Canadian Consulting Engineer

Computer Products (January 01, 2006)

January 1, 2006
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



Specto Civil Technology of Mission, B.C. produces software for locating and mapping underground utility infrastructure. The DuctRunner DR-HDD-4.1 mapping system uses gyroscope technology instead of a method based on GPS-positioning. The Specto system can be used almost anywhere and at any depth to produce a 3D centreline digital image of the pipeline. It logs at 800Hz and samples are produced every few centimetres. It is not affected by electromagnetic fields and can pass welds, T-junctions and other deformities without problems. The reconfigured data can be used by GIS software for filing or plotting.


Autodesk has acquired Alias, a leading developer of 3D graphics technology in the manufacturing, media and entertainment industries.


Autodesk has also been expanding its alliances with third-party software developers to provide additional applications using its DWF format. The DWF format makes data-rich 2D and 3D designs accessible to all project members, even those unfamiliar with CAD. The new alliance partners include Reed Construction Data, Tech Soft, Kaon, CADzation and Pinion.

Autodesk also reports that an independent study by a U.K. company found that participants using new features in AutoCAD 2006 completed typical design and documentation tasks 29 per cent faster than participants using AutoCAD 2002. Autodesk was named one of the 100 Best Companies to work for by Fortune Magazine in January.

In January Adobe released Acrobat 3D software targeted to aerospace and other design engineers. It allows them to publish and share 3D information from major CAD applications across different platforms using portable PDF files. Upgrade paths from Acrobat 6.0 or 7.0 are available. The recommended retail price for Acrobat 3D is US $995.

Bentley Systems has acquired two companies that produce structural engineering software. It acquired Research Engineers International that produces the line and RAM International.

Bentley also launched its Building Electrical Systems software at the end of 2005. The MicroStation-based software is a building information modelling (BIM) program for electrical design, documentation and management. The program can be used for electrical power, lighting, fire detection, security and communications design.

Coade has released CADWorx Steel Professional, a 3D steel modelling package that includes a library of international steel shapes in metric or imperial units. Coade has also released Caesar II Version 5.00, an updated edition of its software for pipe stress analysis. The new version integrates graphics, spreadsheet and lists in a combined view. The integration of the input processor with the error checker facilitates error identification and correction.


Archibus/FM Project Management software was released in October 2005. Designed for the owner’s viewpoint, the software creates a top-down perspective of program and project priorities, actions and costs. Analytic views can summarize the details from hundreds of projects in one matrix. It also tracks property acquisitions, renovation, construction, condition assessment, etc. for coordinating integrated tasks.


Laubrass of Montreal has a new software to help in the auditing process. The UmtAudit is PDA software that allows customized protocols and audit processes to be uploaded onto a PDA, minimizing training time. Photographs can be directly inserted, and there is instant access to reports.

Building Reports Canada has a software tool to digitize and document security and life safety checks on a Palm PDA device. Palm PDA’s are used to scan a bar code on each device, and once the data is collected, it is uploaded directly to the web where reports can be viewed or printed immediately. FireScan, ExtinguisherScan, SuppressionScan, SprinklerScan, and BRInspector are part of the suite.


The new Oc TDS100 wide format photocopier is affordable and designed to be simple to operate. Thanks to Oce Radiant Fusing technology the copier has no warming up time. The equipment is compact, low energy, produces low levels of noise and has non-toxic toner.

DocuLex, specialists in document management, scanning and image processing, have a new release of DocuLex Desktop Search for text retrieval. With the dtSearch terabyte indexer embedded, the search program can index over a terabyte of data in a single index, up from 4-8 gigabytes of text per index. Search time is typically less than a second. It has a built-in Spider for Internet and Intranet searching.


Leica Geosystems has introduced the SmartRover, a lightweight, high-performance, all-on-the-pole RTK GPS surveying instrument. Weighing just 2.8 kg, the SmartRover is 30 per cent lighter than other all-on-the-pole RTK systems. Consisting of the Leica AT1230 SmartAntenna and Leica 1250 Controller, the SmartRover is designed to be fully compatible with the Leica SmartStation, the first total station with integrated GPS.


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