Users Experience Report  Vol. 113

Shinshu Co., Ltd.
Design Department
Producing Results in the Kinki Region focusing on Water-related Services and so on, and in Recent Years on Bridge Repairs, Traffic Management, and Disaster-prevention-related Services
Diverse Products of Ours Introduced to Expect Advanced Use of VR and Analysis-related Software towards New Development

User Information
Shinshu Co., Ltd.
Location : Ritto-shi, Shiga Prefecture
Services: design, surveys, and construction management centering on rivers, roads, and bridges

"Our work areas, (which require professional and advanced knowledge,) have come to range so widely that it is very difficult for (just) one or two companies (to meet the needs sensitively). We keenly think that a network or collaborative relationship for completing through mutual cooperation."

 Shinshu Co., Ltd. reaches the half century mark since its foundation. Mr. Hitoshi Inoue, Executive Officer, Manager of Design Department / Chief Engineer recalls that it has been sticking to the stance of solving problems "within the company as much as possible" in carrying out diverse construction engineering services, including program development.

Under such circumstances, the company has been paying attention to the possibility of our products including virtual reality (VR) technologies as communication tools through its long relationship with FORUM8 since the period of our former entity as well as in aiming at business tie-ups with various companies as needed, according to him.

Our user to feature in this issue is Shinshu Co., Ltd., a construction consultant company based in the Kinki Region. Special focus is put on "Design Department" that takes charge of design, soil investigation, and survey etc. of civil engineering and diverse types of structures centering on rivers, roads, and bridges.
Building of Shinshu Co., Ltd.

The company is one of the oldest users of FORUM8 and introduced the license of our product as early as 1987 when FORUM8 was founded. Then it extended the range of products to use to almost all product lineups for the bridge substructure design and road work design of "UC-1 series", and the products for analyzing civil engineering and architecture structures and the ground. It also applied three-dimensional (3D) real-time VR "UC-win/Road" early on to plural projects, and has introduced its latest version now. Through cooperation with other companies with a high degree of specialization, it has been exploring new development using VR.

Through 50 years since its foundation, a Unique Foothold Established in Kinki with Design, Development, and Environment as Main Areas

Founded in April 1966, Shinshu Co., Ltd. reaches 50th anniversary this year. The company covers a whole area of Kinki focusing on the main areas from Kobe in the west to Gifu in the east. Based in its headquarters located in Ritto City, Shiga Prefecture, it has 3 branches at Osaka, Nagahama, Gifu, 7 business offices at Koga, Kyoto, Hyogo, Takashima, Mie, Konan, and Moriyama, and 2 branch offices at Omihachiman and Otsu, where about 50 employees are stationed.

Originally, it undertook soil erosion control of Rokko, and development of Biwako and a large number of rivers within the region, receiving an established reputation of being strong in water-related areas. After that the work areas of constructing consultancy gradually expanded and shifted over time. In recent years, a greater weight is being given on bridge repair, traffic management on roads or intersections, rezoning and development in front of stations, disaster prevention, environmental assessments, and large-scale projects for the private sector such as golf courses and industrial parks, according to him.

Members of Design Department, Shinshu Co., Ltd.

Three divisions of design, development, and environment support the company's business. Among them, the design division contains specialized sections such as "Civil Engineering Design", "Soil Investigation", "Civil Engineering", "Waterworks Design", and "Survey". They offer services mainly for government and municipal offices over the following areas: 1) rivers, dams, and soil erosion control; 2) roads, bridges, and tunnels; 3) agricultural civil engineering; 4) Water and sewer; 5) Survey; and 6) Construction Management. The development division covers areas related to town development such as 1) region planning and urban planning, 2) development planning and design, 3) architecture, 4) parks and green spaces, and 5) compensation. On the other hand, the environment division makes technical proposals as an environmental specialist from such angles as 1) environmental assessment, 2) environmental measurement certification, 3) natural environmental investigation, 4) natural environmental conservation planning, and 5) environmental materials.

