ELiPLAN

Tekla Structures
2021
Tekla Structures

ELiPLAN

Elematic ELiPLAN is a software for resource planning, scheduling, and management for precast concrete fabricators. ELiPLAN import and export automate the data transfer between Tekla Structures and ELiPLAN.

The data transfer between Tekla Structures and ELiPLAN consists of four parts:

  1. Exporting ELiPLAN data file from Tekla Structures.

  2. Importing ELiPLAN data file into ELiPLAN.

  3. Exporting ELiPLAN status data file from ELiPLAN.

  4. Importing ELiPLAN status data file into Tekla Structures.

The import of an ELiPLAN data file into ELiPLAN supports the incremental approach, which means that ELiPLAN is able to create, update, and delete parts in its database. This means that precast detailers can export the most up-to-date data files whenever the Tekla Structures model has been changed.

Similar incremental support is included in the import of an ELiPLAN status data file to Tekla Structures. To keep the status and schedule data up to date in a Tekla Structures model, we recommend you update the status data regularly.

In the EliPLAN export, the part geometry (profile, cuts, openings, and notches) is always automatically exported. You need to define the plotter data and the necessary attributes. Every time you export, you need to export all the parts that have been exported before to ensure proper change management in EliPLAN. Same applies to the import. The export is based on part GUIDs, and the import is based on the project name/number and part GUIDs.

Note:

The format and contents of the ELiPLAN status data file imported to Tekla Structures differs from the data file that is exported from Tekla Structures to ELiPLAN.

For more information about the best practices in EliPLAN export, see Best practices in ELiPLAN export.

Export an ELiPLAN data file

You need to export everything that is ready. If you are using a shared model, first check the situation by checking the drawings, for example.

  1. Add ELiPLAN information to ELiPLAN user-defined attributes of the parts.

    This is optional, the product types and product codes are defined automatically. There are numerous ways to alter these for the export besides the manual UDA handling. See later sections.

    For more information about the UDAs, see ELiPLAN user-defined attributes in this same article.

  2. On the File menu, click Export > ELiPLAN.

    The Export ELiPLAN file dialog box is displayed.

  3. Define the ELiPLAN export properties on the Parameters, Plotter data, Data content and Data settings tabs. For more information about the export properties on different tabs, see further down in this same article.
  4. On the Parameters tab, set Scope of export to All or Selected.

    You should always bring every element that is ready to ELiPLAN with every round to ensure that any design changes are taken into the system as well. The model might have some non-relevant or not-ready cast units, which is why it is recommended to use Selected to control which ones are being exported. Conceptual cast units can be taken, but then you need to keep track of these elements, for example, by using a UDA. You also need to ensure their GUID stays the same in the later export rounds.

  5. Click Create.

    By default, the export file eliplan.eli is created in the current model folder, in a .\EP_files subfolder.

ELiPLAN export settings

Use the Export ELiPLAN file dialog box to control the ELiPLAN export properties.

Parameters tab

Setting

Description

Scope of export

Select whether all parts or only selected parts are exported. Because of the incremental import of ELiPLAN, you need to select the same parts, and some additional parts again, if needed, when exporting the next time, to make sure that any design changes are taken in to the system as well. Otherwise ELiPLAN assumes that the parts missing from the subsequent file have been deleted in the Tekla Structures model.

We recommend you to always use the All option. Use the Selected option when you are exporting parts for the first time, if you are exporting from unfinished model or in special cases. Use the filtering option to control the product or phase scope.

Export using filter

Specify a selection filter. The parts to export are selected on the basis of the specified selection filter.

Numbering must be up to date to export

Set this setting to Yes to prevent export when the numbering is not up to date. This prevents the export of unfinished cast units.

Export version number

The elements need to have a unique identifier. The options are GUID, ID, ACN and FloorMES.

1.01 (ID) should only be used when the export is done only once, because of the changing IDs.

Use 2.00 (GUID), because IDs will change when reopening the model, resulting in duplicates in export.

Select 2.00 (ACN) to export elements with ACN.

The 3.0 (FloorMES) version file format is intended for interfacing with newer Elematic FloorMES versions, and is also based on GUID. The file format has been extended with additional data fields, and therefore it is not backwards compatible.

Version 3.0 of the export supports the export of accessory code to plotter data, and the export of accessory code for openings. Furthermore, with the export version 3.0, a plotter record of type BL is exported for the hollow core elements to define the side that has been cut. The border line record is exported as a line parallel with the longer side of the hollow core element.

Output file name

The name and location of the export file created. The default name is eliplan.eli. You can import this file into ELiPLAN. Use the button to select another location.

