The aim of design automation is to smooth the data and workflows to make the design process faster. This aligns nicely with Peikko’s objective of making the whole construction process faster, safer, and more sustainable.
“We need to understand the process and identify the points where the designer can make a difference and to put their expertise to best use,” says Jan Bujnak, Peikko Vice President of product development, connection products.
Meaningful automation and integration is possible only by thoroughly appreciating the work that designers do and the challenges they face.
– There are design tasks and challenges that are common to almost every project and many things that are customer-specific, market-specific, or culture-specific. The more variables there are, the more difficult it is to develop automation that will serve everyone’s needs.
Peikko Designer® has 57 000 users around the world.
– I think the number of users proves that we have done something right. The software fits the needs of the designers, but is nevertheless under constant finetuning and development.
Advancing step by step
No matter how good the tools are, the critical input of the designer – the human brain – is still needed.
“For example, the designer decides what is the right amount of column shoes and whether the shoes even fit in the chosen column size,” describes Bujnak.
Peikko Designer® software allows for some automation.
– But it’s not a push a button and forget kind of a solution – there is quite a lot of variation and complexity in the real world of structural engineering.
The Peikko Designer® development team is working hard to make the software even easier to use.
“The process is continuous. We develop a solution, collect feedback from the users and plan the next moves based on the user insights,” continues Bujnak.
Freeing designers’ time
The next step in the development pipeline will be to smooth the data flow between applications and lower the amount of information that needs to be entered manually into the system.
– The repetitive tasks should really be automated in the future. Not to replace the human brain, but to free time to use it to its full potential.
2D and 3D detailing components are already available on different software platforms.
“You don’t need to draw any Peikko solutions from scratch. For example, Tekla has a library of Peikko products that you can insert into the 3D model. This, of course, is a must these days, but it’s a result of an on-going work for the past ten years or so. In the end, it is a question of resources,” Jan Bujnak concludes.
But yes, designers will always be a vital part of the building industry value chain.