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Webinar Review: How Qnect Created the World's Most Efficient Vertical Bracing

Apr 24, 2020 9:36:39 AM

[Scroll down for the webinar recording] Qnect hosted over 100 attendees for the Webinar introduction of vertical bracing. Vertical bracing completes Qnect’s full spectrum of optimized connections from gravity connections to moment connections and the lateral bracing system. What makes Qnect’s vertical bracing so efficient is the extensive use of their patented, iterative process for optimizing all of the engineering variables.

In the webinar, you will experience the process Qnect used as well as the results generated using Qnect for vertical brace connections:

  1. What makes the Qnect Vertical Brace connection the most efficient 
  2. Setting up Preferences for your particular project 
  3. Running a joint in Qnect & reading the reports 
  4. Finalizing the connections and what to do with your extra time

The webinar runs 42 min with a healthy amount of Q&A. To jump directly to the product overview of the vertical bracing, view this section of the YouTube video, which is under five minutes.

“I’m very proud of the Qnect team for achieving this milestone. We’ve been working diligently over the past few months to bring this to market as well as seeing lots more projects incorporate Qnect into their workflow.” Jef Sharp, Qnect’s CEO

Webinar Recording:



Hi all and welcome to our Vertical Bracing Webinar!!!  I am happy to see so many customers on the attendee list as well as an astounding number of new people. 

I’m sorry we’ll miss the chance to see you all in Atlanta this year at the STEEL SHOW, but we will have an even bigger and safer reunion in Louisville,  where it will be held next year.

Today, we are excited to bring you, the most efficient vertical bracing connection that has ever been designed and we will show you why we believe this is true. Vertical bracing completes Qnect’s full spectrum of optimized connections from gravity connections to moments and the lateral system and I’m very proud of the Qnect team for achieving this milestone.

And Our journey continues!  although at a much faster pace now, to expand our vertical bracing types, to expand into other parts of the world, and to continue our drive to help make steel the smartest, most efficient and most economical choice for building.

Now let me introduce you to Josh Hines, technical field manager at Qnect and later, to Henry Lederman, my partner and co-founder. They will explain how we got here and how our unique Qnect Vertical Bracing works, to round out our optimization suite. Please type in your questions as we go and we’ll have a Q &A at the end.

And now to Josh Hines...

Jef happy to be here and very excited for our vertical bracing so we're gonna start off with today's schedule an overview and summary of Qnect's deliverables and then on to vertical bracing estimating production current connection types and then the vertical bracing and a live demo of that.


  • Supporting Tekla, Qnect is fully integrating into fabricators’ estimating processes and systems
    • Complete models are being built for estimating
    • Connections are fully engineered and modeled; gravity and lateral
    • Data is mined for efficient bidding and risks are revealed from understanding the project better when it is engineered and connected up front. 
    • Full analytics are available, similar to at production time
    • Time for engineering and modeling is better known, to allow for committing to challenging schedule demands


  • Analytics: It’s all about data supporting good decision making
    • Full engineering and modeling are done with 9 different configurations to discover the lowest cost
    • Data gets analyzed with an eye toward material, labor and equipment utilization
    • Doubler reports highlight the relationship between beam cope capacity and the load requirements, often leading to early decisions to eliminate reinforcement doublers
    • Analysis for the elimination of copes when possible
  • Preventing schedule drift
    • Qnect is able to connect 60%-90% of the connections, once the model is ready.
    • As changes inundate the steel project, Qnect will reduce schedule drift by making quick revisions, at the rate of 1 joint per second or faster
  • Plant flow efficiency
    • Qnect maximizes the number of pieces that will be fabricated at one station (bolted or welded) to improve plant flow.  We color code the Qnected building and then iterate the ends of the connections, within the fabricator’s resource availability, to maximize plant throughput 
    • Fabrication types can also be mapped and organized for smoother plant flow efficiency; such as beams with or without copes including only holes and with or without copes including attachments.
  • Reduce cost and Reduce time to fabricate and erect 
    • Optimizing connections with use of our patented software, Qnect reduces the number of bolts in a joint typically from 1 to 1½ bolts per ton.  A recent example saved 10,000 bolts to buy, ship and install, with ~20,000 fewer holes to drill, cut or punch in the shop.
  • Approval review time reduction
    • Shop drawing template is provided to capture Qnect data
    • Shop drawings reflect engineering codes and capacities to reduce approval review time
    • And for a full and complete submittal package, the EOR can do an in-model review or have access to the Qnect web site for full engineering data and calculations

Current connection types (View Current Connections here)

Gravity connections- Qnect currently provides a full range of gravity connections; single angle, double angle, shear plates, extended shear plates with or without stabilizers, extended shear plates at beam to beam connections used with standard roof slopes, skews or varying beam elevations and engineered with shear, shear and axial, NYC integrity requirements and IBC integrity requirements

Our moment connections include both full pen flange field welded or top and bottom moment plates.  All moment connections include the full engineering check on the column for web stiffeners or doublers.

