Tekla and Zeman bring efficiency to Australian Steel Fabricator

Today, managing director Ron Barrington states that the company is driven by a commitment to deliver exactly what the client has ordered.

“Our clients can hand us a job and not worry about it, because they know we’ll look after it,” Barrington promises. In the competitive steel fabrication market this promise
might just be what it takes to make the difference.

Cullen Steel has been a Tekla user for more than a decade. The company originally chose Tekla products because it appreciated the high level of automation. Benefits that lead to increased productivity continue to be the most important advantage for Cullen Steel.

Australia imports a fair amount of steel from abroad, a lot of it comes from low labour cost countries. To compete in the tough market Cullen Steel relies on quality information, automation and delivering exactly what the client has ordered. “We are driven, first and last, by productivity gains. The thing we achieve is smarter, faster, high quality, error-free, and on time fabrication,” states Barrington.

“Up until about 12 months ago we had a total throughput of around 4-5,000 tons per year. We are currently hitting a lot closer to 8-10,000 tons per year. This has generally been as a result of a fair bit of investment in automation.”

Their latest addition was a Zeman SBA (Steel Beam Assembler) which has brought Cullen Steel another step closer to far greater efficiency.

Read the complete story now.    

Building mimics ships’ curves with concrete planks

The office building at the Navy Yard’s Corporate Center in Philadelphia, is intrepid in address and in nature. Located at 1200 Intrepid Avenue, the master-planned development within the Navy Yard is constructed entirely of flat concrete planks.

This is easy for the three sides of the structure that are conventional flat walls. Not so much for the east façade, which is designed to resemble the curve of the ships docked in the nearby Navy Yard. This side has a variety of radii, ranging from 97.5 meters (320 feet) at the ground floor, to just over 2.7 kilometres (8 900 feet) at the parapet of the roof. Each concrete plank is set at an angle so the composition gradually becomes a curving wall with mesmerising optical effects.

The flowing and curved shape of the Intrepid building required significant cantilevering and structural load analysis, with the curving façade tilting outwards as much as 23.56 degrees. Not to mention the safety backup connections that were required to prevent a progressive collapse, if one connection should fail.

A daunting task for any precast concrete company. But possibly less so for High Concrete Group, an avid adopter of 3D modelling, who have been using constructible models to LOD 400 (Level of Development).

“We couldn’t have done the Intrepid project in 2D,” said Dave Bosh, Design Team Leader, High Concrete Group. “Tekla Structures made a significant impact on our success by allowing us to collaborate, save time, reduce costs and work efficiently with all of the project stakeholders.”

High Concrete Group were easily able to collaborate with other parties, provide more accurate bill of materials, and cut erection time by almost 40 per cent. See how in the case study on the Tekla website.

Custom Stair Treads for the stair tools in Tekla

Did you know that you can model custom stair tread that can be used inside the stair tools in Tekla Structures?

This allows you to create a simple, fixed, custom step that you can use inside the stair tools which will calculate their locations, spacings and quantities without having to enter parametrics.

Dave Hiddemen, Applications Specialists for Steel Segment at Trimble steps us how to do this in the video below.

Easily model Moddex handrail in Tekla Structures

Did you know that Moddex has launched the first range of Tekla tools to help users easily model large runs of handrail for their Tuffrail system?

Fast and easy to use Tekla handrail components insert with two clicks from end to end. They will auto bolt to all beams, output all the correct part codes. They also have all desired options for

  • end loops
  • corner posts
  • end posts
  • offset posts
  • floor or side mounted
  • sloped stair rails
  • kick plate
  • one, two or three rails
  • base fixing types
  • spacings

and more.

They will also be included in the default handrail drawing template and come with their own Tekla Excel report which will output all the correct handrail codes based on what options were selected for the post types.

The Moddex Tuffrail System for Handrail Tools is available as a free download for Tekla users from the Tekla Warehouse.

How to use BIM to its full potential

Most structural steel companies aren’t using BIM to its full potential. Are you one of them?

3D models were first used to make drawing production easier, but these days, information rich models are the key to better productivity throughout intelligent steel fabrication. However, many of the benefits of building information modelling remain untapped Using the entire model opens up a world of possibilities, beginning with design.

Tekla have provided a free eBook to help you optimise your workflow, get more out of BIM, and make your projects as profitable as they should be.

