Tag Archives: Steel Bar Coding


Bringing Structure to Steel in the 21st Century

It’s a new year and what better time than at the start of a new year to look forward to your fabrication’s future. Steel fabrication best practices in the 21st Century call for the utilization of technology to stay ahead of the fabrication curve and remain both relevant and profitable in an ever more dynamic industry. The application of software in the steel fabrication process is no longer a nouveau concept, but rather a vital standard fabrication management practice. Software systems, such as STRUMIS, serve the largest and smallest fabricator alike and enable the fabricator to successfully manage their business, ensuring transparency throughout each department, and safeguarding management of resources effectively.

Software integration is a key component to technology in the steel fabrication industry, linking and connecting everything from your accounting software, CNC equipment, detailing software, to your estimating and production management MRP software, such as STRUMIS, for a seamless flow of information to manage commercial aspects of your day to day business. Gone are the days of running multiple programs, separately.

For instance, did you know technology in the steel fabrication industry today will automatically produce from your BIM Model a rapid Bill of Materials and apply all connection details and processes involved in the project cycle, saving you time and providing you unmatched accuracy in your estimate work?

Change management is now effortlessly tracked in today’s technological steel industry, with all potential changes electronically recorded and costed utilizing a simple budget or a full estimate and costs associated to the change order individually electronically tracked to provide financial traceability.

Risk management is systematically overseen, using technology to log all supporting documentation, including RFI’s and correspondence, which can be found at the click of a button. Gone are the headache phone calls wanting to know why a deadline has changed and scrambling to sift through supporting documents.

In the 21st Century, software technology and steel fabrication are synonymous and provide fabricators and detailers a level of control and efficiency never before imagined, even to the level of live integration to enable detailers to make quick, informed decisions to minimize cost and disruption, by seeing real-time status for materials and manufacturing progress. Here’s to a bright and brilliant 2017, may your estimating be seamless and your fabrication workflow streamlined.

Steel fabrication is evolving and STRUMIS is your partner to help you evolve with the time. To see how STRUMIS can bring your steel fabrication into the future visit www.strumis.com


The Middle East And The Future Of Steel Fabrication

The Middle East is soaring with opportunities and the next five years is going to be a huge boost to the infrastructure and development in the region. The looming crisis of the dip in the oil prices had previously slowed down the materialisation of potential projects, but the market is now gaining pace. This is all thanks to the numerous projects announced by the Head of State. Every Steel fabricator in the region is eyeing the projects that are linked to either Expo2020, Soccer World Cup 2022 or the building projects in Saudi Arabia.

In the UAE alone, there is massive development planned for the next 5 years. Major projects like the extension of the Airport terminals, additional Metro Stations for the Expo and along the Dubai Canal, Hospitality and housing projects for over a million square feet with the expected growth of 37%, leisure and tourism attractions like theme parks, Dubai One, Dubai Creek Harbour, museums, MBR City and the Al Mamzar Waterfronts, are also being targeted for the next 5 years. With the Soccer world cup alone 5 new stadiums are to be constructed with supporting facilities like hotels, hospitals, metro projects and more. Saudi is also catching up with commencing major projects.

STRUMIS is your partner to achieving your fabrication goals for the next five years and beyond. With the above developments, what we have already seen is the expansion of business for our customers in the Middle East, which means the requirement for better traceability, improved productivity and profits, and reduced losses.

With high competition faced at every level in the fabrication industry, cost savings is of prime importance. On an average there is 9-11% wastage of material in a general fabrication shop. With STRUMIS, the offcuts and remnants can be placed back in the inventory with the actual true shape available meaning that they can then be used for future projects, reducing the material wastage to as little as 3-5%, giving a net saving of up to 5-7% in wastage. For a medium sized fabricator procuring 50tons of steel per week, it could mean that the average savings with STRUMIS would be around USD 80,000 – USD 90,000 per year.

