Vela Systems, developer of mobile field software for the AECO industry, announced that Standard Supplies, provider of construction materials and structural steel fabrication to professional contractors, will use Vela’s Materials Tracker software with Tekla Structures’ building information modeling (BIM) solution to do radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging of fabricated steel.

Standard Supplies will use Vela’s Materials Tracker to track RFID-tagged fabricated steel pieces that form the structures for Standard Supplies customer projects. As pieces move through various phases of the production process, RFID information will be fed into Tekla Structures, a BIM solution used by Standard Supplies that covers the entire structural design process from conceptual design to detailing, fabrication and construction.

"Being a long-time Tekla customer, we’re excited to now extend Tekla’s structural model to the field with Vela Systems," said Standard Supplies CEO, Deborah Murphy. "It’s opened up new ways to create more value from the model and provide a next generation of production management services to our customers."

In this new integrated model, steel pieces from the structural BIM in Tekla Structures will go into Materials Tracker using the Vela Integration Adapter (VIA) and then get updated as they go through the manufacturing, QA, and delivery processes. Standard Supplies customers will gain a view into the supply chain and be able to visualize the status of each piece of the project in the BIM system with up-to-date information from the field.

When enabled with field software and RFID, stakeholders in a construction project can manage critical-path steel fabrication components and visualize the supply chain. The end result is better production and erection management. The joint solution, called Field BIM™, enables Standard Supplies customers to feed into BIM the constantly-changing status of steel components from the field.

Standard Supplies will be the first steel fabricator to combine field software, RFID and BIM for integrated production management delivered as a service to owners and contractors.

"Since our contractor and owner customers will be able to see the status of the steel through the supply chain by looking in Vela Systems or in the BIM, they’ll be able to better manage the erection portion of the project," said Ebaima Jagana, Standard Supplies Building Information Modeling Manager." This new level of visibility allows for just-in-time fabrication and the potential for our customers to save substantial amounts of time off of erection schedules because they’ll have instant access to the status of each of the steel pieces in the supply chain, right in the Tekla Structures model."

"Leading firms like Standard Supplies will gain a significant advantage over others by using technology to provide superior service and value to their customers," said Hans Ehrnrooth, President, Tekla, Inc. "The value of the model goes beyond design and pre-construction coordination. There is proven value for our customers tracking precast concrete and those same benefits will now be realized for steel."

"Eighty percent of project costs are incurred in the construction phase," said Tim Curran, Vela Systems CEO. "The power of Field BIM™, which combines the data in Building Information Models with field processes like materials management, unlocks new ways of construction delivery. It allows our customers to uncover new efficiencies and opportunities for shared information from the site to the model and back."