The Key to Understand and Utilize Engineering Outsourcing

Engineering outsourcing overview

Engineering outsourcing is a term used to describe a wide range of services and fields. It can be broken into multiple categories, and the major five categories are: civil engineering, architecture services, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

Civil engineering outsourcing involves services relating to land development projects, which can range from residential projects, business parks, and master-planned communities. Outsourcing firms offer services ranging from estimation, planning, design, and implementation.

Architecture services outsourcing incorporates services dealing with design and management for residential and commercial projects. Services typically range from 3D rendering, floor plans, architectural detailing, landscaping, archival drawings, and bill of quantity reporting.

Structural engineering outsourcing deals with an outsourcing firm providing the design and detailing for structures and subsequent materials. Typical services offered are steel detailing, structural design and analysis of structures, and rebar detailing/bar bending services.

Mechanical engineering outsourcing has to deal with the services, skills, and tools offered to the corresponding mechanical engineering field. Often, companies find assistance in drafting and detailing, 3D modeling, heavy equipment and tools, and HVAC services.

Electrical engineering outsourcing deals with services that correspond to electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Outsourcing firms can provide design and drafting services, power system design, lighting system design, fire protection system design, and specialized electrical engineering services.

Categories of civil engineering outsourcing

Civil engineering outsourcing covers many types of fields and industries.  The following list describes the fields and types of services one can expect to find in civil engineering outsourcing.

  • Residential: condominiums, apartments, duplexes, independent homes, and farmhouses.
  • Interior Designing: floor and tiles design, murals, furniture design, cabinet design, false ceilings, and lighting.
  • Commercial: Corporate offices and parks, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, resorts and theatres.
  • Industrial: Factories, warehouses, specialized natural disaster resistant buildings.
  • Environmental Designing: Town planning, road and highway engineering, and water supply and sanitation.
  • Landscaping: Public parks, gardens, golf courses, pedestrian areas, theme parks, sports facilities, and greenways.

Civil engineering outsourcing services

The amount of services that can be found in civil engineering is substantial since civil engineering covers a wide range of industries. However, the most common services found in the majority of civil engineering outsourcing companies are listed below:

  • Construction cost estimation services: This involves an outsourcing firm estimating the construction and building costs for a project. Usually, the outsourcing firm will also provide a cost and labor building plan based off of the estimation of the project. This outsourcing service can assist in companies getting correct cost information necessary to make a bid for a contract, help in deciding the profitability of a project, and help with the tracking of expenses as the project is undertaken.
  • Construction drawings: Construction drawing outsourcing involves an outsourcing firm creating presentation drawings (layout/contour mapping), master plan drawings, product drawings, and shop drawings (cabinets/doors, and modification of existing buildings). This service will assist companies in the planning and estimation of the phases of a project, provide a detailed estimation on the layout and materials, and enables the review and identification of any potential issues from approving authorities.
  • Paper to CAD conversion: In this service, the outsourcing firm will convert companies’ paper drawings into accurate and precise electronic versions. This service helps a company to reduce the retrieval time of documents, maintain an organized and accurate list of high-quality drawings, and make the archival of CAD drawings simple and reliable.
  • Land and development services- This outsourcing service revolves around an outsourcing firm offering services that can range from master planning to detailed site design. The most common users of this outsourcing service are real estate companies, land developers, contractors, surveying firms, and owners. Services typically include outfall analysis, existing conditions and demolition plans, site plans, sediment and erosion control plans, storm water management plans, road profiles and design, utility plan and profiles, and plan/earthwork calculations.

Architectural outsourcing services

 Engineering OutsourcingSimilar to civil engineering outsourcing, architectural outsourcing also offers a wide range of services. The most common services offered are listed and explained below:

  • 3d rendering- Outsourcing companies will provide 3D modeling services (isometric, perspective, and realistic structure representation) to hiring companies. This enables companies to visualize and conceptualize models that contain high level of details for modeling, rendering, and texturing. Typically, this service is offered to residential buildings, commercial buildings, structure models, and landscaping.
  • Floor Plans- Outsourcing companies will provide floor plans and design to clients. Services usually include landscaping, elevation planning, walkthroughs, and 3D renderings.
  • Architectural detailing- This service encompasses an outsourcing firm handling an organizations’ architectural CAD drafting needs. A firm can assist with creating walkthroughs, designing layouts and landscaping, floor planning, road and pipe profiles, commercial buildings, and piping layout.
  • Landscaping- Outsourcing firms can assist in increasing the aesthetic value of properties. Companies will design a landscape based on the site and preference of the hiring client. Services include walkthroughs, floor plans, architectural detailing, and 3D rendering.
  • Archival Drawings- This service involves an outsourcing firm maintaining and safeguarding architectural drawings, reports, and documents. This can assist companies in reducing the liability they have in maintaining an accurate and up to date archive of project documents.
  • Bill of Quantity reporting- This is a reporting service for residential and commercial properties. Companies will receive an estimation of the cost to construct a building or parts of a building.

