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Evaluation of Standard Product Models for Supporting Automated Erection of Structural Steelwork



Vineet Kamat, Robert R. Lipman


Automation is being increasingly explored as a possible solution for safely increasing productivity in structural steelwork erection. The research investigates the extent to which the CIMsteel Integration Standards (CIS/2) can support automated steelwork erection. Algorithms to interpret steel member geometry and spatial configuration from CIS/2 files were designed. Then, using inverse kinematics principles, a kinematically smart crane capable of accepting robot-like instructions was implemented in 3D virtual reality. The crane was programmed to utilize the algorithms to automatically extract member information from CIS/2, and to use that information to compile assembly instructions for erecting the structure in the virtual world. Based on the obtained results, it was found that CIS/2 does encapsulate the basic geometry and pose of steel members in a format that, after geo-referencing, can be used to support automated steelwork erection. However, several processing steps are necessary before the extracted data can be readily used to program automation equipment. In addition, although CIS/2 defines a rich product model, it was found that the weak semantics of many statements largely underutilize the standard s applicability for supporting structural steelwork automation.
Automation in Construction


automation, CIS/2, construction, inverse kenematics, product model, steel, visualization


Kamat, V. and Lipman, R. (2007), Evaluation of Standard Product Models for Supporting Automated Erection of Structural Steelwork, Automation in Construction, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created February 28, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021