Dealing with Invalid Marks during Model Import
The Cad Interfaces within StruM.I.S give the user the ability to import material lists either from a CAD generated report, a comma separated CSV file or a tab separated txt file. These Material Lists are generated using a third party application such as Tekla and ProSteel, etc and make the transfer of information from these programs seamless.
There are however occasions when the information within these files cause there to be invalid marks. This isn’t a difficult thing to overcome but can appear daunting to a customer the first time they encounter this so the purpose of this document is to equip you with the knowledge to cope when you find invalid marks.
Reasons you may have Invalid Marks
During the Import, items are put into 1 of 4 tabs; Valid Mark Items, Unrecognised Mark Items, Invalid Marks and Invalid Dimensions. This is shown above. It is done in this way so as to make life as easy as possible for the user in determining how to resolve Invalid Marks.
In an ideal world you would have all items in the Valid Mark Items tab. However, there are a variety of reasons why this may not be the case and it is the users’ task to either put this right during the import or go back to whoever issued the model and request that the data is re-issued correctly.
Below is a list of reasons why we may have Invalid Marks that is displayed if the user hovers the mouse over the invalid Marks tab.
This document has been created with the more common reasons there may be Invalid Marks at the top and the less common reasons at the bottom.
Starting at the top and working through this should resolve any invalid Marks but if you’re still experiencing Invalid Marks then contact StruM.I.S Support.
In the above example I have 644 Valid Mark Items but 12 Invalid Marks. This has been caused by there being 12 Unrecognised Mark Items.
This example is the most common reason we may have invalid Marks. It is caused in this instance by the section UB406X178X54 being specified differently in the CAD package (using an * instead of an X to separate dimensions) to what it is in StruM.I.S.
This is easily and quickly resolved.
1. On the Unrecognised Mark Items tab, click on the ellipses button in the column “Import as Item”
2. This will open the Item Picker. Fill out the details as required and click ok
5. After clicking on Next but before clicking on Finish, ensure that the option “Persist Cross References” is checked. This will add a Cross reference to the database that means that it will remember 406*178*54UB should always automatically be mapped to UB406X178X54 in future without having to do the mapping again manually
In the above example I have only 60 Valid Mark Items but 231 Invalid Marks. This has been caused by there being 377 Unrecognised Mark Items.
This has been caused by the Steel Grade S275JR being specified as S_275JR in the CAD package.
We could simply repeat the same instructions as above for Unrecognised Items, but it in this case it is quicker to add a Cross Reference to the Grade library.
1. Cancel the Import and go into the Items and Inventory menu and open Grade as shown below
4. Re-run the import and now all 668 Marks will be valid
In the above example I have 584 Valid Mark Items but 35 Invalid Marks. This has been caused by there being 31 Invalid Dimensions.
All Mark Items that share a name must also share the same properties. In the above example, we have two Mark Items that have differing Lengths;
• Mark Item 1 has two instances of a length of 9065mm and one instance of a length of 9070mm
• Mark Item PLT1 has 27 instances of a length of 700mm and one instance of a length of 705mm
This will have been caused by there being a tolerance in the CAD package that has been set to allow components that vary up to and including 5mm to be marked the same.
Note: StruM.I.S has an option “CAD Interface Dimensions tolerance” that can be found under Contracts Management Options and also the option to round up or down. I’ve purposely left this set to 3mm for the purpose of this exercise but had this been set to 5mm Up, it would have made all Mark Item 1 9070mm and PLT1 705mm for me.
This is easily and quickly resolved.
1. Within the Cad Interface
grid, simply click on the length
or Width you wish to change
2. Type the desired dimension
3. Tab out of the field, and it will
Automatically update all
Instances of that Mark Item
4. Click on the Revalidate Marks
button (situated bottom right)
5. All Marks should now be valid and displayed as below
In the above example I have 584 Valid Mark Items but 84 Invalid Marks. This kind of Invalid Mark is a little more difficult to work out than the above examples as the incriminating Mark Items aren’t put onto a separate tab like the Unrecognised and Invalid Dimensions are.