In the next five years, concepts like the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing would not just be limited to bigger names in fabrication. Medium to small sized fabrication units would also need to accept these in order to be at par with the rapid rate of growth. These concepts require regular monitoring to ensure smooth flow without any bottlenecks. STRUMIS, with its Business Interface, provides you with a customizable Dashboard to monitor all the parameters of your fabrication workflow. This would ensure that every small problem or delay is not just observed, but acted upon with the optimum solution.

Many in the Fabrication industry are the old school geniuses. But the next five years would see the inevitable in the industry. CHANGE – in the method, in the outlook, in the way of doing things. We are modernizing every aspect of our lives. And the same will be implied to fabrication. Paperless transactions within the shop would ensure faster and smoother workflow. With the STRUMIS mobility app, you can record production process timings with the use of mobile phones and tablets.

Steel fabrication is evolving. STRUMIS is your partner to help you evolve with the time. To see how STRUMIS can bring your steel fabrication into the future visit www.strumis.com


Reporting in STRUMIS (Part 1 – Real time Reporting)

There are multiple reporting capabilities in STRUMIS in the current architecture and new reporting features being developed that will complement the new architecture moving forward.

There are over 200 system reports in the current system today and some of these reports started life in the GoData DOS system which have been migrated through each major release of the software. However we are always improving the software.

Active Reports is one of these improvements. STRUMIS uses the Active Report engine to allow the user to extend the functionality of the “look-and-feel” of what actually gets printed to paper. This can vary from a simple column name change to full grouping and re-ordering of the entire report. Further to this the engine also has scripting capabilities to allow developers to hook into the various header and footer events for more advanced scenarios’.

SQL Server is used for all front end reports and each report has its own stored procedure where the business logic is gathered, shaped and projected then sent to the report engine. Complex custom reports can be created in the same way however the user will take ownership of the stored procedure and it will not be effected by STRUMIS updates.

The powerful grid controls that are displayed throughout STRUMIS in searching and object creation can also be used as a reporting tool. The grids have the ability to (filter, group, order, aggregate totals, highlight certain columns and alternative rows). Further to this the grids can be printed to a report or exported to Excel and Email.

Both the Active Reports and exporting from the grids contribute to the real time reporting within STRUMIS. Part 2 of Reporting in STRUMIS will cover Snapshot Business Intelligence reporting using SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), and Introduce SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as a Web based reporting tool that will complement the new Service Oriented Architecture.


Are large scale demountable buildings feasible?

Traditionally demountable structures in Australia have been confined to small scale, carnival buildings, mining sites and school classrooms.

Steel is recyclable and is one of the worlds most recycled products, although the process consumes only marginally less energy than smelting from scratch.

The ability to reuse steel reduces that environmental cost to almost nothing and steel lends itself to reuse. Bolted construction is already commonplace in commercial structural steel buildings.

Needless to say that some research and development would be required to develop components and connections appropriate for disassembly.

Checks and measures would have to be put in place to follow reused steel and test and track the structural integrity and reuse of steel supports.

It is already industry standard to have unique barcodes on each steel component making steel an easily traceable product.

With an easily accessible list of available materials, architects, engineers or suppliers could conceivably track steel to the point that they could incorporate steel, currently used in an existing structure yet to be dismantled, into the early stages of a new construction design process.


Despite the difficulties in implementation, this idea deserves to be considered as a way to reduce economic strain and environmental impact.


BIMReview 8.1.5 Release

What’s in the BIMReview 8.1.5 release? It’s not as scary as you’d expect!

After a few days of wondering what that clash in the night was or if you actually heard those haunting cries from the workshop, nonetheless an updated version is arriving to shine a light on some of those things you fear.

So what can we expect from BIMReview 8.1.5?

  • The BIMReview addin has arrived for both Autodesk Revit 2017 and Inventor 2017


  • The BIMReview plugin(s) for Tekla Structures now have the option to define bolt sets, allowing the user to specify a set of bolt items which is purchasable as a single item compacting your item listing.


