energy Sector You Should Be Reading

Posted by Brooke Barone on Nov 12, 2013 9:40:00 AM

Have you ever been in a room full of men and women dressed in suits and jackets, all nodding their head in deep conversations, and you’re trying to keep up but you actually have no clue as to what they are talking about-so instinctively you do the same: nod your head? But then when they look to you to add your input or offer up an opinion, you feel your face turning crimson red and suddenly the room just got a heck of a lot hotter because you don’t know what to say!?

Well don’t feel so bad, I’ve been guilty of experiencing this exact scenario too. I realized after though, that it wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t nodding in agreement, pretending like I knew what they were discussing instead of just listening, so that when the conversation did point to me, I could openly admit I didn’t have a clue!

structuremag.orgFor those in the energy industry, I’m sure as you already know, this is an extremely complex one, and it can be hard staying up-to-date with current events and trends. So what I’ve done is researched a bit and found 5 articles that could help give you a better snapshot of what’s currently going on in different aspects of the energy industry from government funding to updated codes and standards, structural design software and more.

1. Obama Urges Infrastructure Spending to Spur in U.S. Economy-  Speaking today at the Port of New Orleans, Obama urged Congress to get past partisan battles and pass a budget that increases spending on science, research and education, and upgrade roads, bridges and ports…Read more.

2. Webinar: Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Grid- This free webinar will be held Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. EST with speakers Jeff Gooding, IT Principal Manager of Smart Grid Engineering, Brett Luedde, Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection-Secure Network Systems, and Jon Arnold, Advisor at ZPRYME. This webinar will take a closer look at critical infrastructure protection systems and address the system of systems that’s essential to building the smart grid and realizing its benefits, yet the highly connected environments adds complexity and introduces new vulnerabilities...Read more.

3. Code and Standards- This article is published in the November 2013 issue of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA) on page 20. It addresses changes in codes, standards and practices following crane failures. This is part 3 of a series that focuses on failures that have been used to learn and improve design…Read more.

4. Plugging Analysis and Design into Your 3D Workflow- This article is published in NCSEA TSip 2013 issue on page 16, and focuses on a new breed of structural design software that goes beyond analysis and lets firms easily plug in to today’s collaborative, model-based workflows such as MIN, VDC and IPD...Read more. 

5. Our Fragile, Challenged Electric System- Matthews C. Cordaro, PhD in The Grid Optimization Blog for T&D World Magazine, offers five key areas that need to be addressed in order to establish and maintain world-class electrical systems: Improve the Transmission Grid, Reduce Reliance on Out-of-State Power, Realize Electricity Demand will Grow, Gear up for a Cyber-Attack and Be Ready for the Next Superstorm...Read more. 

There are tons and tons of articles and information out there, so I urge you to continue to research and learn as much as you can. Hey, maybe one day you will be the one in the suit leading the conversation about renewable energy and where it's heading in the future while others stand around and nod. 

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Tags: 3D Modeling, infrastructure spending, infrastructure spending in the U.S., infrastructure protection systems, NCSEA, structural design software, transmission grid, T&D magazine, energy industry news, articles on energy sector

Structural Detailing and Where It's Heading

Posted by Brooke Barone on Mar 28, 2013 10:18:00 AM

Structural detailing is headed in a new direction, and this time, it’s three dimensional.

Although 3D Modeling isn’t something new, it has taken many years to develop and reach a level that is making it not only practical to use in the industrial environment, but cost efficient and self-checking. The learning curve is steep, but it’s not impossible.

It’s no secret that erectors and fabricators are frustrated with way the steel detailing industry is going, and chalk it up to the generational differences.  It’s pretty much inevitable that there is always going to be a generational gap, especially when you throw technology into the mix.

structural detailing

These technical advances in plant machinery are a major factor in lessening the need for detailers to be as critical with dimensioning as in the past.  Steel detailers are beginning to believe the fabricators do not need dimensions to fabricate the steel if CNC and DXF files are supplied.  Many dimensions, which were supplied in the past, are now left off the drawings.  While it may be true that the fabricator can fabricate the steel without the “old-style” dimensioning, they do however need the dimensions to check the accuracy of the output from the machinery.  Great scrutiny must be taken when using “out-of-the-box” modeling software.

It will take time and training, both in the classroom and on the job, for a person to get proficient with the new technology that is here now and will be coming in the future. But no matter if you’re using a drafting table, Ames Lettering Guide or the best computer and software system out there, the bottom line remains the same: a good profit margin with the least amount of time required and the least amount of mistakes. 3D Modeling can make this happen.

Benefits of 3D Modeling:

1.       Increase efficiency

2.       Reduce errors

3.       Improve schedules

4.       More economical

It’s going to take a couple of years to get things working properly with 3D Modeling, since  3D detailing software was not created specifically for the utility industry.  Some of the biggest obstacles of converting to 3D are the amount of time to get model structures and the lack of standard structures across the utility industry.  Each type of structure will have to be modeled and constrained properly to see significant gains in the output of details.  Unless the utility industry standardizes across the country, the modeling process will be prolonged. 

To get today’s generation excited and interested in this profession, the “wow factor” has to be there. This 3D Modeling is going to pull in a whole new chapter of talented young people who have grown up with computers and video games, and understand the concepts, sometimes better than the older generation. The talent is there, so the next question is how to tap into that pool.

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Tags: utility industry, Structural detailing, 3D Modeling, 3D detailing, detailing, fabricators, plant machinery, modeling software

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