Analyzing engineer work in TEKLA to improve productivity

Engineering | Production | Logistics | Assembly

Improving engineering productivity is critical to reduce total costs of precast building manufacturing. Currently 35% of project hours are spent on element modelling. Analyzing how engineers work in BIM software (TEKLA Structures) should provide us with information how that time is utilized and where plugins or other useful tools should be provided for engineers.

We have developed a data collection robot which utilizes TEKLA Open API functionality to automatically collect changes made by user in TEKLA model. TEKLA Open API provides information when:

  • Element is inserted
  • Element is modified
  • Element is deleted
  • Element attributes are changed

On these events the robot collects some more additional information on the affected elements and sends the data to database for storage.

Currently the analysis tool is in development but the preliminary data was obtained from one user for 6 work days and 40 000 entries were collected. Analyzed data showed promising results – we can calculate the time spent on each element (walls, columns, etc.) and time spent on element types (components, rebar’s, meshes etc.). Additionally we have noticed some strange work patterns such as deleting and inserting back an element just to see cutparts in TEKLA.

To calculate time spent on each wall or element type we add up all the time if it has been less than 5 minutes between two actions on the same wall. This 5 minute gap should be reconsidered to get more reliable results but after short conversation with engineers the results seem correct.

From the results we can determine which element types the engineer is using more and whether plugins or other tools are necessary to improve their productivity.

We look forward to improve the analytics robot to:

  • Improve calculated time spent on elements;
  • Analyze engineers work and provide them with training if necessary;
  • Analyze tools used in TEKLA and develop new tools and plugins to improve productivity;
  • Analyze the most time-consuming tasks and look for possibilities to reduce time spent;
  • Automate engineer time-reporting.

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