Structural engineering outsourcing

Structural engineering outsourcing involves numerous services having to deal with the design and detailing of structures. The following list provides details on the most commonly outsourced structural engineering services:

  • Water Tanks/Retaining Walls– Outsourcing firms typically use ETABS, STAAD, and other FEM software in order to design retaining walls, retaining structures, and water tanks.
  • Residential Houses– Outsourcing firms will design the structure of residential houses (shear walls, wood framing, etc). Firms can also assist with specific framing details.
  • Structural Steel Detailing- Firms will assist in the general arrangement and positing of the structural steel and connection details.
  • Bar Bending Schedule- Outsourcing firms will contribute in creating a schedule for the tonnage of reinforcement steel and rebars needed in a project.
  • Pre-stressed detailing– This service revolves around the arrangement and positioning of rebars in the pre-stressed structure. Outsourcing firms can also assist commercial buildings in pre-stressed detailing.
  • Structure modeling– Typically, the outsourcing firm will use structural software such as STAAD/RAM/ETABS/ROBOT in order to model the structure. The outsourcing firms do this for steel, concrete, and timber structures.
  • Structural Analysis Report– Outsourcing firms can provide structural calculations of moments, loads, and stresses. They can also usually provide structural calculations on these aspects as well

Mechanical engineering outsourcing

Mechanical engineering outsourcing offers a range of services typically in fields such as process industry, machining, energy, agricultural, automotive, and forestry. The following list describes some of the services outsourcing companies usually offer for mechanical engineering:

  • General engineering services- Companies can find outsourcing firms that will provide services and assistance with fluid dynamics, pneumatics, kinematics, hydraulics, fatigue and failure analysis, rivet applications, and thermodynamics.
  • Heavy equipment and tools- Mechanical engineering outsourcing companies can provide heavy equipment for areas such as automotives, heavy engineering, earthmoving equipment, agriculture machinery, and other special purpose machines and tools. Outsourcing companies also use specialized software and analysis tools that may assist companies in a wide range of services.
  • Mechanical 3D Modeling Services- 3D modeling can be created from 2D CAD, scanned, or hand drawings. In addition, companies can provide 3D animated sectional views and assembly/rendering.
  • Drafting and detailing services– Outsourcing companies can provide modeling and detailing services to an organization. This usually involves surface modeling, sheet metal modeling, solid modeling, assembly and castings. In addition, drafting and detailing services relating to product design, top-down design and hydraulics/lubrication system design can also be provided by outsourcing companies.
  • HVAC Services- HVAC services contain outsourcing work having to deal with the design and drafting of engineering services for building services and utility systems such as HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing/steam/heat load calculations. Outsourcing companies typically offer design/drafting for HVAC construction plans, demolition of existing drawings, equipment sizing and estimation, and calculations/ specifications.

Electrical engineering outsourcing

Electrical engineering outsourcing deals with services involved in the field of electrical engineering, which involves electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. The following list describes services companies can find for electrical engineering outsourcing.

  • Power System Design- Outsourcing firms can assist with helping to determine the correct equipment, panel design, power layout plan, and other services having to do with the design of power systems.
  • Lighting System Design- Involves switchgear sizing, lighting estimations, light fixture layout design, and assistance with transformer size.
  • Design and Drafting services of electrical systems- Outsourcing companies can provide electrical schematics, harness/cable drawings, electrical wiring diagrams, and ladder logic drawings.
  • Fire protection system- Outsourcing companies can help a company design a fire protection system. Outsourcing firms can provide fire protection details/schematics/diagrams that adhere to all codes and standards, layouts for detectors, smoke detection system, and sprinkler plans.
  • Specialized services- Some outsourcing companies can provide specialized electrical engineering outsourcing services such as services in electromagnetic fields and waves, electro-optical engineering services, electromagnetic radiation, control engineering, and power engineering.

Some notable engineering outsourcing companies  

3Dcities India- 3Dcities India provides architectural services, civil engineering services, mechanical engineering services, and electrical engineering services. This firm is based in India and has core strength in computer aided design (CAD). The firm has competitive personnel ranging from engineers to project managers. 3Dcities India claims to be able to help with complex projects in short notice because of their multi-skilled CAD operation and flexible nature.

Capstone – Capstone is a civil and structural consulting firm. The engineering outsourcing services offered is civil engineering services, structural engineering services, CAD, quantity estimation, and project management. Construction companies typically use Captone, and they claim to be the preferred outsourcing company for the industry.

Aktis engineering solutions– Atkis provides CAD services, CAE services, consulting, sourcing, and prototyping/ testing. Atkis claims to be in the niche for engineering design, analysis, and prototyping & manufacturing. Atkis can assist from concept design to product launch. They also do product validation, prototyping, and production support.