Many of these functions are accumulated in the headquarters. In addition, the company puts a system to support the services related to waterworks and sewerage in Omihachiman Branch Office, and the urban-development-related services in Otsu Branch Office.

Use of FORUM8 Products and Emerging Needs

This time, from the viewpoint of using various FORUM8 products ranging from design to analyses and VR over many areas for long time, we interviewed key persons in utilizing ICT (information and communication technology) and individual areas in Design Dept. of the company.

The greatest part of the services of Design Dept. is occupied by design of rivers, roads and bridges, and soil and geological investigation.

"Since its foundation, our company has been consistently having a stance of performing them within the company as much as possible while developing programs (within the company as much as possible)".

In spite of this, the company has been dealing with FORUM8 since the time of its forerunner, as Mr. Inoue mentions a relationship of trust formed through long years beyond the restriction of the company's approach.

Mr. Hitoshi Inoue, Executive Officer,
Manager of Design Department
/ Chief Engineer

With this as its background, the company introduced our product licenses soon after FORUM8 was founded. It has been increasing our products continuously one after another in the form of making up for in-house developed programs. So far it has adopted a wide range of our products including almost all products that compose the bridge substructure design series and the roadwork design series of "UC-1 series", a three-dimensional (3D) analysis program for space-framed structures "UC-win/FRAME (3D)", analysis program products including 2D non-linear dynamic analysis for RC structures "UC-win/WCOMD" and a geotechnical finite element elastoplastic analysis software "GeoFEAS2D", and "UC-win/Road".

Regarding these products, Mr. Kazufumi Shimomura, Subsection chief of Design Dept. in charge of design of roads and various structures etc., who also works on constructing a highway information system recently, mentions that they usually use "Retaining wall design" of road work design and "Design for simple earth retaining" of temporary work design in almost all of their business.

At the same time, Mr. Yasuhito Yamagiwa, Deputy Manager of Design Dept. who mainly takes charge of outline / preliminary / and detailed design of roads, and planning and examination of intersections, mentions the trend of recent years in that there is an increase in the projects including design of station squares performed in linking with repair of deteriorated station buildings, barrier-free improvement, and road-related disaster restoring projects such as of slopes. In such works, they are using "Retaining wall design" as well as "Box culvert" usually. This made him list up their merit of enabling comparison and examination of roads with ease.

Ms. Akira Ikeda, Subsection Chief of Design Dept. who covers the work for soil and rivers, mentioned "Slope stability analysis" by saying that our support allowed them to do modeling immediately from CAD with ease and that she was impressed with its high work efficiency. She expressed her willingness of using its function of seepage flow FEM analysis in actual work.

Mr. Kazufumi Shimomura,
Subsection chief
Mr. Yasuhito Yamagiwa,
Deputy Manager
Ms. Akira Ikeda,
Subsection Chief

Last year, furthermore, the company introduced "Design calculation of reinforced earth wall". Mr. Inoue evaluates this saying that though they had to outsource such a task or depend on exclusive software before that, they can now examine similar tasks fairly. In particular, as the software has been developed fairly using wide-ranging application standards exhaustively, there are a lot of things to learn again while using it, as he reveals.

On the other hand, they have been using "Net PRO", protection system on LAN environment for multiple products and licenses, for several years. Recent changes in the environment of using programs, for example, moving from one working base to another, or using PC to display the results of calculation while changing the conditions during the meeting at the customer's office, require support to meet the need for carrying a PC around for use everywhere.

As the recent tendency of the bridge area treated in Design Dept., more weight is apt to be placed on bridge inspection, life prolongation planning, and repair design. Among them, repair design requires high precision in particular. Therefore, it will be necessary to change from 2D base as before into such support as to survey with high precision using laser profiler etc. and perform modeling in 3D or 2.5D, as Mr. Inoue views.

Regarding this, Mr. Hisayoshi Fujita, Deputy Manager of Design Dept., who is in charge of designing bridge structure, expects that if a system for bridge inspection and a system for life prolongation plan can work together, it will be more convenient.

