Foundations for large structures are a serious concern. Your machinery is creating a large concentrated load. The foundation takes that concentration and distributes it through the rest of the hull structure. Foundations can include any of the following components.
Why do you want FEA? The loading patterns of foundations are complicated. They are not easily predicated. You can’t immediately tell which part will fail first. For something as critical as a crane, you don’t want to take the chance. FEA offers detailed knowledge and certainty that all elements are considered. It also offers you the chance to optimize the foundation and ensure that you are not wasting steel. There is no reason to buy two tonnes of 50 mm thick steel plate when you could do the same job with 12 mm plate and a few well placed stiffeners. That detail is what FEA offers.
The engineer will first create the geometry of your object in FEA. And they will have several questions to understand the loading patterns for your component.
The final deliverable is an analysis report. There will usually also be some construction drawings to show how the foundation should go together.
The analysis can take from 2 – 4 weeks. Then the engineer needs to write the report. This will take about 1 week. Finally, there is the drawing development. The time required for drawing development depends greatly on how complex your part is. But as a rough guess, assume about 2 – 4 weeks for the drawing development.
The drawing development and the engineering analysis can overlap. Overall, expect 3 – 6 weeks for the entire process.
You should provide structural drawings to the engineer. Any structural drawings you have. The engineer will likely need information for multiple decks. Include any design specifications for the machinery that you need a foundation for. And specify anything the engineer may need to know for the loads on the machinery. Here are some examples.