Pursuing integrated design one SDS Industry Consortium at a time

Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth. – Ken Robinson

Customizing 3D design to substation modeling specifically is both a big deal and a big problem. For years, DIS-TRAN has used three-dimensional modeling for substation design and construction. Its use is crucial in the creation of our pre-fabricated, factory-built substation product line. However, one of the big struggles in our industry is the fact that traditionally 3D modeling has not been used for substation design. This struggle, complicated by the fact that there is no documentation on how to design a substation in Autodesk Inventor, is one of the many reasons DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations looks forward to attending each SDS Consortium (Substation Design Solution Industry Consortium).

The SDS Industry Consortium consists of utilities that have adopted or are looking into adopting Autodesk Inventor to design electrical substations. The Consortium meets as needed to establish common workflows, toolkit functionalities, standards, shared libraries, and technology requirements. The consortium helps drive Autodesk to update and develop software to meet the needs of those in our industry. The SDS Industry Consortium drives standards to promote common library development from internal resources, external partners, and equipment manufacturers.

More than 100 substation designers took part in last week’s SDS Consortium in San Diego, CA. Substation designers and engineers from our sister companies, Beta Engineering, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, and DIS-TRAN Steel, were among those in attendance. The event, this time hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE), once again provided an amazing opportunity for utilities and design firms to share ideas and best practices. Together we were able to focus on improving design and construction methods in the high voltage industry.

At the event, attendees break out into discipline-specific teams and work towards common goals laid out by the SDS leadership team.  "The result has been streamlining several sets of software (Substation Design Suite) to do exactly what we need to support designing and constructing substations.  Every time I attend I go between being extremely validated for pursuing integrated design and at the same time being terrified at how much more we have potential to do", says Beta Engineering Substation Design Manager, Chris Wilson.

DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, Beta, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, and DIS-TRAN Steel also hosted one of the networking events at the SDS Consortium. The event held at Stone Brewery at Liberty Station, provided SDS attendees an evening to enjoy live music, great food, and craft beer while continuing their conversations about substation design.

Companies that have attended SDS make tremendous strides in 3D substation design and collectively, we share in pushing our industry even further.  DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations is proud to be part of these advances.