Contractors Skanska and Carillion have signed up to SteelPac, a reinforcement program which creates reinforcement schedules from CAD drawings.
SteelPac is the first reinforcement program with the electronic capability to receive reinforcement bar schedules created by any of the various design software packages used by consulting engineers and design consultants.
Skanska will use the software in the construction of the £105M Stratford box on the CTRL, and Carillion on the construction of a £40M submarine dock at Plymouth Royal Naval Dockyard.
BAA is evaluating the software for use on the £2bn Terminal Five project at Heathrow Airport.
Contractor O'Rourke was the first to recognise the value of SteelPac, piloting the software in October 2000 at its Scottish Parliament site, and using it at its GCHQ and Canary Wharf sites.
'We saw the potential benefits of the software and these were proven through the site trial at the Scottish Parliament, ' explained O'Rourke head of procurement John Lohan. 'Validation became instantaneous, input errors and input time were minimised, there was no more over or under ordering, revisions became minutes not hours of work, information was clearer for the steel fixers and there was a huge reduction in call-off and manual analysis time.
'All of which means a much faster response time to manufacturer, main contractor and client queries and changes, ' he explained.
SteelPac also meets the supply chain needs of rebar manufacturers to the extent that five out of the 'big six' manufacturers - Hy-Ten, Coen Steel, ROM, Express, and Kierbeck - have now introduced SteelPac into their production management systems, according to SteelPac developer PAC Technologies' technical director Andrew Woolnough.
Hy-Ten chairman Adrian Larkins sees many benefits: 'The software allows us to speed up the processes of receiving, inputting, programming and producing our customers' requirements. It eradicates the twin problems of illegible fax transmissions and time consuming manual processing of bar schedules, both of which can cause errors.'
INFOPLUS www. pactech. co. uk