We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sat 28 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Art of designing steel

Tahir Sharif, managing director, Tekla Middle East, discusses how the company's software can help steel detailers and fabricators cut costs and reduce human error.

Tahir Sharif, managing director, Tekla Middle East, discusses how the company's software can help steel detailers and fabricators cut costs and reduce human error.

What does Tekla offer steel detailers and fabricators?

Tekla has been providing steel detailers and fabricators with software for over 20 years. The structural steel industry is facing challenges now due to shorter lead times, lack of complete information, problems in revision handling and a wider need to collaborate with other disciplines.

Tekla Structures enables the most data-rich, highly constructive 3D and 4D structural Building Information Models (BIM), and is a significant contrast to current document-based platforms where drawings and reports are distributed and reworked among different parties.

Tekla Structures software is an interoperable Building Information Modelling (BIM) tool for the entire construction work flow. BIM is the process of modelling and communicating the structure of a building in detail to benefit the entire building life-cycle. Tekla BIM streamlines the delivery process of design, detailing, manufacturing and construction organisations.

Tekla BIM models naturally develop in parallel from concept, design, detail and production to site this information being in one single database. This represents the "as-built" condition of a building.

What is your forecast for the steel fabrication industry this year?

We will see more projects made of steel instead of traditional concrete in this region. The UAE has started focusing more on sustainability and using recyclable material for new projects. There have been a number of large industrial projects awarded recently to local EPC contractors.

All of this indicates that there will be business opportunities for the steel fabrication industry. I believe that we will see new fabrication shops opening and others expanding their existing facilities.

What are the recent completed projects using your technology?

Tekla BIM has been used for many complex structures that would have been very difficult without 3D and 4D capabilities. Some of the local projects we have worked on include Burj Dubai,  Dubai Mall, Dubai Metro Stations, Atlantis hotel, Rose Rotana, Ski Dubai, Terminal 3 of Dubai airport, Jebel Ali World terminal,  Dubai Metro Terminus at Jebel Ali and Al Rashidiya.

In Abu Dhabi, we have worked on the Aldar Head Quarters, Adnec Capital Gate Tower, BMW showroom and Sheikh Zayed Mosque dome.

We have also worked on the New Doha International Airport passenger terminal, Tornado tower and Kingdom tower.  Tekla BIM solution has been used for constructing industrial and petrochemical projects, such as Emal, Dubal expansion, Al Ruwaisis refinery and Qatar GTL.

Have you introduced any new solutions recently?

We recently introduced a module for construction management to help our customers to manage the pre-construction, construction planning and site management.

Tekla BIM construction management configuration extends the use of 3D models into the whole project life-cycle starting from sales, estimation and planning through to managing the site operations.  This tool can incorporate time-sensitive data into the Tekla model, to control the project schedule at various stages of construction.

It can be used to create, store and manage scheduled tasks, which help in creating customised model views and comprehensive simulations of how the project is proceeding. We can also import these tasks from external project management tools, such as Microsoft Project or Primavera.

We have been developing our solution in collaboration with CNC machine manufacturers including support for scribing functionality. It is the process of collecting assembly information from Tekla BIM 3D model, then automatically transferring this information to the scribing machine to mark the locations of the parts. This automatic process reduces the labourious fitting process and ultimately reduces human error.

Do you have any expansion plans?

In last two years our local team at Dubai Internet City has tripled. We have appointed a reseller in Egypt and an agent in Iran, all driven by huge demand for our solutions.

To support our growth and commitment to our clients we are expanding our ME business by opening an office in Abu Dhabi and an office in Damman, Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2009.   Our expansion plans also consider the whole of the, Egypt, Jordan and Iran, not only Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

You signed a deal with Gulf Steel Works (GSW) earlier this year.  How are companies such as GSW cutting their production costs using your technology to stand against the economic downturn?

Projects that had been awarded earlier at higher value are being renegotiated to lower values using more competitive rates. This in turn means that companies have to be more careful with risks as profit lines are tight.

Hence why Gulf Steel Works, one of many companies, has decided to use the Tekla BIM to reduce the wastage through better management of information and to maximise the profit by minimising the risks, thus reducing the cost and material wastage.

There are a number of things which cannot be controlled by companies, such as material price and staff salaries, but the usage of technologies will improve the productivity and reduce waste.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.