The eliplan.eli file includes, among other things, material information. The accessory code, which is the material description, is in the #Materials block.

The accessory code is based on the material type as follows:

  • For concrete material the default accessory code is same as the material name.

  • For mesh, reinforcing bars, or strands the default accessory code is grade|size.

  • For embedded material the default accessory code is name|size|material.

Data conversion file

With this file you can convert the parametric profile names into the ELiPLAN product codes, and the material descriptions into the ELiPLAN accessory codes. You need to create the file yourself when necessary.

The default file name is eliplan_export.dat, and this file can be located in any folder. Use the button to select another location.

The data conversion file eliplan_export.dat contains string pairs separated with one or more tabs. The string on the left side is the profile name or Tekla Structures material description and the string on the right side is the corresponding ELiPLAN data. Make sure that you use matching case

Note that the ELiPLAN codes depend on the fabricator, and the codes that are valid for one fabricator are likely to be not valid for other fabricators.

You can disable/enable the usage of the data conversion file by clearing the Enabled/Disabledcheck box next to the Data conversion file setting.

For an example of data conversion file contents, see Sample_for_Eliplan_Data_Conversion.dat.

Filter by part: Element data

Enter a list of classes or to be excluded from or included in the export. This contains the class numbers or names used for concrete parts. Separate the classes or names with a space.

You can also specify a selection filter for filtering element data, materials or secondary concrete elements.

Filter by part: Material quantities

Enter a list of classes or to be excluded from or included in the export. This contains the class numbers or names used for materials. Separate the classes or names with a space.

You can also specify a selection filter for filtering materials.

Filter by part: Secondary concrete

Enter a list of classes or names to be excluded from or included in the export. This contains the class numbers or names used for secondary concrete parts. Separate the classes or names with a space.

You can also specify a selection filter for filtering secondary concrete elements.

Create log file

Select whether a log file is created. Creating a log file is recommended to ensure that the exported file is correct.

The log will notify you about the number of exported cast units and, for example, if:

  • Export failed because numbering not done.

  • Some cast units could not be exported.

  • Some cast units were ignored by filters, or they are CIP.

  • Embeds or cuts to be plotted are completely outside the parts.

  • Some of the material or product type data conversion mapping is not recognized.

Log file name

The name and location of the created log file. Use the button to select another location.

Plotter data tab

Option

Description

Hollowcore and slab products

Export of cutout data

Select how to export cutout data. The options are:

  • All: Exports all data.

  • Full depth cuts only: Exports data only on the cuts that go through the whole part. Does not export recess data.

  • None: Does not export any cutout data.

It is recommended to use Full depth cuts only, because otherwise small recesses are included in the plotting on both faces.

Overlapping cutouts are combined in the export file.

This setting exists for hollowcore and slab products, and for wall and sandwich wall products separately.

Export of embed data

Select whether to export data of embeds. The options are:

  • Yes: Exports data on embeds.

  • No: Does not export any data on embeds.

This setting exists for hollowcore and slab products, and for wall and sandwich wall products separately.
Export of weep holes

Select whether to export data of weep holes. The options are:

  • At end zones only: Provides weep holes at the slab end zones of the hollowcore only.
  • At end zones and filled cores: Provides weep holes for the end zones of hollowcore and also adds weep holes on both sides of any filled cores. Filled core parts can be specified by class or by name.
  • At filled cores only: Provides weep holes around filled cores only.
  • No (default): Does not export any data on weep.

You can also specify the Weep holes offset, and export weep holes only at the middle of elements with a length less than the length specified for the setting At middle only, length less than.

Export of filled cores

Select whether to export the geometry of filled slab cores. The options are:

  • Yes: Exports the geometry of filled slab cores.

  • No: Does not export the geometry of filled slab cores.

Wall and sandwich wall products: See the descriptions for Export of cutout data and Export of embed data above.

Plot additional reinforcement

Plot additional reinforcement as bounding box.

The options are:

  • None

  • Class

  • Name

  • Grade

Plot cutout/embed as lines

Export cutouts and embeds as lines.

The options are:

  • None

  • Class

  • Name

  • Material/Grade

Plot irregular cutout/recess

The As lines option exports as lines the bounding box cutouts and recesses that overlap a diagonal edge. By default, they are exported as box.

Plot lifters

Specify how the lifter geometry should be plotted - as outline or as center point.

Exclude cut parts by

Use to exclude cut parts from export based on the cut part properties.

The options are:

  • None

  • Class

  • Name

  • Material

This setting is a handy filter for reducing amount of extra cuts in plotting.