However, when you know what to look for and how to find it, it becomes much easier.
1. Click on the “Grid Options” button and select “Group By”. This will make finding the Mark Items causing the Marks to be invalid easier
2. Group by the Mark Item. This is done by dragging the column header for Mark Item to the top of the screen as shown below
4. The import screen will now be grouped by both Criteria and will look like the image below. The benefit to doing it this way is that as you scroll down the list, you’re looking for a row that instead of saying “(1 Item)” says “(2 Items)” or more. It should jump out at you much more clearly than if you’re simply scrolling through the entire list
5. In this example, there is a Mark Item “PLT1” that has been incorrectly specified as a 120x10FLAT in one instance but in all other cases is specified as a 450x25FLAT.
The User in this instance can either edit the source file or liaise with the draughtsman who could either re-mark the 120x10FLAT or change it to match all other PLT1 Mark Items. In any case, the user knows exactly where the issue is and was able to find so quite easily using the group by feature.
6. Once the updated file is received, the user can re-run the import and all items should now be valid and displayed as below
There are other reasons besides the possible causes listed above
Invalid Lot or Phase
If the option is turned on within the contract to read Lot/Load and Phase/Zone information from the CAD file, then all Mark Items that make up a Mark must share the same Phase/Zone or Lot/Load information.
The example below shows the invalid Mark 5 which has become invalid due to all items being in Lot 3 besides the Mark Item PLT3.
This is resolved by using the “Re-Lot” option at the bottom of the screen.
1. Highlight the row you wish to re-lot (say PLT3 in this example), enter the desired lot as shown below and click OK.
As the option “Selected items only” is selected, this will only update this row.
2. Click on the Re-validate Marks button (situated bottom right) all Marks should now be valid and displayed as below
Note: The process to resolve an invalid Phase is identical to resolving an invalid Lot other than using the “Re-Phase” option which is situated to the left of the “Re-Lot” option
Quantity Set to 0
If there are invalid marks and the screen looks like below, then the wisest course of action is to liaise with the Draughtsman and have them issue a new report. This example has Mark Item 1 having no quantity.
Alternatively, you could edit the CAD file if you are certain you know the correct quantity but it’s always best to have an up to date model.
Invalid Cut Type
As previously mentioned, if there are multiple instances of a Mark Item, then all its physical properties must be the same.
This is true of its cut type.
In the example below, there are three instances of PLT3, two of which are Angle Cut but one of which is Straight Cut
Note: To find this easier, the user may wish to use the “Group By” method that was used during the explanation on “More than one Mark Item share the same name but have different properties”, only this time grouping first by “Mark Item” and then “Cut Type” looking for a Mark Item that has (2 items) listed next to it.
The user has 2 options here;
a) Go back to the draughtsman and have them correct the issue in the CAD Package and reissue the list
b) Turn off the option for Cut Type within the Cad Interface so that it imports all items as Straight Cut.
The second option is quickest, but will mean all items are imported as Straight Cut for all Marks.
No Main member specified
If there are still Invalid Marks at this point then it is likely a Mark does not have a main member specified. This occurs when Mark Items are created off of a Dummy member withing the CAD package and the Dummy member is set to be the Main member in error by the Draughtsman.
To check that this is the case, you must first turn on the column “SourceMainMember”
1. Click on Grid Options and choose the option “Show Hide Columns”
2. Ensure that the column “SourceMainMember” is checked
3. The SourceMainMember column displays a 0 for those not listed a main member, and a 1 for those that are. If there is no main member specified at all then this Mark becomes Invalid.
The above example shows Mark 1 as having no main member.
The only solution in this instance is to go back to the draughtsman and have them correct the issue in the CAD Package and reissue the list.