Automating Model and Assembly Creation and the Production of Shop Drawings
DNV provides services to wind power companies that include adding wind measurement systems that are used to optimize energy output of terrestrial wind farms. They create drawings to aid in the assembly and erection of these measurement systems, typically booms attached to towers with anemometers to gather wind speed and direction. Until recently, those drawings were created using Visio as a drawing tool. DNV sought to eliminate the use of Visio drawings and create full models and drawings using Autodesk Inventor, but the company lacked the personnel resources to deploy and use the software at the scale required. They sought help in automating the creation of Inventor models and asked for MESA's help in doing so.
The primary goal was to enable DNV to create full model and drawing packages in the same or less time needed using the previous drawing tool (Visio). The initial phase would be to automate the creation of a number of standard configurations of mounting equipment (such as horizontal and vertical structures) and monitoring devices (such as wind speed and direction units). Phase 2 would be to automate the creation of the drawings.
MESA provided DNV Energy with a proof-of-concept example that showed the task of automating the model creation and assembly was possible and that significant time savings would result. That led to a proposal to create an Inventor Add-in.
The program opens a user interface within Inventor that will enable the user to browse to and select for import, a JSON file containing the required configuration data, as well as store any settings that might be required to configure the automation. The imported data is interpreted and the required information extracted. Using the data from the configuration (JSON) file, a new assembly is created, and the various configurations of instrumentation and mounting hardware are assembled onto the base tower automatically. The initial program was delivered in less than four months from the approval of MESA’s proposal.
Tower Models are created in minutes using standardized means and methods. After the completion of the testing phase of the project, the customer handed off the work of running the program and creating the models to MESA, allowing those who would have been tasked with creating these models to focus on higher value work for their customers.
There was a second phase of the automation planned that would assist the creation of shop drawings. Rather than proceed with that phase of the project, DNV Energy has chosen to utilize MESA's Design Services staff to run the automation tools and to create the shop drawings from the Inventor models created by those automation tools.
Project information is shared between DNV Energy and MESA using Autodesk Fusion Team.
The result allows DNV Energy's staff to focus on higher value tasks that require their expertise while outsourcing the the work of documenting the assembly and installation of wind farm measurement systems.
Assessment of Needs
Strategy & Planning
Optimize Accelerator Delivery
Software Development & Customization