Exclude embeds by

Use to exclude embeds from exported plotting data embeds by:

  • None

  • Class

  • Name

  • Material

You can define one or more values for the selected property.

Exclude above z position

Select whether to exclude from exported plotting data embeds or cuts that are above the specified Z position. The Z position is the depth of the element on the pallet, that is how many millimeters the lowest point of the embed is above the pallet surface.

You can define one or more values for the selected property.

The options are:

  • None

  • Embeds

  • Cuts

  • Embeds and cuts

Data content tab

Option

Description

Project name, Project number

Use these settings to specify the project number and project name in the exported file. The options are Project UDA, Project template, and User-defined text.

Comment 1 - 3

In the comment fields you can provide extra information to be included at the start of the export file.

The options are:

No comment

Tekla Structures version

Model name

User name

User-defined text

The comments are only for viewing the export file and will not be read in to EliPLAN.

Product code

Select the default product code mapping, which then should correspond with any data conversion strings.

Accessory code

Specify the accessory code for standard embeds such as steel parts. This will be the code written to each embed in the #Plotter (if applicable) and #Materials blocks, and the chosen option should be used as a base for further data conversion mapping. The default option is NAME|PROFILE-LENGTH|MATERIALGRADE.

Erection section

Read the erection section from a user-defined attribute (UDA) or from a custom property (Template).

Erection sequence

Read the erection sequence from a user-defined attribute (UDA) or from a custom property (Template).

Export material data

Select whether to include or exclude the detailed material data (receipt) of parts.

If you have no use for material data in ELiPLAN (you have no material handling module in ELiPLAN), select No to exclude the data from the file and to reduce the file size.

Note that once you have transferred the file with the material data (Yes) you should never switch off (No) the export of material data in subsequent exports. If you do this, the receipt is also cleared in the ELiPLAN database and all modifications are lost.

Export rebar bending data

Select whether to include or exclude the detailed rebar bending information.

If you do not need this data in ELiPLAN, select No to exclude the data from the file and to reduce the file size.

Note that once you have transferred the file with the rebar bending data (Yes) you should never switch off (No) the export of rebar bending data in subsequent exports.

Export embed Z position

Select whether to include or exclude the Z level of embeds.

Notes

Use UDA or template attribute to add extra information to be viewed at the factory, such as design status, change status or general comment.

Select what type of notes you want to export: UDA, a template attribute or your own text. Then enter the UDA, template attribute, or text.

Stack, Pile number, Pile level

The export of stack results is supported starting from EliPlan export version 3.0. You can select if the UDA is read from the main part or from the cast unit.

The UDAs are pre-filled, but you can change them manually.

Data settings tab

Option Description

Unit for rebar length

Select the unit for the length of reinforcing bars.

No. of digits after decimal point

Select the number of digits after the decimal separator (0 - 3).

The default is 1 digit after the decimal separator.

Tag for lifters

Use to identify lifting loops by their name or class (default).

Also rebars can be specified as lifters using a class or a name.

It is also possible to specify multiple classes or names. If the name consists of multiple words then it has to be enclosed in quotation marks.

Additionally, a user-defined attribute (UDA), or a template attribute (Template) can be specified to use a specific property with a specific value to recognize lifters.

When lifting loops are identified, the plotter instruction type is changed from WPL to LL.

Tag for filled cores

You can enter either a single string (the name) or multiple strings. Tekla Structures will then use the entered name or names as filter criteria to determine filled cores from the model. Depending on the selected option, the placement of the weep holes will be calculated and written to the export file.

Prefix for ID

Enter a prefix (letter) to use with the ID number.

Position number type

Select whether to export the cast unit position number, assigned control number (ACN), or cast unit position number and ACN.

Remove numbering separator

Select whether a position number separator is used in numbering. The default is No.

Tag special elements

Set this option to Yes to set a special tag for elements that have notch cuts. This option marks hollow-cores with notches with SK denominator (N for uncut slabs).

Strand code

Specify a UDA or a template attribute to read the strand code. Default reads the value from the UDA TS_STRAND_CODE. You can also specify a custom property using the option Template.

Net area calculation

Select Exclude all cuts to exclude all cuts, or Exclude full depth cuts only to exclude full depth cuts only from the net area calculation, or Gross area to export gross area as net area. You can also specify a custom property using the option Template. The whole assembly is checked.

Weight calculation

Select which weight will be exported.

The options are:

  • Default: reports the weight defined by the attribute CAST_UNIT.WEIGHT_NET.

  • WEIGHT: reports the weight defined by the attribute WEIGHT.