  • Attribute values exported from the BIMReview plugin(s) for Tekla Structures for bolts, nuts and washers have been refined to make them more usable.
  • Fixed exported dimensions for contour plates from the BIMReview plugin(s) for Tekla Structures.
  • New option available to replace characters that can be considered invalid for profile names within STRUMIS to the BIMReview plugin(s) for Tekla Structures.
  • Finally other minor fixes and performance improvements to BIMReview.


Keep an eye on the BIMReview download page for this update coming to you soon.

Not using BIMReview yet then check out what BIMReview has to offer at www.bim-review.com


Case Study: Canam Group

We’re delighted to announce that Canam Group has signed a Corporate Agreement to purchase and implement STRUMIS across their structural and bridge sites.

Canam Group is a leading provider of design and fabrication of construction products, and develops innovative and pioneering solutions by focusing on customer satisfaction, manufacturing effectiveness and digital revolution.

A Detailed Review

Before deciding on how to proceed to more efficiently manage their fabrication and production, Canam Group embarked on a comprehensive and detailed six month review of all available steel fabrication and production software/vendors and assessed offerings against their own in house systems.

This review, which also included a full pilot project, was conducted by a Committee led by two Canam Group Vice Presidents, a General Manager and also included many of Canam Group’s 85 man strong IT team.

The Objective

The objective of the Canam Group’s committee was to evaluate the viability of replacing or upgrading their legacy systems with the best solution to provide an integrated BIM compliant solution across all their structural and bridge facilities to facilitate superior communication and multi-site fabrication management. An important additional aspect that the Committee considered was the ability to integrate with four primary systems – Oracle, Tekla Structures, SDS/2 and various incumbent CNC machines.

STRUMIS Selected

Further to Canam Group’s substantial research of all the available choices on the market to deliver a dedicated, multi-site, integrated steel management and production information system, Canam Group selected STRUMIS to be implemented into their sites. Jean Thibodeau, Senior Vice- President InteliBuild and Information Systems at Canam Group commented; “Following a comprehensive 6 month evaluation of the various steel fabrication management solutions available, we decided STRUMIS was the best solution for Canam Group due to a number of key factors. STRUMIS was by far the most comprehensive and feature rich solution available, enabling us to replace multiple legacy systems. Utilizing the STRUMIS Integration Platform and the latest .NET and SQL technology ensured we can integrate STRUMIS with our existing Oracle ERP system, our engineering and detailing software, as well as bar coding, tablet and CNC equipment. STRUMIS will save valuable time handling and managing key operational data across our multiple fabrications facilities.”

Regional Manager commented, “We are extremely proud that the Canam Group team has elected to implement STRUMIS across their sites; this is a significant addition to our prestigious global clientele and we are pleased to continue our outstanding working relations with them.” STRUMIS Technical Director, Simon Inman, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Canam Group and are looking forward to working with them and indeed we have already started implementing STRUMIS.”

About Canam Group

Canam Group is a manufacturing company with over 50 years experience specialising in the design and construction of products and solutions. With close to 3,500 employees, Canam Group is a leading provider of design-build and virtual design construction and a principal supplier in the design and fabrication of construction products, with an annual turnover in excess of US$750 million.

In 2011, Canam Group completed 9,240 construction projects, and operates 20 manufacturing plants, covering an area of 3,112,535 square feet (289,160 m ), with an annual production capacity of 764,000 tons. Canam Group has engineering offices in Canada, the United States, Romania, India and China, and has created alliances in China and France.

By sustaining its leadership role in the digital revolution and construction of energy efficient buildings, Canam Group provides long-lasting products and solutions that endorse development efficiency and productivity.

To see how STRUMIS can benefit your company please visit www.strumis.com


Steel Management Systems & BIM

BIM integration into a fabrication management system like STRUMIS can streamline your workflow and leverage information and associated drawings directly from modeling solutions such as Revit, Advanced Steel, Solidworks, Inventor, Tekla and SDS2.

