In designing the connected systems for the Ottawa Light Rail Transit and Eglinton Crosstown projects (both characterised by geographically distributed design of various interconnected systems), a major shortfall became apparent in the capability of software to accurately include the non-physical assets in virtual 3D modelling.
The available tools could only represent 40% of the actual design, necessitating the creation of additional manual steps. This process, however, introduced challenges such as the risk of multiple versions, non-integrative systems and potential inefficiencies from double handling, thereby increasing the likelihood of errors.
This was not acceptable to SNC Lavalin’s Canadian Rail & Transit Engineering Railway Control Systems (RCS) team, who put in place DAD to bring a new evolution of digital model-based design capability that would encompass all systems within the one digital modelling tool.
The DAD System Information Model (SIM) was used as a solution to complement the architectural design and integrate with SNC Lavalin’s 2D and 3D software.
Best Practice Integration
DAD is a single source of truth, so all asset information, including the relevant inter-connections and logical relationships, are centralised in a shared database. When any team member makes a change, it is instantly implemented, propagated, and visible to all users. The team now has the capability to document and visualise all connections and relationships within an entire system to a granular but still visual level. This was previously unachievable for connected systems, as normally they are greatly neglected to a large number of 2D CAD files and individual Excel spreadsheets that are created manually.
In addition, issues can be eliminated ahead of affecting operations, such as unseen connectivity hurdles which were identified and rectified by the new system, prior to being met during installation works. Thanks to the development of a comprehensive digital model of all objects required under the project scope, including interconnected systems, SNC Lavalin can now bring increased accuracy, speed and collaboration to their projects, and completion in less time.
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