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Structural Analysis

PROKON Structural Analysis and Design includes several analysis modules for calculating deflections and design forces in structural members. At the core lies Sumo Structural Modeler and  Frame Analysis, two general-purpose finite element analysis packages that integrate with the PROKON steel, concrete and timber design modules. Separate modules are also available for special or simple tasks: Plane Stress/Strain Analysis, Single Span Beam Analysis and Beam on Elastic Support Analysis.

Analysis-Design Integration

Summary of integration between analysis and design modules:

ModuleDesign Link from Sumo and
Frame Analysis
Design from Single
Span Beam Analysis
Steel Member Design
Member Design for Axial Stress x  
Member Design for Combined Stress x x
Steel Connection Design
Base Plate Design x  
Beam-Column Connection Design x  
Apex Connection Design x  
Hollow Section Connection Design x  
Double Angle Cleat Connection Design x  
Fin Plate Connection Design x  
End Plate Connection Design x  
Concrete Design
Continuous/Beam Slab Design x  
Rectangular Column Design x  
Circular Column Design x  
Concrete Base Design x  
Timber Design
Timber Member Design x  


Sumo Structural Modeller

Sumo is a three-dimensional structural modeller and building information modelling (BIM) software. With Sumo you can build 3D models of structures using physical structural components such as beams, columns and slabs. Sumo shields you from the complexities of finite element analysis while still keeping you in control of the finer details.

Sumo Structural Modeller

Basic list of analysis features:

  • Finite elements: Beam and shell finite elements.
  • Static analysis modes: Linear, second-order, (geometric) non-linear, and buckling analysis.
  • Dynamic analysis modes: Modal (mode shapes and frequencies), harmonic (cyclic loads) and seismic (response spectrum) analysis.
  • Reinforced concrete design: Design of slabs and walls modelled using shell finite elements.
  • Design links: Design of steel members and connections, reinforced concrete members and timber members via the PROKON design links.

Sumo Structural Modeller

When it was released in February 2012, Sumo included nearly all the analysis functionality of Frame Analysis. Some advanced analysis features, such as the use of solid finite elements, were still under development. Sumo can import and export Frame Analysis models, making for seamless collaboration between team members using either program. Sumo offers many advantages over Frame Analysis, however, that will likely make it the analysis tool of choice for most PROKON users:

  • Easier and faster input: By using structural components such as beam, columns and slabs, Sumo shields the user from intricacies such as nodes and node numbering, and finite meshing of slabs
  • Easier access to detailed analysis output: One can filter analysis output using multiple criteria, e.g. certain beam sections, or forces over a certain value.
  • Member and connection design: Like Frame Analysis, Sumo integrates with the PROKON the steel, concrete and timber design modules—analyse the model, select one or more structural elements or connections, and transfer the geometric and loading information to the relevant design module.

The Future of Frame Analysis

While Sumo is positioned to eventually replace Frame Analysis as the primary analysis tool in PROKON, demand for Frame Analysis remains strong and will likely continue to do so for many more years. Maintenance updates of Frame Analysis will continue for as long as that is the case.


Sumo Structural Modeller is currently available as a "differential upgrade" from Frame Analysis. Existing users of Frame Analysis that upgrade to Sumo pay only the difference in price. Or for new orders, if you pay for Sumo then you get Frame Analysis and all its add-on modules at no extra charge.

Frame Analysis

Frame Analysis performs frame and finite element analyses of 2D and 3D structures. It can perform linear and non-linear static analysis of three dimensional structures comprising. The program can also perform buckling, modal, harmonic and seismic analyses of 3D models.

Beam and Shell Finite ElementsYou use a combination of beams, shells, and solid finite elements to build your model. The supports can be rigid or elastic. Loads are entered in load cases and grouped in load combinations with separate SLS and ULS load factors. You can choose to have the program calculate the structure's own weight automatically; sections and material properties are linked from the Section Database and Material Database. Advanced features include tension-only elements (e.g. bracing slender elements), spring elements (elastic constraints between parts of the model) and compression-only supports (uplift possible); all of these advanced features require iterative solutions via second-order or non-linear analysis.