It is no secret that fabricators have been using BIM for several years now to improve project efficiency and reduce costly errors on their projects. However, these benefits increase exponentially when you can integrate your model into a management system, driving greater efficiencies in many areas of the project such as Estimating, Planning & Resource Management. Without this critical integration, fabricators currently have to manually add potentially thousands of parts and assemblies to a project, just in time for the next revision to be issued and start the process all over again. When you truly take advantage of the BIM model you can drive this data input directly from the model and make revision management a breeze.


When the time comes to generate your next estimate or create the long list of detailed items for your BOM, imagine having the ability to import your entire detailed model including piece marks, assemblies, connections, material finishes, CNC files and drawings all in one easy step. Think of the time savings of this one process, not to mention keeping all these items connected together and to the model throughout the entire project. The next time you get hit with that revision, you then only need to re-import your model and let the software guide you through the changes, additions and deletions of the project in just a few easy steps. This process not only saves you valuable time, but significantly increases the accuracy of your project.


Once all this critical project data is now a part of your project, you have the ability to drive cost details from the actual model data, plan your shop time and resources from the connected and revision controlled CNC files and drawings. You management system can even push your critical production status and material order status details back to the native model for a complete and seamless workflow.

It has been proven that 90% of projects are delivered late. This is most often a result of poor communication & lack of planning. Embrace a true BIM workflow today and you can expect to see the industry standard results helping you drive down material waste by as much as 10% and reduce your construction rework by as much as 30%. With profit margins tighter than ever, make every dollar counts.



Leverage your BIM model today by working smarter and not harder.

To see how STRUMIS and BIM can benefit your steel fabrication visit www.strumis.com


43% Of SSDA 2016 Award Winners Use STRUMIS

This year’s SSDA awards has seen the largest amount of entries to date with the quality of the entries still remaining high as ever, this is incredibly reassuring for the SSDA’s future.

The British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd and Tata Steel have the pleasure of inviting entries for the 2016 Structural Steel Design Awards Scheme.

The objective is to celebrate the excellence of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the field of steel construction, particularly demonstrating its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and innovation.

David W. Lazenby CBE – Chairman of the Judges, comments

“It is reassuring that we have seen an increase in the number of submissions for the Award scheme this year, and that the quality and interest of the projects remains as high as ever.

One strong impression is that these days there are few easy projects. For reasons of technical difficulty, timetabling or late-evolving scheme requirements, there are very few projects that do not present great challenges. This means that the teams must work closely and constructively together, and the importance of a well-committed and collaborative client cannot be overstated.

We have a good geographical spread, as well as a broad range of types of project. With two major sports arenas,school and university buildings, and exciting works in museums and national memorials, the usual areas are well represented. But we also have important energy schemes, commercial and residential rehabilitations, as well as five exciting footbridges. Altogether they represent a major contribution to the built environment.

In a real sense they are all winners. But the final list of projects to receive Awards, Commendations and recognition of Merit, reflect the strength and diversity of the industry.”



But what’s reassuring for STRUMIS is that an outstanding 43% of the winners from all categories are STRUMIS users.


In fact there isn’t a category that doesn’t have a STRUMIS user within it.


















To read more about the SSDA please click here

As the project needs to be cost effective to be considered for an award try entering your information into our STRUMIS Ready Reckoner to see how much money you would save with STRUMIS click here


Is STRUMIS a Hoover?

In the UK, Ireland and Australia the term “hoover” has long been synonymous with “vacuum cleaner” and generally the verb “to vacuum” referring to the Hoover Company’s dominance there during the early 20th century. Despite Hoover’s no longer being the top seller of vacuum cleaners in the UK, the term “hoover” has remained as a common phrase to describe the chore of vacuuming our homes.

How could a brand name of a product used to suck up dirt from the floors of our homes become so embedded in our culture, become part of our language (and even distort our language) and become so synonymous with a process we all dislike so much – vacuuming – sorry, hoovering!

