Interference Management and the Intergraph Smart 3D Advantage

Guest blog by Jai Singh Baghel, Group Lead at Technip India

Importance of Clash Management

A clash free model is ideal for all construction drawings and documents and becomes crucial for successful project execution. Clash resolution onsite is often more costly than doing it at design stages, and this way it becomes imperative to start clash management right from early stages of modelling.

Proper clash management keeps the clash count under control and addresses real clashes effectively. If not done in earlier stages of modelling, the number of clashes to be managed increases later on and resolution becomes more difficult as you have fewer options to resolve.

Mature Solutions

Clash management is generally done after modelling has matured. Earlier version of 3D modelling software – such as PDS – did not provide efficient and user-friendly options to select clashes the way Intergraph Smart 3D does. Using Intergraph-delivered Smart 3D utilities, we at Technip India now have an option to address and drive clash management right from the early stages of modelling. The first step involves preparing a checklist of paired objects and system paths from different disciplines. These pairs can be qualified for mass and interactive approvals jointly with discipline teams.

Smart 3D provides excellent functionality for managing the clashes using the Intergraph utilities Automation Toolkit, GraphicClashReport, and Interference Management. These utilities are available in the Intergraph knowledge base. We can open the relevant filter for a particular area with all the related discipline models to run a clash report. In the clash report, we can now select pairs of clashing items based on the system path and object name to mark them for either mass or interactive approval. By selecting the OID (unique identifier for a particular clash) of these clashes, we can review the same in the 3D environment and go for either a mass or an interactive approval.

Check Lists for Mass and Interactive Clash Approvals

The first step to generate checklists for mass and interactive clash approvals was to generate reports area wise and give them to the respective discipline teams. The discipline teams identified all the system paths and part name combinations, which can fall under false or real clashes. After some interaction, two checklists for mass and interactive approvals could be made. The mass approval checklist had pairs of objects, which could be categorized under false or real clashes. This typically includes items in a test path, temporary models, paving, steel vs steel, etc. Typically an interactive approval checklist consisted of group clashing items, which is a mix of false and real clashes. We need to review these clashes in a semi-automatic way by filtering out similar objects and then approve or leave them for further resolution by the discipline teams.

We also initially targeted to reduce the clash counts per area from thousands of clashes to a few hundred. We were issuing clash counts for all the areas to all the discipline teams on a weekly basis. After reduction of all false clashes, finally the balance clashes were given to the discipline teams for actual resolution and the discipline teams resolved their respective clashes. This process was followed for all areas in a sequential manner. This helped us to eliminate last minute rush to resolve huge amount of clashes and saved considerable amount of effort.

Man-Hour Savings and Further Automation

The mass/interactive approval can significantly save man-hours. For a typical project, we could reduce the total clash count for all areas from a huge number such as 100,000 to a few hundred towards the end of a project. Considering we need to look into each clash for one to two minutes to evaluate for an approval, this amounts to saving 2,000 to 3,500 man-hours.

Overall benefits to project can be summarized as below:

  • Keeping clash count under control from early project stages on
  • Allowing more options to be tried for resolving the clashes
  • Improving productivity by saving man-hours to resolve clashes
  • Communicating with discipline teams to improve effective use of available model space
  • Avoiding construction problems by making clash free models
  • Avoiding wasted construction time by eliminating clashes in the phase

Further interference management can be automated by configuring object types and system path pairs for the automatic approval using “Codeless IFC Rules” of interference management utility. It can be configured to ignore certain objects totally or approve/ignore clashes based on the two objects involved in a clash. The main challenge is to identify the system path and the part names from different disciplines and put them as rules during the early stages of a project.

In addition to my personal experiences, also our Project Head Mr. Somasundaram Subramanian appreciated the outcome of the project as it has helped us to develop a clash free 3D model in an efficient manner. This has improved our productivity and the quality of the 3D models.

About the Author

Jai Singh Baghel. Technip India

Jai Singh Baghel is Group Lead at Technip India. Jael has 25+ years of experience in the field of CAD/CAE/IT solutions and engineering services.