The program supports multiple ways for building a structural model; depending on your preference, use any one or combination of the following methods:

  • Table Editor: Manually enter of members, supports and loads in a tabular environment reminiscent of Microsoft® Office Excel. You can copy and paste information between the table editor and Excel and other tabular programs.
  • Modeller: Draw the structure in a 3D CAD-like environment.
  • Input Wizards: Generate models of typical building frame and trusses by entering a set up parameters that defines the layout and loads. For more complex layouts, you can use the Plate and Solid Mesh Generator to generate finite element input.


The basics Frame Analysis module is capable of linear analysis of 2D frames, e.g. (vertical) plane frame and trusses, and (horizontal) grillages. Several add-on modules are available to extend the program's functionality:

  • First Mode Shape of Tower

    3D Module: Extend to full 3D analysis.
  • Finite Element Module: Adds the ability to use shell finite elements and solid finite elements (bricks).
  • Second Order & Buckling Analysis Module: Adds the option to perform second-order analysis (P-delta) and buckling analysis (global instability).
  • Non-linear Analysis Module: Allows the you to incorporate geometric non-linearity and material non-linear behaviour in the analysis, and use and catenary cable elements. This module also facilites stage analysis that account for elestic and inelastic deformation during construction stages.
  • Dynamic Analysis Module: Enables you to determine mode shapes and natural frequencies of 3D structures, and also perform harmonic analysis (cyclic loads) and seismic analysis (response spectrum).

When using shell finite elements to model concrete slabs and walls, Frame Analysis can calculated reinforcement steel quantities. It can do this for bending and/or in-plane stresses.

Frame Analysis has design links to the steel, concrete and timber design modules. When sending analysis output to a design modules, the geometric and design load case input data is entered automatically.

Third-party Integration

PROKON Structural Analysis and Design and Frame Analysis in particular, can form an integral part of your Building Information Management (BIM) stragedy. Several options are available fro sharing Frame Analysis models with other software:

  • AutoCAD® and Revit®: Using the ProDESK module, you round-trip information sharing for 3D structures of any complexity is possible between AutoCAD and Revit on the one side, and Frame Analysis and Sumo Structural Modeller on the other side. Build the model in AutoCAD or Revit (or modify the architect's model), and send it to Frame Analysis or Sumo for analysis and design.
  • RobotLink: A convenient interface for linking analysis results in Robot Structrual Analysis with the steel and concrete design modules in PROKON Structural Analysis and Design.
  • Industry Standards: Integerate with models created by packages such as ProSteel 3D and StruCad. You can import models from and export to CIS/2 (CIMSteel Integration Standard) and SNF (StruCad Neutral File) format.
  • CAD Drawings: Import 2D and 3D drawings of structures saved in DWG or DXF format. You can also use Padds to draw a frame and generate geometrical input for Frame Analysis.



Plane Stress/Plane Strain Analysis

Finite element analysis using plane stress or plane strain theory. You use simple polygins to enter complex geometries, and the program automatically generates a suitable mesh for the analysis. Multiple load cases comprising point loads and UDLs can be applied to the outline of the model.

Plane Stress and Plane Strain Analysis






Single Span Beam Analysis

Quick analysis of simple beams. You can analyse a single span beam, or a single span from a continuous beam. The continuity of the beam by specifying the end condition at each end: free, simply supported, fully fixed or an elastic/spring support.

Multiple load cases (point loads and moments, and distributed loads) can be entered, and the analysis results can be linked to Steel Member Design for Combined Stress to optimise beam section size. The analysis output includes diagrams for elestic deflection, bending moment and shear force.

Single Span Beam Analysis

Beam on Elastic Support Analysis

Analyses of a beam or slab on an elastic support. You can model a varying beam/slab cross section, as well as variations or gaps in the elastic medium and rigid supports. The analysis output includes diagrams for soil pressure, bending moment, and shear force.

Beam on Elastic Support Analysis