Canadian Consulting Engineer

SOFTEK promotes its structural engineering software

SOFTEK Services Ltd. visited Montreal and Toronto at the beginning of June to promote their Windows-based structura...

June 12, 2004   Canadian Consulting Engineer

SOFTEK Services Ltd. visited Montreal and Toronto at the beginning of June to promote their Windows-based structural engineering software and its latest versions.

In Toronto, the session was held during the afternoon of June 3 at the Boulevard Club on the Lakeshore. About 60 structural engineers from local firms came along.

The presenters from Softek were Jeremy Knight and George Casoli, P.Eng.. Casoli is a Canadian engineer from Vancouver who developed the software program in the early 1980s in his basement together with a former associate. Casoli continues to refine and develop the software and is now the president of Softek. The company is based in Richmond, B.C. but allied with Computer Services Consultants or CSC of the U.K. which employs 80 people. The software is used in many countries, including Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East, and in the U.S. The system integrates various codes and standards for these locations, including AISC and CSA standards.

After Knight’s overview, Casoli took the audience through the software through its paces, including showing case study examples, such as the beautifully intricate skeleton of a cathedral in the United States, and the dynamically flowing forms of a sports stadium in Asia.

The heart of the Softek Structural Office Suite is “S-Frame,” which will be issued in version 7.0 early in the new year. The software does two-dimensional and three-dimensional analysis, integrating reinforced concrete and steelwork design. S-Frame performs simple to complex calculations, does seismic analysis, and can generate views ranging from beams and trusses, to shell and membrane elements, panels with meshing and rigid and flexible diaphragm modelling. It can analyse moving loads and buckling, and in the professional and enterprise versions there are refinements with mysterious — to the uninitiated abilities such as P-Delta analysis and advanced non-linear static analysis using “full Newton Raphson iterative solver.”

Supplemental products are B-SECT and C-SECT for designing and editing beam section and column section calculations, W-SECT for wall sections and B-LINE for continuous reinforced concrete beams.

Knight described the S-Frame folder system for organizing documents, and the linkage with TEDDS, a new product developed in the U.K. which they promote as the structural engineer’s “calculation pad.” TEDDS provides standard calculations and tables and allows the user to add his or her own library of calculations and save them for re-use. TEDDS also integrates with Microsoft Word, making it a useful presentation tool.

Many of the engineers attending the session were already users of the software, but there were some from small firms who are still experimenting with computer design. One attendee was a partner in a small Kitchener firm who listened intently from the front row. He explained that their chief design engineer still works with pencil and paper but he is due to retire, so the firm realized they had to find some computer tools to take the senior engineer’s place.
Visit www.csc-softek.com

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