An instrumental part of Stinger’s bridges is Tekla BIMsight
The bridge fabricator Stinger Bridge & Iron is utilizing Tekla BIMsight extensively to get everything out of their very detailed and information rich Tekla Structures model. Previously they only brought 2D Erection and Assembly drawings out of their model - but now Tekla BIMsight has given a new appreciation and understanding of the steps involved with creating detailing models to those members of the team who are not involved in detailing. From field and shop foreman to welders, fitters and ironworkers, the information that Tekla BIMsight can provide can assist any participant.
Interstate 215 widening project
Currently Stinger is working on the widening of Interstate 215 from Riverside and San Bernardino through Highgrove, California, US. All in all it’s a 647 million dollar project in Southern California that started in 2007.
Stinger is erecting three 400 feet (122 meters) long through truss bridges for the BNSF Railway Company and the California Department of Transportation Caltrans. Each bridge span is approximately 1.1 million pounds (500 000 kilos) of structural steel and has over 200 000 individual bolt holes. Some connections have bolts passing through up to five plies of material both plate and profile shapes.
“Using Tekla BIMsight in this project has made communication with the field smoother than ever,” says Stinger Engineer Andrew Hieb.
Saving time with Tekla BIMsight
The BIMsight models exported from the Tekla Structures models for this project have been used in countless timesaving applications. Some include the following:
- To assist with the distribution of field bolts. During shop assembly, many of the bolts in the structures were installed permanently; others were shipped to the jobsite in hundreds of sealed containers. The Tekla BIMsight model helped identify which connections were field connections so the bolts could be packaged and sorted accordingly by color coding the parts which already had been bolted.
- To identify to the shop, which holes would be CNC drilled and which would be match drilled during preassembly. Again by color coding objects and parts in Tekla BIMsight they could isolate which locations would remain undrilled so that after the geometry was verified globally, the connections could be match/line drilled in place to ensure proper fit of all bolts.
- A tool to communicate back and forth using notes or to identify conflicts.
- To give a visual sequence in which the truss members would be erected with saved views.
- As general reference and supplement to the drawings.
Mobile tools and Total Stations
In addition to Tekla BIMsight, Stinger is utilizing the Tekla Layout Manager to export .tfl (Trimble Field Link) files to use with their Trimble Robotic Total Station to verify camber and elevation of the bridge spans. Once the survey crew has completed its survey, they can use the Documents tab in Tekla BIMsight to upload the results for review.
The field crews use the mobile Tekla BIMsight Note app on their Apple or Android smartphones for further, more portable utility of the Tekla BIMsight workflow. "Not to sound too cliché, but a picture really does say a thousand words. Tekla BIMsight Note is a quick and easy way to relay a message with a picture that can be recalled later and stands as a record. For example, our erection drawings didn’t specify to leave the shear keys loose (see the note on the right) during preassembly, but rather than making a change to a drawing, I can just fire out a quick note to the field," Engineed Andrew Hieb says.
“Plus have you ever seen an ironworker with a spud wrench in one hand and a laptop in the other? No.”
Information available to all
In Stinger’s view the biggest benefit of using Tekla BIMsight has been attaining the ability to bring access to the model to everyone involved with the project.
“On a job of this size, even after the model is complete, the shop drawings take several weeks to create and in our industry several more weeks to receive back from the owners approval process. This means that previously there was a large time gap in the flow of information, which was wasted time. But now thanks to Tekla BIMsight, our shop superintendent, project managers, field supervisors, engineers, and purchasers can benefit greatly by having access to the 3D model weeks in advance of having the 2D shop drawings. This has become an essential planning tool within our organization,” Hieb states.
Stinger’s plans for the future and Tekla BIMsight is to invite the project owners, engineers and reviewers that are responsible for reviewing and granting approval of the shop drawings to participate in the advantages of seeing their designs detailed in a 3D model to complement their review. The resulting advantage to Stinger as the fabricator is a quicker turnaround on submittal approvals and a more streamlined way of getting feedback to the modelers and detailers.