Download the eBook.

Quickly view specific information in Tekla Structures

Did you know that the Custom Inquiry Tool is new and improved in version 2017? It allows you to view specific information based on your current workflow and speed up your workflow. Check out specific data like Assembly Position, Part Position, Weigh, Phase, etc. that you want to see quickly without having to do multiple clicks or scrolls.

In the four minute video below Lee Snyder, product manager for the steel segment at Trimble, gives us an overview of the Custom Inquiry Tool.

Tekla BIM Award 2017 Winners

The winners of the Tekla BIM Awards for 2017 have been announced.

Overcoming challenges seemed to be a common theme in this year’s entries and winners.

While converting an existing warehouse to host a food processing and packaging plant CSD Group started with a 3D scan. The scan showed that cambers were not added during the construction of the original building, causing some rafters to sag over 110mm in the middle, and bow in the horizontal axis but up to 35mm.


The striking Adelaide Medical and Nursing School building contains just under 100 tonne of steel and quite a few challenges during erection for SA Structural. The feature stair structure and edgescape glazing frames had to be transported and erected on to the steel structure with the glazing already installed. A modified trailer was manufactured to transport the steel glazed frames. Coordinating steelwork with other contractors was all completed by model BIM reviews and was carried out successfully.

During the detailing of a multi-storey office and retail building in Napier, Detail Connect received major design changes – namely the upper level carpark becoming offices.



Other entries include Kawarau Falls Bridge from Draft It (below left). The bridge is a modern two-lane bridge on SH6, over the Kawarau River at Frankton, New Zealand. The project contains 780 tonne of Weathering Steel.

A hobby project is to build a 1/8th scale working live steam model of a South African Railways 23 class 4-8-2 locomotive from Structural Detailing Solutions (below centre).

And a creative disc and arbour from Watkins Steel (below right).

Thanks to everyone who voted to decide the People’s Choice winner.
Congratulations to the winners of the BIM Awards for 2017! Your models will now be entered into the 2018 Tekla Global BIM Awards.

Well done to all entries – we had many outstanding models this year.

See them here.

SGI reaching beyond the limitations with Insight (BIM)

Superior Garages & Industrials (SGI) is a local, independent, shed manufacturer specialising in the design and construction of structural steel buildings. SGI handles jobs of all shapes and sizes, from a carport, shed, or garage, to an industrial building. Its aim is to separate itself from its competition by continuing to evolve, and to reach beyond the limitations of the more traditional companies in its field.

This continual development lead to the realisation they were stuck using out-dated systems. Not knowing where to begin planning the growth of their business and systems they turned to Insight (BIM).

Insight (BIM) is an Australian based structural BIM system and workflow development business. It works closely with companies in the steel construction industry, creating and developing customised systems and workflows using BIM technologies. These technologies help promote business growth, increased productivity, and increased value for clients.

With Insight (BIM), SGI started streamlining workflows and creating efficiencies. Automated systems and workflows for BIM model production, reports, drawings, structural design and project handover were constructed. A deliverables handover system was also created, having been designed to ensure the sharing and updating of deliverables were streamline.

The team also created a complete shed processing system using Tekla Structures. This system allows customised design freedom and automation. Tekla Structures also allowed Insight (BIM) to create a collection of custom developed connections, APIs, and templates. Combined with the systems and workflows Insight (BIM) provided the system yields all of the details a shed manufacturer will need to quote, order, fabricate and assemble cold rolled and hot rolled structures, metal cladding and flashings.

Project managers and site contractors are now assembling structures using a virtual model in Tekla BIMsight on a tablet, thanks to training provided by Insight (BIM).

Since working with Insight (BIM), GIS has been able to drastically reduce error and time lost in the pre-construct and construction phases. The material waste has been drastically reduced and there has been a 30% reduction in time assembling complex structures. All resulting in an increase in revenue and profit on each project.

Quick and easy Platform Grating Tools

Did you know that you can quickly insert platform grating in Tekla Structures?

The extension that allows you to do this is the Platform grating tools, and it’s available from the Tekla Warehouse. This extension allows you to create the desired grating layout. You can then use other tools to quickly add openings and toes plates.

Lee Snyder, product manager for the steel segment at Trimble walks us through the process in the video below.