Well, through need in the first instance, as is the case with most inventions, when in 1908 an asthmatic store janitor and occasional inventor by the name James Murray Spangler, invented the first upright vacuum cleaner to help minimize the impact of the dust on his asthmatic condition and speed-up the task of cleaning the department shop floor.

Once the vacuum cleaner had a name – “hoover” – the rest is history.

But it’s not quite so simple and easy though as just inventing something which helps us humans save time and makes life easier. Any inventor can’t simply revel in their glory of a great invention if they wish to make a business success of their invention and in the early days Hoover vacuum cleaners were given away free to American housewives in order to generate awareness of what a life changing contraption the hoover was in the early 1900’s and still is today – a must have household appliance. But please remember that the Hoover Company didn’t have the luxury of social media and the internet to generate awareness through what modern marketing teams take for granted today.

So… is STRUMIS a Hoover?

Obviously not, STRUMIS is a Management Information System software program for steel fabricators – definitely not a vacuum cleaner but there are some similarities in evolution of product origin, product quality and brand name recognition.

I have had the privilege of working with the STRUMIS program for over 28 years, 13 years as an end user and 15 years working for STRUMIS Ltd. I had the same experience as the American housewives to some extent, by adopting STRUMIS in my last steel fabrication business I worked for – we saved hundreds if not thousands of hours in time. We had a need for improvement in all departments in our business – STRUMIS provided the answer to our needs. The needs of the modern steel fabricators are many – from traceability to reducing man hours to saving cash on material and consumables to improving efficiencies to presenting a modern and forward thinking approach to technology to making our lives easier and ultimately improving profitability.

STRUMIS has evolved in much the same way as the vacuum cleaner, progressively improving to meet the demands of our clients and the steel fabrication industry in general. STRUMIS has gone through three iterations of re-development from DOS in the late 80’s through FoxPro in the 90’s to .NET in 2006 and this constant evolution coupled with extensive marketing, referrals, positive customer experiences, ease of use, comprehensive feature list and dedication and direction from the business directors has propelled STRUMIS on to the global stage in over 57 countries in less than 15 years!


Brand recognition & quality.

We as humans often demonstrate a “loyalty to brand”. We fall in love with our gadgets, our cars, our televisions, our phones. We are driven to stay loyal to a brand which has helped our need, has made our life easier and more rewarding. But brand names don’t survive without quality of product, quality of service, evolution and progressive development of features.

Is the STRUMIS brand name so synonymous with helping the needs of steel fabricators across the world to the same level hoover vacuums helping us clean our floors? Perhaps not quite but the global spread of awareness and appreciation is spreading at an alarmingly pleasing speed and the more end users who experience the same benefit of using STRUMIS as I did is very satisfying to see.

So, again and finally, is STRUMIS a hoover? No, probably more like a Dyson would be my best analogy as the Top Seller today.

For more information on how STRUMIS can help with your steel fabrication needs visit www.strumis.com


UK Manufacturing PMI rises to highest level since mid-2014

Latest data from the Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) surveys indicated that the conditions in the UK manufacturing sector are on an upward curve as they continued to improve at the end of the third quarter.
With a long term average of 51.5 (2004-2016), it is very pleasing to see a further rise from 53.4 this August to 55.4 in September. This is a positive rebound following a slight slump immediately after Britain voted to leave the EU.


The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from IHS Markit are given as a number between 0 and 100. Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a contraction in activity — so the higher the number is, the better things look for the UK.

Since Brexit we are continuing to see improvements throughout various sources of data such as the PMI figures which in turn build a greater confidence in the UK market. There are a number of factors which may be contributing;

According  to the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI® Report (October 2016),  The domestic market remained a prime driver of new business wins, while the weaker sterling exchange rate drove up new orders from abroad. September saw the level of incoming new export orders increase at the fastest pace since January 2014. UK manufacturers reported improved demand from clients in Asia, Europe, the USA and certain emerging markets.

Although Brexit brought a great deal of uncertainty about how business’ in Britain would fair, there is nothing more promising than a rise in PMI to provide a further positive contribution to GDP in the third quarter.