Especially in recent years, partly because of the expansion of areas that require professional and advanced efforts through business activities, it has become unreal to handle everything within the company. Therefore, the company is examining cooperation with other companies with excellent specialization as needed. The decisive factor in such occasions is sharing the environment of using programs. In this sense, Mr. Inoue pays attention to the possibility of utilizing the cloud server service provided by FORUM8.

Mr. Hisayoshi Fujita,
Deputy Manager

Yasushi Nishiya, Manager

On the other hand, Yasushi Nishiya, Manager of Design Dept. talks about the need for programs that cover not only those upstream planning, survey and design but also downstream maintenance and life prolongation, from his standpoint of a project leader of CIM in the company.

Application of UC-win/Road and Expectation for 3D VR Technologies

The company also introduced "UC-win/Road" from early on. In working out a detailed design of a bridge to cross a prefectural road and the river associated with wide-area river improvement of the Moriyama river (Moriyama City, Shiga Pref.), it created VR (virtual reality) materials for explaining the changes in a road plan to the local residents. It was the first time for the company to use VR for business.

 Survey design of Shinohara Station South-North Square etc.
Place: Anyoji, Omihachiman-shi etc.
Outline: detailed design of Shinohara Station South-North Square, corrected design of the access road, and sewer design
Plan for the south entrance square Plan for the north entrance square

In addition, when the company worked out detailed design of the Shinohara Station South-North Square and a corrected design of the access road (the city border between Omihachiman and Yasu of the prefecture), consultation associated with reviewing of budgets was expected to face rough going due to a large number of related agencies. To cope with this, VR materials were created to visualize elements such as barrier-free construction, an access road, and a round-about in front of the station etc for internal materials.

Detailed design of the Yamaga Bridge, the Moriyama River
Place: Kanamori-cho, Moriyama-shi, Shiga Pref.
Outline: detailed design of a bridge to cross a prefectural road Kusatsu-Moriyama Line and the Moriyama river associated with wide-area river improvement of the Moriyama river
Bridge: pretension PC simple floor slab bridge (bridge length 21.2 meters)
As the road plan was corrected from the basic plan (the road needed to be raised at the junction with the entrance of the existing residential area), an execution design was made reflecting the corrections of the road plan. It was required to explain the changes to the local residents again and consult with the concerned agencies again. When the service was ordered, it was required to create perspectives to use for consultation. Easy-to-understand and effective VR representation was proposed and created as the material for explanation to the local residents. It is considered to be the first case to use VR in business on a full scale in Shinshu.

For this, Mr. Yamagiwa says that since there is an increase in the workload of station square design, he wants to raise the degree of perfection as a consensus building tool by creating VR over and over again to improve the possibility of utilization.

Besides, in a project of developing a large-scale shopping mall, VR material was created for explaining to the local residents containing also simulation of the traffic, wind, and sunshine. Mr. Inoue emphasizes that strengthening the function of traffic simulation is the future challenge.

UC-win/Road is not only a device for creating the image of completion but also for visualizing the target by reflecting the process of comparison and examination from the planning phase. Mr. Inoue recalls that is the reason why it was adopted. He also expresses his feelings that the process of its advancement and the development of 3D VR technologies of FORUM8 makes him think that drawings may become no longer necessary in the future.

To Utilize Advanced ICT for Repair Design

"We are now positively working on utilization of laser scan technology or point cloud data in design."
With this aim, the company obtained various kinds of data with high precision using the laser profiler or aircraft laser in cooperation with its business partners. Mr. Inoue explains that it is aiming to utilize them for bridge repair design etc.

In other words, in bridge repair design, for example, it is hard to represent a point for repair in particular two-dimensionally because a product has already been completed. However, if it can be represented in 2.5D or 3D, it should lead to efficient design. Moreover, if this can be used for the data for computer aided construction, it will be very efficient. Currently they have hard time dealing with a part of interface such as modeling or a representation method. He suggests that overcoming this will make it a better tool.

(Written by Takashi Ikeno)

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