Mar 02
Tower power: how we cut down design time by almost 30% and increased the accuracy of models

​One bolt out of place by even a centimetre, and an entire section of an electricity transmission tower might have to be delivered again. 

First, there is a risk that the tower will not fit together at all. In addition, the most minor of misalignments between sections of the tower can compromise its strength and safety, and your energy supply. We have strict design and quality checks in place to ensure that works are delivered on time, and make efficient use of materials. 

As you can appreciate, cutting corners in tower design is a false economy. The risk of fabricating tower parts that don’t fit together perfectly is significant in terms of additional time and money. We set ourselves a challenge: how can we deliver towers more efficiently, without compromising design, or risking errors that could delay construction of the tower? 

The solution; a specialised modelling software, has reduced tower design time by almost 30%

The software has greatly reduced the risk of delay during factory “trial assembly” as there is more certainty in the design and accuracy of fabrication drawings provided to the manufacturer.

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Model making: 3D tower visualisation 

The software allows engineers to design the tower in 3D (to ensure all elements align), then export the specs direct to a 2D plan. Below are examples of tower design in action.   This significantly fast-tracks the production of the tower, so that the team can assist more clients, and deliver work that is of the highest quality. 

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Image A: 3D view through beam element of structure 
Image B: 2D drawing output from 3D model in software  

Firm footing

Did you know that the feet of every transmission tower have to be individually designed for the land they stand on? Hilly areas in particular require precise modelling to fit the tower to the land. Comprehensive mapping of the site is done before a designer begins work on the towers. 

Making design a reality 

The team visited a manufacturer to quality check the output of the new design process. Following this success, the first of the towers will be delivered to TransGrid for construction later this year.