  • WEIGHT NET: reports the weight defined by the attribute WEIGHT_NET.

  • CAST UNIT WEIGHT: reports the weight defined by the attribute CAST_UNIT.WEIGHT.

  • MAIN PART WEIGHT: reports the weight defined by the attribute WEIGHT.

  • Template: reports the weight defined by a specified template attribute or custom property.

  • User-defined density: reports the result of the user-defined density value * object volume.

Decimal mark

Set period (.) or comma (,) as the decimal mark depending on ELiPLAN settings.

ELiPLAN data conversion file

The data conversion file contains string pairs separated with one or more tabs. The string on left side is the profile name or Tekla Structures material description and the string on right side is the corresponding ELiPLAN data. The mapping can also contain the unit for quantity for material codes.

You can combine several mappings in one, because the product and material code conversion is based on tags separated with the pipe character ("|"). A matching conversion is used when any tags are found in the source file.

Note that the ELiPLAN codes depend on the fabricator and the codes which are valid for one fabricator are most probably not valid for other fabricators.

The product code and the material code can be defined separately: mappings following the line #PRODUCT CODES are used for product code conversion and mappings following the line #MATERIAL CODES are used for material conversion.

Example of a data conversion file:

#PRODUCT CODES
//
// Hollow-core slabs
//
265X1200	HCS27
320X1200	HCS32
400X1200	HCS40
//
// Beams
//
BEAM|RCDL	B_LP2P
BEAM|RCL	B_LP
BEAM	B_SK

#MATERIAL CODES
//
// reinforcement
//
A500HW|6	TW6		kg
A500HW|8	TW8		kg
A500HW|10	TW10	kg
A500HW|12	TW12	kg
A500HW|16	TW16	kg
A500HW|20	TW20	kg
A500HW|25	TW25	kg
A500HW|32	TW32	kg
//
// Strands
//
1570/1770	1570/1770		m
//
// Meshes
//
B500K|8/8-200/200	B500K8-200			m2
B500K|10/10-250/400	B500K10-250/400		m2
//
// Embeds
//
HPKM39|50*110-110	HPKM39		pcs
Neoprene			NEO_10		m2
//
// Concrete materials
//
C35/45		C35		m3
C40/50		C40		m3
C45/55		C45		m3

You can combine several mappings in one, because the product and material code conversion is based on tags separated with the pipe character ("|"). Make sure that you use matching case.

ELiPLAN export file (.eli)

The .eli file contents are described below.

Header data for file info

The geometry of the elements is reported in the #Pieces and #Plotter blocks:

#Pieces:

  • Contains a unique data row for each slab.

  • Has a unique data row for each slab.

  • For hollowcore slabs, the outer measurements are reported in the #Pieces block based on the min (x, y) and max (x, y) values of the slab. These measurements describe a rectangle, parallelogram or trapezium. The thickness, profile and additional information of the slab is reported.
  • In the #Pieces block you can separately flag slabs that have cuts in the edges.

#Plotter:

  • Contains data for individual plotting operations by element, such as embeds, recesses, and through-cuts.

  • The #Plotter block also contains geometrical data that is arranged by the slab position. The operations are performed on each slab on the basis of the position number.
  • Each plotting operation is on its own row (formwork accessories, recesses, cross sections).
  • In the export settings you can define the plotting data scope included in the export.
  • The shapes can be lines, rectangles or circles.
  • The order of the rows is not important, they will be reorganized in ELiPLAN.
  • If the geometry cannot be presented as a rectangle or a circle inside the slab boundaries, it will be presented as a line.
  • Overlapping plotting with the outer boundaries defined by the #Pieces data has been minimized, and crossing the edges is prevented.

#Materials:

  • Contains data for material quantities by element.

#Bars:

  • Contains data for rebar shapes by element.

Example of an export file:

