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Computer Integrated Steel Bridge Design and Construction
You hold in your hands the report of a unique workshop on Automation in Steel Bridge Design and Construction. Participants in this workshop represented diverse constituencies: the public sector (owners), fabricators, academics, software developers, and the Edison Welding Institute (EWI). This workshop is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere. The report provides a glimpse of both the excitement and the challenges facing us in utilizing the benefits of automation for producing steel bridges of the highest quality and value and to do so more expeditiously and more economically.
The report represents the snapshot in time when the workshop was held in April 2001. Since then, several initiatives have been undertaken. These initiatives include the following:
- An NCHRP funded study has been initiated on "Evaluation of 3D Computer Modeling and Electronic Information Transfer for Efficient Design and Construction of Steel Bridges." The objective of this study is twofold: (i) Review and synthesize available technical information relevant to the automation of steel bridge design and construction, and (ii) Summarize the 3D modeling and electronic information transfer technologies which most merit being transferred or adapted to expand use of automation in steel bridge design and construction. This study is a direct outgrowth of Theme Area 1 arising from the workshop.
- Several owners and fabricators are exploring varying degrees of paperless approval processes. These explorations were identified in Theme Area 2.
- A number of initiatives of task groups within the AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration (www.steelbridge.org) are addressing some of the concerns raised in Theme Area 3, "Standardized Design Details to Facilitate Automation." Two of these, for example, are Guidelines for Design Drawing Presentation and Design for Constructibility.
- A meeting was held at the recent (January 2002) TRB Annual Meeting to plan next steps for Theme Area 4, "Showcase of Benefits of Automation." More information on this initiative will be forthcoming as it becomes available.
Acknowledgements | Table of Contents | Introduction