Canadian Consulting Engineer

New Tools for Engineers

January 1, 2005
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



In Situ Simulation of Montreal incorporated video game technology into Foresight, their new visualization software intended for the land development industry. Launched at the end of December, the software allows designers to set up an in-house system to render two-dimensional plans into a three-dimensional view of the landscape. As elements are moved, the three-dimensional view changes instantly.


Ceridian has launched Powerpay Professional to perform payroll tasks and analysis for professional service industries. Provides for security-sealed pay statements, payroll management reports and year-end processing and tax forms.

Wind 2 Software, the Colorado company specializing in business and accounting software for professional service firms, has opened an office in Toronto.


Getac’s latest rugged portable notebook computer was launched in January at DistribuTECH. The MobileForce M220 laptop runs on Intel’s 1.4 GHz Dothan LV processor. It meets military standards for use in “extreme” situations, has low power consumption, large storage capacity and a lightweight design.

The SEL-3351 Substation Computing Platform by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is designed to withstand harsh substation environments and replace office-grade PCs in these locations, where they can be a weak link in SCADA, instrumentation and automation systems. The SEL-3351 has no moving parts or fans and operates in a range of –40C to +75C. The SEL-3301 Protocol Gateway is for connecting old and new equipment.


Kasten Chase of Toronto released Assurency CipherShare Version 3.0 last year. Ciphershare is a secure collaboration and document management program. Its cryptographic engine, KCCE, recently received FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certification, the highest standard achievable for cryptographic software. Data is protected at the source, on servers, laptops and in transit. The software also allows for real-time collaboration.

The AutoVue 18 application by Cimmetry Systems won one of Cadalyst magazine’s top product awards and a Wow! award in 2004. The program allows native viewing, printing, mark-up, digital mock-up and real-time collaboration support for more than 450 formats.

Autodesk’s Revit 7.0, the building design and building information modelling system, was launched in December. The new version is intended to boost the productivity of larger design teams with such tools as ad hoc simultaneous access, and the ability to completely separate project elements into individually linked models or graphic file formats. Enhancements include Autodesk Revit Building Maker that maps any building form into real-world elements, more parametric components and tools such as revision tables and legends for tracking changes in construction documents.

Adobe Systems, responsible for PDFs (portable document format), began shipping the Adobe Acrobat 7.0 family at the end of 2004. The 7.0 family takes the software further from the static PDF format and allows the creation of one intelligent document from multiple data types. Acrobat 7.0 Professional caters specially for engineering and CAD design documents. Using the accompanying Adobe Reader 7.0, users can manipulate 3D objects placed in the PDF, using zoom, pan and walkthrough features. They can also use the PDF for design reviews. Acrobat 7.0 Standard allows the management of information from e-mails and web pages, and Acrobat Elements is a licence-only product for increased document security.


In the fall, Autodesk released Autodesk Civil 3D 2005, an intuitive, model-based and three-dimensional visualization tool. Used for land planning, subdivision design, road design and grading, etc., the software allows design changes to be dynamically updated. Listed features include the ability to extract existing ground profiles from multiple surfaces, and the ability to model complex roadway corridors incorporating lanes, grading, side slopes, ditches, medians, barriers, etc.

As part of its “You Deserve Better” upgrade bonus program, Bentley Systems is offering MicroStation PowerDraft 2D/3D CAD software to students and schools at no charge. The program — listed at US $1,295 — is intended as a training vehicle for Bentley’s flagship MicroStation.


Greenland International Consulting of Collingwood, Ontario has developed the Canadian ArcView Nutrient and Water Evaluation Tool (CANWET) software under contract to the Ontario government. The software can be used for source protection, nutrient management and water allocation programs by identifying sources of chemicals and sediment.


The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada’s has a new version of the EE4 Modelling Software. The EE4 software is used to demonstrate a building’s compliance to the Commercial Buildings Incentive Program (CBIP). Version 1.50 contains over 30 modelling improvements, including CO2 demand controlled ventilation provisions and the ground-source heat pump reference. Tel. 1-877-360-5500.


Leica Geosystems introduced the TPS800 series of total stations. While the standard TC800 models provide measuring up to 3,000 metres using an infrared laser beam with prisms or reflective targets, the TCR800 models also offer reflectorless measurements up to 200 meters using a visible beam, facilitating measurements to small points, such as the corner of a building.


CodeCAD of Calgary has released a new version of FE/Pipe and NozzlePro, finite element analysis (FEA) tools for piping and pressure vessels. The new FE/Pipe allows 3D AutoCAD models to be converted into FEA models and includes ASME stresses, flexibilities and allowable loads.


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