Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute
Dynamic Design Electrifies Workflow
Engineers generate 3D site models and designs—without visiting building sites
"The 3D visualization technology of Autodesk Civil 3D enables us to go through the design process as if we were present at the worksite. It has reduced the number of site visits and relieved the burden on engineers. With the dynamic linking capabilities of Civil 3D, upgrades and modifications are painless and easy."
—Liu Jiaping, Engineer, Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute
Founded in 1954, the Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute (CSEPDI) is a subsidiary of China Power Engineering Consultation Group. CSEPDI maintains a competitive advantage through its 1,000 expert employees—including over 400 senior engineers, designers, and certified professionals—and advanced engineering design tools. The CSEPDI talent pool is highly skilled in advanced electric power engineering design, site planning, environmental impact engineering, and intelligent building systems design. Responding to competitive pressures in the design market, the organization recently moved its civil engineering projects to Autodesk Civil 3D.
Using Autodesk Civil 3D, CSEPDI has been able to:
Complete full sets of 3D designs in just days
Reduce expensive site visits by engineers
Generate 3D structural drawings using a few keystrokes
Raise its design standards to compete on a global scale
Competing in a Global Market
Over the past few years, Chinese businesses have demanded greater accuracy and efficiency from China’s rapidly growing civil engineering industry. In 2001, China entered the World Trade Organization, opening up its engineering market to international opportunities—and competition. These two realities prompted CSEPDI to look for ways to maintain its local leadership while exploring a growing global market.
CSEPDI soon found it could not remain competitive—or seize opportunities for work globally—while using traditional 2D design technology. With 2D systems, contours were difficult to visualize and many types of changes required extensive redrawing. Engineers often lacked adequate information to analyze topography, forcing them to repeatedly visit sites and perform manual calibrations. This approach hampered productivity, wasted valuable time—and drove costs sky-high.
The need for a superior solution intensified when CSEPDI agreed to complete a design project for the 1.8 million-kilowatt Tianshengqiao converter station. This $743-million project required CSEPDI to redesign the station’s water-sampling functionality—including water intake pumps, car tracks, and engine platform—and to cut and support nearby slopes.
Generating Designs Quickly and Easily
Presented with the challenge of creating a new design for the Tianshengqiao converter station, CSEPDI turned to Autodesk Civil 3D, because the engineers knew the product’s dynamic design capabilities would dramatically streamline the task. Entering survey data into Autodesk Civil 3D, CSEPDI’s engineers generated an accurate 3D topographic model—including profiles and contours. Autodesk Civil 3D then helped CSEPDI visualize site features accurately without requiring engineers to visit the Tianshengqiao site. "Civil 3D gives us a clear-cut 3D topography from the start, which saves us a lot of trouble," says Liu Jiaping, a civil converter laboratory engineer at CSEPDI.
Liu and his team then entered grading data such as relative altitude, distance, and fi lling and cutting slope ratios. Based on this input, Autodesk Civil 3D automatically created a 3D model of the site plan. "With Autodesk Civil 3D, it took three commands to generate a 3D model of the design," says Liu. "The process was simple, fast, and highly visual."
Eliminating Time-Consuming Work
In CSEPDI’s previous 2D approach, generating sectional drawings was a difficult and timeconsuming process. Workers used data projections to complete drawings manually—only to redo the drawings when design schemes were modified.
Using Autodesk Civil 3D’s dynamic capabilities, CSEPDI can modify designs at any stage without undertaking tedious, redundant recalculations and redrawing. Autodesk Civil 3D automatically updates any affected values in the design. For example, when an engineer adjusts the position and angle of a sectional tangent line, the crosssection adjusts instantly to accommodate the modification. "Automatically generating sectional drawings makes design work so much easier," says Liu. "The dynamic capabilities of Civil 3D have resolved problems that have been plaguing us for years."
Meanwhile, Autodesk Civil 3D enables CSEPDI’s engineers to calculate filling and cutting volumes automatically—even for complex topographies— based on the original 3D model. Autodesk Civil 3D has also helped CSEPDI streamline worksite leveling and regional planning activities. “When we calculate volumes for a landform using Civil 3D, not only can we draw filling and shearing lines automatically, but also we can provide the construction team with accurate earthwork calculations,” says Yu Xin, an engineer in CSEPDI’s master plan department. “Civil 3D is indeed a good tool for fast, accurate work.”
Fewer Site Visits and Lower Costs
By using Autodesk Civil 3D, CSEPDI has elevated its design standards in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Projects go from ideas to completed designs in just days. And time-consuming rework is a thing of the past, because engineers use Autodesk Civil 3D to incorporate design changes instantly.
"The 3D visualization technology of Autodesk Civil 3D enables us to go through the design process as if we were present at the worksite," says Liu. "It has reduced the number of site visits and relieved the burden on engineers. With the dynamic linking capabilities of Civil 3D, upgrades and modifications are painless and easy."