QuantimaX – Job man-hour estimates based on material quantities

QuantimaX is a computer system providing automated man-hour estimates for fabrication / construction from material lists. The drawing Material Take-Off and parts catalogue feed systems covering supply, QA and project cost / planning.
By: Brian Firth, Pinnacle Business Solutions
Pinnacle Business Solutions
Pinnacle Business Solutions
Sept. 26, 2009 - PRLog -- The MatriX suite’s QuantimaX module provides automated estimates of the man-hours required for construction based on lists of material items.  The estimating function may be the prime reason to use QuantimaX although it does also provide other benefits including bills of materials, ready for procurement, from drawing material take-offs in association with an effective parts catalogue.  Special features are included for Piping and Structural and a common style of operation applies to items for other disciplines: Architectural; Electrical; Instrumentation; HVAC; Mechanical.  

Item definitions are based on progressive selection of mnemonic codes (with associated descriptions) that are defined in reference tables and following rules defined in the reference section’s configuration tables. Associated with relevant sets of attributes there are man-hour ‘norms’ so a defined item is automatically linked to appropriate records in the man-hour estimation tables.  Part descriptions are also produced as a concatenation of the attribute definitions thus ensuring a complete and accurate descriptions in the parts catalogue with no part number duplication.

Optional operating styles allow either the on-line, item by item, build-up of part attributes during a drawing material take-off or the import of a list of items directly into the database.  When data is entered item by item, it is only possible to select valid attribute values for proper part definition but when working with imported data some records may not link with the relevant reference tables and then the system highlights items where links need attention.  The system also addresses missing links to man-hour norms but estimators or drawing office staff can work very rapidly through large imported lists of items to rectify data problems by adding required records in the reference tables.

All items defined in QuantimaX refer to a part number so it is straightforward to find if the item has been bought previously and what price was paid or to locate the item if it is included in any current pre-agreed pricing arrangements with suppliers.  The item lists can also be used as a basis to invite suppliers to tender for their supply and provide itemised price quotations.  Item pricing is particularly effective when using a parts catalogue, with proper descriptions and no duplication of numbers, as developed through QuantimaX.  

Estimates developed through QuantimaX can not only be used when preparing tenders / bids for jobs but may also be applied to provide man-hour budgets for drawings.  The detailed drawing level budget facility is developed to the most advanced level for piping.  The take-offs in piping are based on isometric drawings and the take-off items can be assigned to spools.  A spool job-card facility gives the budget man-hours with a breakdown for cutting, bevelling, fit-up and welding.  

Similar budget man-hour breakdowns apply in estimates developed from structural material take-offs.  In structural, it is very straightforward to develop take-off items that identify the weight and type of steelwork (primary structure, hand rails, deck plate, etc) so simple norms can apply based on man-hours per unit weight for each steelwork type.  More detailed norms can also be defined that link to part attributes and joint details.  The more accurate estimate will be used when the norms are available and results from the two methods can be compared to verify the basic manhour norms.

With the development of budget man-hours for drawing job cards, the use of a time booking system that caters for bookings at this level will then provide accurate assessments of productivity.  It has also been noted that productivity appears to increase with the introduction of performance measurement based on the job card budgets taken from QuantimaX.

In addition to the estimating facilities other functionality and benefits can be provided when using QuantimaX, including:
•   Supply, in a controlled manner, of the materials that need to be procured.  Data may be based on rough / bulk material take-offs and the quantities can be adjusted as detailed MTOs are developed.  Using the MatriX suite, the data exported from QuantimaX can be purchased most efficiently using the purchasing system, ProcuremaX.
•   Management of material requirement changes (and associated estimate / budget changes) through control of drawing revisions.
•   Provision of base requirements that are a pre-requisite to effective material control.  QuantimaX manages the export of the base data to be used in a material control system such as the MatriX suite’s Material Control System, ControlmaX.
•   For Piping, the same data as made available for material control is also provided to the Pipe Spool Progress Tracking and Punch-list system, SpoolmaX.
•   Features are included within Piping and Structural take-offs to identify joint details that link to estimating norms but also provide data initialization for weld QC records. The relevant quality assurance can be provided in this area with the MatriX suite’s Welding QA / QC and Material Traceability Software, AssuremaX.    
•   QuantimaX provides the weights of items and this provides loading data that will be the basis for structural supports or foundation design.  Weight data from QuantimaX is used particularly effectively and efficiently when working with the MatriX suite’s Weight Control System for Offshore Platforms and Rigs, LoadmaX.  

More information about QuantimaX and other components in the MatriX engineering project support suite can be seen at http://www.matrix-eps.com.

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The Pinnacle Business Solutions team possesses many years’ oil and gas industry experience, and has used that experience to develop the MatriX suite of Project Support Systems for controlling and progressing major engineering, fabrication and construction projects. The company provides comprehensive services in association with software applications to analyse requirements, customize for particular needs or manage deployment.
Phone:+44 (0) 1667 458450
Zip:IV12 5QW
Tags:Drawing Material Takeoff, Take-off, Mto, Bill Of Materials, Man-hour Estimates, Pad Quantity, Bulk Takeoff
Industry:Construction, Software
Location:Nairn - Highland Region - Scotland
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