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RE: SAP SHELL DESIGN / Steel factory

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hossein mardanlo

you wrote "..., but we can't say software never design."

Actually we can. Determining the size of beams and resistances of
connections is not design (even if that is a menu title in software). That
exercise is analysis and evaluation. Design is concerned with the need for
the beam and connections. To me Design proper concerns determining form and
function, and is the qualitative aspect, and initially probably comprises of
more questions than answers. Such as why do we need the beam? How can it be
supported? It is not about crunching numbers or mathematical models. Such is
the synthesis and abstraction of the real world system, it is part of the
iterative process of design, but not design itself. Design requires
creativity, imagination and ingenuity. A block of silicon doesn't have such
ability. Design is what you do before building a model in software. (but it
could be argued that is a matter of semantics).

If you want to know about hot-rolling and cold-rolling, then need to look on
books dealing with mechanics of manufacturing processes: in particular
bulk-deformation processes, cold-working and hot-working. If just want to
know the process flow diagram for such plants then some of the steel
producers and steel institutes have websites providing details and
explanations of steel production.

Also I think some members of the listserver, need to understand that some
countries do not have the population that the USA has, nor the level of
specilisation and regulatory systems, and as a consquence engineers in other
countries may well be called upon to provide input beyond their area of
specialisation but to the best of their ability. If they don't provide such
input, then there will be no engineering at all on many projects.
Redirecting clients down the street to a more competent specialist is not an
option. The consultants present and available have to become specialists in
everything, just as they basically were at the dawn of the industrial
revolution. Industrial Development and the human knowledgebase is not a
constant throughout the world, or even within a single country. Each town is
advancing technologically at a different pace.

Under such circumstances the minimum risk option is to keep everything
simple and within the designer/engineers comfort zone, and to allow the
technology to evolve with the engineers increasing knowledge or until the
specialists become available on local ground. The designers comfort zone is
obviously widely variable and dependent on the risks they are willing to
take. However keeping a distance may be the more negligent act. Stepping-in
and stopping or haulting a project, and insisting more time be spent on
design and specialists be brought in, is often better than stepping away.
But then there is always the competitive market place and trade secrets, and
huge licensing fees, putting obstacles in the way of getting that specialist
knowledge to allow development.

So in many instances the starting place for design is actually demonstrating
the need, to the client, that the services of specialists designers should
be obtained, or that the project should be simplified and made less
ambitious. (Though often those specialists are little more than number
crunchers and provide no real design service.)

Also given that this is an international forum, it is helpful to know where
people are, and just how international the list is, and also
education/qualifications. After all there are more than US codes of
practice. The IBC is not international, and there is more to structures than
building design. And the response to students is not going to be the same as
that to the licensed or otherwise qualified. (To a certain extent licensing
is worthless, for some licensee's have significant experience and others
have very little. So it doesn't really help selecting the right person for
the job. The license simply provides for less variation in competence, but
still have huge variation in ability and proficiency.)

A steel production plant sounds interesting, and following a discussion on
such design would be interesting. But 2/3 of the answer lies in putting the
question clearly. Which is why I stated design starts with more questions
than answers. Questions which are too general and broad ranging are
difficult to provide answers to. Questions need to be refined, as the
questions become more specific, answers become more apparent, and are more
readily given.

Since the listserver is for discussing structural issues, the steel
production plant needs to be broken down into structural components and the
structural issues surrounding those questioned. You have mentioned the
foundations: but for which part of the cold-rolling mill specifically? I
doubt that the whole facility could be described by a couple of drawings
that some one could just pop in an email. I've been involved with the
upgrade of a cement production facility, and the consultants I worked for at
the time, opened a separate office to handle the project. There were several
mechanical and structural engineers on the project, and involved some 40
belt conveyors and several buildings, and it was only an upgrade: there were
a few hundred drawings on the project (and the only CAD drawing at the time
was the civil/survey drawing, and as I recollect the documents ultimately
became the property of the manufacturer not the consultants.) I doubt any
steel production plant is any simpler or "free" from proprietary
constraints, and a new plant documented on CAD or otherwise with documents
available for viewing by computer still rarer.

So please ask a more specific question, and I'm sure you will get more
reasonable and helpful answers.

Steven CONRAD Harrison
B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust
Roy Harrison & Associates
Consulting Engineers (Structural)
PO Box 104
Para Hills
SA 5096
South Australia
tel: 8395 2177
fax: 8395 8477

-----Original Message-----
From: hossein mardanlo [mailto:hosein.mardanloo(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Tuesday, 22 May 2007 00:32
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

ok, I got the point. You are not familiar with SAP. If you were, probably 
you must had known that CSI company, producaer of SAP2000 has been adding 
some new features to include concrete shell design based on specific design 
Codes. I wanted to know if anyone had more information about it. It is of 
very much surprise for me that you beleive softwares can not DESIGN 
structural elements. Many of list members know that ETABS and SAP and many 
other softwares do design for beams, columns, and ETABS does for walls. Of 
course every engineer must check the results, but we can't say software 
never design.

Hossein Mardanlu
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher Wright" <chrisw(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:49 PM

> On May 20, 2007, at 10:44 AM, hossein mardanlo wrote:
>> It seems you have got a lot of negative energy from someone recently!
> It sure does, doesn't it?
>> Anyway, I have been using applied mechanics for many years  successfully,

>> maybe more than you!
> It's possible--I wouldn't bet on it.
>> And of course I always will need to learn more, even though  someones 
>> like you may doesn't need for more learning!  But using  new methods are 
>> always necessary. I wish You could answer my question!
> Your question really had no answer, since you didn't specify what  kinds 
> of suggestions you were after. SAP2000 does what it does-- 
> nothing to suggest. SAP 2000 is like ANSYS or NASTRAN or other  general 
> purpose FEA software--they do analysis, not design. Design is  an 
> engineer's job. Sometimes you'll find program features that seem  to mimic

> design, but they're usually doing iterative analysis based  on 
> user-specified criteria. Codes like the AISC Code or the Boiler  Code rely

> almost exclusively on manual calculation and proportions  for details 
> which have given satisfactory service.
> That said there's not a whole lot of structural code provisions 
> specifically addressing general shell theory. I don't use SAP2000,  but 
> from what I read the Code provisions it incorporates are aimed at  framed 
> structures. The design methodology in the ASME Codes is based  on shell 
> theory, and there are areas in those Codes that are written  around the 
> use of FEA output, but the loading and service doesn't  apply for all 
> fields of engineering. It's not too tough to apply  equivalent standards 
> to shell element results for metals, once you  know enough mechanics to 
> understand the basis of Code provisions.  ANSYS, for example, has no AISC 
> Code post processor, but it's fairly  simple to do the arithmetic with a 
> spreadsheet using tabular output  if you're dealing with plate structures 
> or shells.  If there are  programs which do anything other than simple Div

> 1 design (like  Caesar or Codeware) I'm not aware of them. ANSYS will 
> provide  primary, secondary and peak stresses, for Nuclear Code 
> assessment,  but it's really doing an analysis task, not design, and it 
> should  only be used by engineers who really know their stuff, because 
> it's  easy to confuse things.
> You didn't mention whether your plant design problem involved metal  or 
> concrete. I daresay the ACI has provisions for shell like cooling  towers 
> or domes. There may even be software which does design tasks  like re-bar 
> placement but I don't do concrete, and I don't keep up  with it. The ASME 
> Nuclear Code also covers concrete containment  vessels, but again, I don't

> know of software that actually designs  these things. Again--it's the 
> engineer who does the design, using FEA  results.
> Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
> chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
> .......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 
> 1864)
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