  • Top and bottom moment plates include shims for overrun and ¼” deck support as specified
  • In both types of moments, Qnect has the ability to receive the gravity portion of moment connection forces for the use in reducing or eliminating column doubler plates for appropriate conditions

Vertical bracing

First, what makes our bracing so efficient is the extensive use of our patented, iterative process for optimizing all of the engineering variables.

  • Qnect iterates up to 1,000 gusset plate shapes 
  • Then, for each gusset we design the gusset to beam to produce a single pass weld when possible
  • Then,  gusset to column flange using a shear plate.  The shear plate itself undergoes a full range of optimization possibilities
  • Next the gusset to HSS brace itself.  The length of the brace weld is controlled by the user’s preferences including the priority to maintain a single pass field weld
  • Finally we move to the beam to column connection

Let us show you how simple it is to manage this process with Qnect

Welcome to our web-based application for vertical bracing. 

So we've got minimum gusset thickness, maximum gusset thickness, material you're gonna be using grade 50 in this case, clip if you're gonna clip the corner, then you have your maximum length for gusset. We show that in a dimension a; that's in the horizontal as well as your maximum length in a dimension E in the vertical position. 

We also have minimum clearance at a column splice so to avoid the splice by a certain distance. in this case one foot same thing with a beam splice; in this case one foot if that did exist. We also have a minimum inside brace distance shown with a B dimension or a C dimension and then we also have the minimum clearance for the outside edge of the gusset to the face of your actual HSS brace.

Big thing to point out is if possible and more economical should Qnect cutback outer vertical and horizontal edges of the gusset. So trying to reduce our material more than likely reduce on weld erection holes you know that type of stuff we know that erectors are gonna be using. We want to make sure that we're completely open for that same with a slot in the brace itself.

So let's go ahead and submit this. Then we're gonna go over to the Tekla model to show you how these have been prepped. So you can see the beam has a shear value it also has axial values - at both start and end positions. Then we're gonna go to the brace itself notice it's been called vertical brace it can also be called V brace. Axial has been added for both ends of that. 

Then we go to the other beam on the opposite end of the brace you'll see that there's shear values here. Same with axial, it looks like some horizontal would be pulled. let's go ahead and go to button one place a session in here and run this to see what we can produce. export everything out of this model up to our web-based application with preferences. 

As soon as it's done we're gonna go to button two and bring that back down into the model and import not only the components themselves but the actual information associated to the connections as well as calculations.

Alright so let's look at this one connection: the gusset on the top we're gonna go ahead and look at the material notices come in as half-inch material there's that grade 50. Same thing with the shear plate at the beam to column, half-inch grade 50 and same thing with the bottom gusset. Then you'll notice we have standard seven eight eight three twenty five bolts OTC. But then at the brace portion of the beam they're going to be slip critical as they should be. So that has also been taken an account all a is see.

Let's go ahead and look at the information associated to this connection in the component. You'll notice on the top left we have four connections it shows. Well, there's a twenty one fifty which is that main beam that's within the first connection go to that second part of this connection at this joint sixteen forty which is the beam to column on the opposite hand and then number three you'll notice that the brace itself is a 4 by 4 which is the brace on top. But you'll also notice the slope itself is a positive number so that is going to be the brace on the top. 

Let's go to number four . You’ll notice that it is a negative number. That's going to be the brace on the bottom portion of this. As you can see it's a six by six which matches that report. Let's go ahead and come in here and let's look at some of the other information you're able to pull out of here. Let's go ahead and look in the field web. So we know that this is a site web or field weld. Let's go ahead and look at information can be reported it's quarter-inch Philip and it is four inches long. You can tell its sight right there and it also has a volume if you want to put a deposition to that.

Qnect Slide for Questions

This is Jef again. Thanks Josh for that demo. That was very informative and I’m glad you were so efficient so we have plenty of time to answer some questions from the audience. Take it away…

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