2.00;1;;04.06.2019 11:49:15
# Pieces
56a109f8-562c-4aa5-882a-a45cc7be9b95;B_LP2P;B/1;7200.00;0.00;0.00;500.00;600.00;0.00;3628.80;1.51;4.32;1.08;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
3dbe09b6-1b35-44e7-a18f-0c492a71b6a6;HCS32;HC/1;6000.00;6000.00;0.00;700.00;0.00;320.00;1655.09;0.69;4.20;4.06;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
1d2c4018-daa3-4b5d-801a-4a1e491db41f;HCS32;HC/2;6000.00;6000.00;0.00;1200.00;0.00;320.00;2765.20;1.15;7.20;6.93;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
0b003ef7-2c79-4e4d-844f-51616ad0584d;HCS32;HC/3;6000.00;6000.00;0.00;1200.00;0.00;320.00;2747.86;1.14;7.20;6.89;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
e670a8ac-c034-4fa9-b5e3-0a17461502fb;HCS32;HC/4;5750.00;4875.00;0.00;1200.00;0.00;320.00;2446.78;1.02;6.89;6.13;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
868229bf-36ed-4b87-9d2e-e7c36962b181;HCS32;HC/5;4875.00;4000.00;0.00;1200.00;0.00;320.00;2044.57;0.85;5.85;5.12;;;PHASE 1;;N;0;
# Plotter
HCS32;HC/3;LI;LI;5750.00;1200.00;6000.00;850.00;0.00;0.00;
# Materials
B_LP2P;B/1;C35;1.51;
HCS32;HC/1;C40;0.69;
HCS32;HC/1;1570/1770;18.00;
HCS32;HC/2;C40;1.15;
HCS32;HC/2;1570/1770;36.00;
HCS32;HC/3;C40;1.14;
HCS32;HC/3;1570/1770;34.69;
HCS32;HC/4;C40;1.02;
HCS32;HC/4;1570/1770;29.45;
HCS32;HC/5;C40;0.85;
HCS32;HC/5;1570/1770;24.22;
# Bars

Import an ELiPLAN status data file

If you have a status data file that has been created in ELiPLAN, you can import the status and scheduling information to your Tekla Structures model.

  1. On the File menu, click Import > ELiPLAN.

    The Import ELiPLAN status data dialog box opens.

  2. Click the ... button next to the Import file name box to browse for the file to be imported.
  3. Click Create.

    Tekla Structures updates the status and schedule data for parts in the Tekla Structures model. When the data is read, a log file is displayed.

    The log file shows the parts whose data is updated correctly. It also provides information on possible problems that may have occurred. When you select a row in the log file, Tekla Structures automatically selects the corresponding part in the model. The overall status information is shown at the end of the log file.

Tekla Structures stores the actual status data in the user-defined attributes of the parts. To view the data, open the part properties, click the User-defined attributes button and go to the ELiPLAN tab.

ELiPLAN user-defined attributes

In addition to normal model data, you can add additional information in the user-defined attributes of the parts. The additional information can be transferred from Tekla Structures and used in ELiPLAN.

The product type and product code user-defined attributes override the automatic product type and product code. Other user-defined attributes are reserved for ELiPLAN import.

Product type

The product type affects how ELiPLAN considers the part dimensions length, length2, deltaL, width, height, and thickness.

The product type user-defined attribute overrides the product type defined in the ELiPLAN export dialog box.

To set the product type, select a suitable product type option from the list. Normally you should be able to use the default Auto, but in some cases you may need to override the default.

If needed, you can override the product type value set in the dialog box in the following way:

  • You can enter a value for the user-defined attribute EP_TYPE in the objects.inp file.

  • You can enter a value for the user attribute EP_TYPE in the Profile catalog.

    In the Profile catalog, the attribute value is given as a number. The values are as follows:

    • Slab = 1

    • Beam = 2

    • Column = 3

    • Wall = 4

    • Sandwich wall = 5

    • Stair = 6

Product code

The product code user-defined attribute overrides the product code defined in the ELiPLAN export dialog box.

You have alternative ways to give the product code. The ELiPLAN export tries to define the product code in the following order:

  1. You can enter a value for the product code in the ELiPLAN user-defined attributes dialog box.

  2. You can enter a value for the user-defined attribute EP_CODE of the cast unit main part in the objects.inp file.

  3. You can enter a value for user attribute EP_CODE in the Profile catalog.

  4. You can use the data conversion file to convert parametric profile names to a product code.

  5. The main part name is exported as the main part name if none of the previous methods succeeded.

Erection sequence

Precast parts are erected in a certain sequence. Use the sequence to help the scheduling of the production in ELiPLAN. You can give the estimated erection sequence by giving the sequence number for parts.

Ready for production

Set this option to Yes when the designer or detailer has finished the part and the part is ready for production. The default is No, which means that the data is transferred to ELiPLAN for preliminary planning only, and the part is not sent for production until the attribute is set to Yes and a new file is transferred to ELiPLAN.

ELiPLAN status data

The ELiPLAN status data is meant to be read-only information and used to visualize the data in a Tekla Structures model.

Set up your UDAs in the model or profile catalog for mapping object types, profiles and materials

For more information on how to set up your UDAs in the model or profile catalog for mapping object types, profiles and materials to suit the ELiPLAN export, see EliPLAN/ELiPOS export guide.

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