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Evaluation of Standard Product Models for Supporting Automated Erection of Structural Steelwork.

pdf icon Evaluation of Standard Product Models for Supporting Automated Erection of Structural Steelwork. (639 K)
Kamat, V. R.; Lipman, R. R.

Automation in Construction, Vol. 16, No. 2, 232-241, March 2007.


steel structures; evaluation; automation; construction; computer graphics; emulation; standards; geometry; structural members; steel columns; steel beams


Automation is being increasingly explored as a possible solution for safely increasing productivity in structural steelwork erection. A piece of automation equipment has no intrinsic knowledge of the steel erection process. Thus, geometric and spatial member information, and the motion sequences that must be executed to install steel members must both be programmed into the equipment. This research investigates the extent to which the CIMsteel Integration Standards (CIS/2) can support automated steelwork erection. Algorithms to interpret steel member geometry and spatial configuration from CIS/2 files were designed. Then, using inverse kinematics principles from robotics literature, a kinematically smart crane capable of accepting robot-like instructions was implemented in 3D virtual reality. The crane was programmed to utilize the algorithms to automatically extract member information from CIS/2, and to use that information to compile assembly instructions for erecting the structure in the virtual world. Based on the obtained results, it was found that CIS/2 does encapsulate the basic geometry and position and orientation of steel members in a format that, after geo-referencing, can be used to support automated steelwork erection. However, several processing steps are necessary to compute the information needed from the CIS/2 model for the process description of erection needed by the automation equipment.