Founded in 1953, Sioux Center, Iowa-based Interstates is an electrical construction, electrical engineering and control systems company focused on industrial and commercial construction on projects that range from food and grain storage to data warehouses. Interstates has over 1,000 employees and works on projects all over the country.
A Quest for Efficiency Leads Interstates to Trimble MEP
On a continuous quest to streamline construction processes, the firm adopted Trimble® SysQue® with its managed data content, powered by Building-Data.net, several years ago as a way to improve design in Autodesk® Revit®, prefabrication processes and enable project efficiency.
The value of SysQue’s managed data content according to Andrew Den Hartog, VDC Sr. Technician, Construction at Interstates, is quality, quantity and speed.
He adds, “We used to build our own object library. With SysQue, we have access to millions of components from many electrical and other trade vendors and the opportunity to add customized objects as well.
We’ve estimated that it would take us a year or two to build this custom content ourselves.”
More importantly, according to Den Hartog, SysQue has helped drive fab-to-field connections. For instance, through the SysQue spools functionality, the company has greatly increased its prefabrication versus stick-build opportunities. “The spooler is a huge help. Not only is it twice as fast as our old detailing method, it’s more efficient,” he confirms.
He points to familiar processes like designing struts and angles and associated supports. Den Hartog says they use SysQue to automatically place supports per predefined distances. Then, the software algorithms automatically produce a cut list for that strut or angle and the associated spool sheets for electrical systems.
“I estimate that we’re spending 50% less time using SysQue’s spooler than our previous methods to produce spool sheets for prefabrication,” he says.
Josh Vollink, VDC Designer with Interstates, adds, “We don’t have to dimension out every piece of conduit and the shop doesn’t have to take manual measurements. It gives us cut lists that are exact, we prefab, assemble and ship out.”
In the past year, Interstates had prefabricated an estimated 106,000 feet of conduit and 6000 feet of trays—and expects those numbers to rise even more in the next year. “That’s entirely possible because SysQue automatically prepares cut lists instead of us doing it individually. SysQue really helps us improve project efficiency,” says Vollink. “For example on one job, we had more than 200,000 feet of conduit—80,000 feet of it was prefabricated. I’d estimate that we can prefab from 40% to 90% of our conduit because of the SysQue automation.”