Mechanical interfaces & supporting systems

In most of the cases, the support of (light) equipment by (large) infrastructures is rather trivial to design and requires just some common sense. However, for large and heavy equipment, designing an adequate support may be almost as challenging as the design of the equipment itself (the limit may be actually not on the equipment). This is a recurrent problem in many other industries. Supports are usually the interface between not only equipment and building, but between teams with different minds, interests, disciplines and professional practices (e.g. civil vs. mechanical engineering), applicable design codes (e.g. ASME, RCC-MR vs. Eurocodes 2-3) and contractual obligations for the actors involved. This usually results in teams at both sides of the fence not being really aware of the implications decisions may have on the other side of the fence.

In complex cases, the integral design of a supporting structure requires a clear understanding of both the equipment to be supported (and its loads) and the constraints (including structural capacity) imposed by the main infrastructure to which equipment loads must be transferred. In these cases, a multidisciplinary approach able to interpret mechanical and civil requirements is essential, especially if some sort of coupled response drives the design.

23,000t ITER reactor supporting structure. ©

Composite supports for high voltage electrical equipment

Design of slender laminar tanks and supporting structures

Anchorage plate for supporting structure

Assessment of 750t crane gantry beam bearings

Non-linear response of supporting devices