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Case Studies

Case Studies

SDS/2 In The Field

Catch up on the latest SDS/2 customer success stories

Meow Wolf, Denver Colorado
Meow Wolf, Denver Colorado

Meow Wolf is a combination of a jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum, and immersive art exhibit.

The structure consists of five stories of steel-framed museum space intermixed with catwalks, platforms, spiral and rolled stairs, and steel art structures. The main egress stairs are an innovative, pre-fabricated modular steel form system known as RediCor. The unique site in the heart of Denver, Colorado, helped define the odd shape of the building.

The project — which was detailed and engineered by KL&A, Inc. — received first place in the Commercial, Large Tonnage category in the 2019 SDS/2 Solid Steel Competition.

Meow Wolf, Denver ColoradoMeow Wolf, Denver Colorado Meow Wolf, Denver Colorado Meow Wolf, Denver Colorado

SCANA Bypass & Seal Air Duct Addition
SCANA Bypass & Seal Air Duct Addition

This project-centered on the addition of the bypass duct and seal duct systems to the Cope Station energy plant, which was originally established in 1996.

Cartee-Berry’s innovative process featured the use of SDS/2’s weld plate box material file type for the creation of the small rectangular duct layout.

The bypass duct ranged in size from 13 feet by 25 feet to 13 feet by 36 feet. The seal duct varied in size from 4 feet by 2 feet to 4 feet by 4 feet.

The SCANA Bypass and Seal Air Duct Addition project received first place in the Industrial category in the 2019 SDS/2 Solid Steel Competition.

SCANA Bypass & Seal Air Duct AdditionSCANA Bypass & Seal Air Duct AdditionSCANA Bypass & Seal Air Duct Addition

Fulton State Hospital
Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri

With the existing Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri, in disrepair, the State of Missouri constructed a new, state-of-the-art mental hospital to replace the aging structure originally built in 1851.

The $211-million, 423,000-square-foot hospital — which opened in 2019 — includes six living units and an administration building.

DGS Technical Services of Elgin, Illinois, detailed the 1,800-ton structure, which included members in dual slope (both slope and skew) in the winged living units. Connections proved critical due to the slope and skew bearing on CMU walls.

The project also featured curved grids and required significant coordination with masonry. 

Click here to see a video of the project.

The Fulton State Hospital project received second place in the Commercial, Large Tonnage category in the 2019 SDS/2 Solid Steel Competition.


TSF Structures, Inc. Case Study
TSF Structures: Fabricator Cuts Detailing Time by over 60%

TSF Structures, Inc., an Iowa-based fabricator, utilizes customized SDS/2 Detailing Templates to save over 60% on detailing time. 

Detailing software packages come pre-loaded with templates used to aid in the production of shop drawings. Because of the unique requirements for each fabricator, detailers are often forced to perform repetitive drawing cleanup to produce fabricator-approved deliverables. SDS/2's Detailing Templates customization service takes pre-loaded templates one step further, allowing users to apply templates that are specific to their detailing or fabrication standards. 

Read our case study to learn how TSF Structures, Inc. started saving over 60% of their detailing time. 

SDS/2 Connection Optimization
SDS/2: Connection Optimization Provides Significant Savings

Advances in connection design software technology results in streamlined steel fabrication and erection savings between $40 and $75 per ton.

A commonly overlooked area when seeking to reduce fabrication costs, the number of bolts used throughout a structure can present ample opportunity to eliminate expenses and associated labor. T

Typically governed by one of three criteria– the load, either engineer-provided or system-generated; AISC's recommended plate length rule as it applies to stabilizing a beam; or an engineer-provided minimum number of bolts schedule–connections are often over-designed, leading to excessive and unnecessary bolts. 

To learn more about how SDS/2's connection design optimization provides significant project savings, read the case study.

Connection Design Case Study
SDS/2: Reduce Costs During Design

SDS/2 has a savings with each connection, but shows its strength when that saving is applied to all connections throughout a project. Based on this study, a typical structure utilizing SDS/2 connection design on 10,000 members has an average savings of 13 minutes per connection, resulting in an estimated savings of $433,333. 

With increasing rates throughout every phase of the construction process, companies are continually looking for areas to cut cost and increase savings. One area where companies can lower their bottom lines is their investment in engineering man hours spent designing connections, as well as decreasing costs by eliminating third-party applications and connection design services. 

