How To Increase The Efficiency Of Rebar Detailing

September 9, 2020

Reinforced concrete detailing – more commonly known as rebar design and detailing – is one of the most time-consuming, yet critical, part of the design process. Without an accurate and coordinated set of reinforcement documentation, costly and wasteful mistakes can be made. The traditional approach to rebar detailing is prone to errors and conflicts between documents, which is exacerbated by inefficient methods of sharing information and communicating. In a climate where budgets and timescales are shrinking and skilled staff are hard to find, finding efficient ways of working is imperative in order to stay competitive and profitable.

To achieve this goal, existing processes and programs need to be looked at in detail to determine if they are still adding value. With the right technology, efficient design workflows can be developed that enable staff to work effectively and deliver high-quality reinforcement designs on time and to budget. Here are some ways that the latest rebar detailing software can help improve reinforcement detailing drawing efficiency.

1. 2D Vs. 3D Design

Advanced 3D modeling software can help automate some of the repetitive activities that rebar detailing in 2D CAD still requires. Moving from a 2D to 3D process can significantly increase design productivity. For example, Allplan Engineering uses a process similar to 2D detailing while producing the 3D reinforcement model simultaneously, for rapid reinforcement design.

2. BIM Support

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is required by more and more clients worldwide. The benefits that BIM offers – such as improved coordination, communication, and collaboration – help reduce costs and improve productivity. Therefore, choosing a reinforcement detailing software solution that supports BIM can ensure the longevity of the software while improving competitiveness.

3. Workflow Compatibility

When moving to a new rebar detailing software solution, it must streamline the existing design processes while integrating seamlessly into existing supply chain workflows. BIM-enabled software like Allplan Engineering can achieve this by providing a single source of truth for the project that can be seamlessly transferred to fabricators and contractors, for fewer errors.

4. Ease Of Use

Finding rebar detailing software that is easy to use is another way to increase efficiency. Programs that require several steps to reach the desired result can take up valuable time, particularly compared to specifically designed reinforcement software that makes reinforcement modeling simple. With Allplan Engineering, if a shape can be modeled, it can be reinforced quickly and easily.

5. Special Placement Measures

There may be times when additional reinforcement types are required, such as pre- or post-tensioned tendons and BAMTEC slab reinforcement systems. Choosing a rebar detailing solution that enables accurate detailing of these features, like Allplan Engineering, is a future-proof, long-term decision.

6. Detailing Accuracy

Projects are getting increasingly complex and ambitious. As a result, the tolerances and margins for error are smaller than ever, making the accuracy of rebar detailing software incredibly important. The workflow and setup within Allplan Engineering automates many processes, removing the risk of errors and improving the quality of the final design.

7. Documentation Production

Creating an accurate set of construction documentation is the end goal of the rebar detailing process. 3D modeling software such as Allplan Engineering excels in this area, enabling sections and details to be extracted from the 3D model rather than each view needing to be drawn by hand as with 2D CAD. As the model changes, each section updates automatically, reducing the impact of changes.

8. Supply Chain Compatibility

While 2D documentation is currently the expected deliverable from the rebar detailing process, digitalization is changing this. Reinforcement detailing software like Allplan Engineering can already transfer reinforcement data directly from the model to rebar bending machines, welding systems, and manufacturing execution software. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces errors from manual input.

Make An Informed Decision

When looking for ways to increase the efficiency of reinforcement detailing, a new software package can provide the leap in functionality that is required to achieve improved productivity. However, it is a decision with long-lasting consequences for your organization, so getting it right takes time. The above points are a brief overview of some of the areas to consider; for a more detailed look at potential requirements for rebar detailing software, download our whitepaper, 8 Considerations for Efficient Reinforcement Detailing.