Case Study: Automating HVAC Platform Design

Today we got to sit down with Logan Klenner, Development Manager at MonkeyToe. MonkeyToe specialises in the design, manufacturing and installation of HVAC plant mounting systems for commercial, industrial and retail structures across Australia and New Zealand. They’ve worked on some really difficult and impressive platforms such as the Maraetai Power Station and Cashel Square Platform. Today, they are using SkyCiv to “streamline their workflows and speed up their design process by 90%”.

Working on these types of structures has a number of interesting challenges: designing structures with lightweight aluminum materials, working with as-built structures, as well as the intense seismic forces required for consideration in the New Zealand area.

MonkeyToe has been looking at improving efficiencies and workflow of these structures, which is what brought them to SkyCiv and their interest in the Structural Engineering API. Along with their motto, “Everything Better”, using the API aligns well with their company goal to improve and provide their clients with the best possible product. Subsequently, let’s take a closer look at how MonkeyToe uses the API for their innovative service.

The Solution

MonkeyToe has an online internal configurator that helps engineers and team members quickly generate and design the platforms during the preliminary design phase of the projects. The fact it’s online makes it readily available to their entire team, and even the clients.

Screenshot of MonkeyToe’s Cloud based Internal Configurator

MonkeyToe are using the SkyCiv API to automate the early stage engineering process and get to a workable solution within hours, not days. This lets them shorten their projects’ turnaround time, saving additional client time. With a single click through the SkyCiv cloud API, MonkeyToe is able to generate a structural model, run a non-linear analysis, and determine the structural performance. A single pass-fail, utility ratio, or information on failed members is then presented back to the user for further analysis or modifications to the design. This iterative process is sped up 10-fold. What once took 40+ hours, can now be done in less than 3 hours.

Handover to the engineer and any additional analysis is also significantly improved. Using the same process, the model is generated and saved to the user’s storage, so they can instantly open the model in Structural 3D for reference:


Afterwards, any tweaks to the model can be done using the versatile modelling tools in SkyCiv Structural 3D, to complete the workflow or finalise the more complex aspects of the design.

Benefits Gained

Improved Productivity, Cost and Time

The benefits experienced by MonkeyToe mainly include increases in efficiency of productivity, cost and time for their projects.

As mentioned, an engineer or preliminary designer using the API can reduce design time spent by more than 90%. This means MonkeyToe can now bid on more jobs or focus on more optimal designs and providing the client with a better overall service.

From a project cost perspective, MonkeyToe expect to save their clients 15% on materials on average from this solution alone. These automated iterations lead to highly efficient section selection, giving MonkeyToe a strong advantage in a competitive market, while maintaining their high light of service and quality.

Turnaround time to the client is always a significant factor when trying to provide a high level of service Clients come to MonkeyToe with problems daily, so reducing turnaround time on answers to their clients from a few days to a few hours puts them miles ahead of their competition.

Implementation

When asked about the implementation process, Logan responded extremely positively – “Props to the team – the turnaround time for support and being open to feature requests is great”. He’s currently using the SkyCiv software and platform which he says it, “saved us a lot of stress and drama” and enabled them to speed up their preliminary designs.

Need a HVAC design system? Contact MonkeyToe NZ

Click here to learn more about the SkyCiv Structural API