To learn more about how SDS/2's connection design reduces engineering costs, read our case study

Techflow Engineers - Redstone Gateway
Techflow Engineers: Meeting Fabricators Expectations

"Everything was accurately detailed using SDS/2 software, allowing the team to meet the Fabricator’s expectations and the owner’s aggressive timeline."

Project by Techflow Engineers: Redstone Gateway is a 470-acre multiuse office park development in Huntsville, Alabama. Techflow created around 1,470 shop drawings and over 160 quality erection drawings for this project. Techflow was awarded ‘building 100’ for steel detailing.

This composite structure is made up of approximately 850 tonnage of structural steel. Set in the concrete foundation, anchor bolts are used to uphold the columns transferring loads into the foundation. Structural bolts and welds are used to fasten together columns, beams, and other loose steel items.

About 1,850 embeds and weld-on items were used in this project making it obligatory to precisely model and detail the framings. Beams and stairs that are connected to precast wall panels were very well coordinated with the client to achieve a high level of accuracy during the erection of steel. 

SDS/2 Model

Techflow Engineers

New Jersey Iron: SDS/2 Is the Heart of Our Operation
New Jersey Iron: SDS/2 Is the Heart of Our Operation

New Jersey Iron is a 4th generation owned family business with 5th generation now here.  My brother and I are each over the 30-year mark in the business, having started in high school as summer jobs and each could run the first CNC punchline we installed in 1990.  We do projects as large as 1,100 tons, but medium projects are mostly what we do so our tonnage comes in around 3,500 tons a year.  We have (4) SDS/2 stations for detailing, fabrication is all done with CNC equipment, including stairs and rails.  We also do our own shipping, erection, shear stud install, and small crane work (rent larger ones).   

The two of us are very much hands-on, for example when we buy a new machine, one if not both of us go through the training which allows us to see befits and areas of improvement. Many times, we have heard “no one has mentioned that before, great idea.”  We believe in a hands-on approach because it keeps us in the mix of everything as we can see for ourselves if something can or can’t be done, and at what speed.  

SDS/2 is the heart of our operation, I have been using it since 2001.  I had always wanted to use SDS/2 for estimating and in 2016 became the main estimator doing the model in SDS/2.  In SDS/2 2018 alone, I have 232 projects.  I can do most models in a day, with larger projects or intricate ones in about 2 days all thanks to the many improvements such as reference drawings, parametrics (kicker braces, bent plate, edge angles), custom properties (to enter shear stud count), components (roof frames, stiffeners outriggers) and moment connections.  The model is imported into Tekla EPM, where labor and material lists are produced. As an added benefit, while trying to land the project I can screen share the estimodel with clients and proactively go over issues like staging, tonnages, problems, etc. 

Once a project is awarded the model is cleaned up and approval drawings are made. During approval, I often host web meetings with the design team and GC to review the SDS/2 model. Just about every time I get the comment, “this is great software, what is it?”  I tell them, then enjoy pointing out that we have had it since 2001.  We routinely send out a snapshot of the model from the RFI creator so an engineer can see the issue with a 3D PDF. 

After approval SDS/2 makes the CNC to Raptor for our Peddinghaus (5) tool drill and Shop Data Systems for the plate processor.  Angle master and coper files come direct from SDS/2 as well. All material is reserved after importing data from SDS/2 to Tekla EPM where production control and purchase orders bring it all together.  In the 90’s making these CNC and material lists entries by hand basically took about as much time as it takes to complete a model now. Just last year we automated our stairs and rails with an EMI pipe cutter and Lightning Rail.   

In the shop during fabrication, if there are any questions our people have an SDS/2 station with 36” monitor to review the model or drawings.  This is most helpful in seeing how things go together especially in the case of galvanized units to check shipping or kettle requirements. Our erectors also have a copy of the model to see sequencing for staging on-site or developing a crane placement plan with the general contractor.  

Other benefit of SDS/2 is getting involved with the hard workers at SDS/2, I benchmark their service and commitment to logging and tracking bugs when considering any software. I feel fortunate to have met other SDS/2 users such Dennis McCartney or B&B Iron who got us into SDS/2, Mark Selvaggio at Selvaggio Steel, whom I bounced ideas off about estimating with SDS/2, and Bruce Vaughan at BV Detailing who helped me by developing the nailer hole parametric and others. At every stage, you can see we rely on a great many tools SDS/2 has to offer.  The only drawback to our hands-on management approach is not much time off, so I have yet to make it to a User’s Group Conference.  I plan to change that with the plan to have User’s Groups at remote locations. Thank you SDS/2 for all the years of great service. 

New Jersey Iron

New Jersey Iron

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