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Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee
8

Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

(OP)
Hilti has (or had) a great design tool for designing anchorage.

They now have an online cloud-based tool, but they want to charge a fee.... $360/yr for a small office. I'm not sure if they're going to keep updating their free desktop version or not.

https://www.hilti.com/content/hilti/W1/US/en/engin...

The fee seems nominal, but it seems it's going to open the floodgates for other manufacturers to start charging for their design tools. I know we use their tool to design cast-in-place anchors (not a Hilti product) but it's mainly used to calculate anchorage using their product. Competing manufacturers also have the CIP design in their software so it's not like it's unique.

Anyone else have an issue with this?... paying a manufacturer for a tool to help design using their product.

thoughts?

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

2
Larry, do you give away your designs for free??? Hilti is in business to make money. If the software is worth $30 a month to you, send them a cheque. If its not worth that , find an alternative. IMHO way too many engineers expect free software

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

In that case, we should stop specifying Hilti. Simpson has free software. Maybe even Powers might have some software.
Charging a fee for a custom supplier product should not be acceptable.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Subscription fees always seem annoying because you don't own the software. So any design documentation needs to be printed and explicit, otherwise you'll lose all the work if you drop your subscription. But every company has been tacking on yearly maintenance fees so you can upgrade and enhance. If you stop the maintenance fee, the developer usually makes you buy the program again if it is more than 1-2 versions out.

My only beef with Profis is that it loads slow initially. But it saves old design templates and also can check plate stresses. The output is decent too. You can get the DDA for free and check Hiltis along with Dewalt anchors. I've had some issues running the program, though.

The other option is programming Annex D with the manufacturer's data. It's doable, but a thick piece of code to work through with nuance. Personally, I like the functionality and accuracy of the software. I hope that the subscription fee allows the developers to update the features and analysis more effectively.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

It should be free so engineers will spec their products. I will move on to a competitor if they start charging. The beauty of capitalism. Hilti is based in Liechtenstein so maybe that is a socialist country and they don't understand the concept.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Bye Hilti.. Hello Simpson.

Never used Hilti anyway... Now I know why.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

To be fair, this is a major step up from the old Profis and includes a full FE analysis of the plates/welds/stiffeners. Small money for what it is.

Incidentally, the new software accounts for anchor load distribution via flexible end plates. Almost all other free software, including the current Profis, leave it up to you to ensure that the plate is ‘rigid’ - which it rarely is in reality. You’d be surprised how different the answers are!

I haven’t bought this yet, but plan to in the coming weeks.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

My take on this is the following:
1) If this is a tool merely meant to promote Hilti products and make them easier to specify or design, then this is a bad idea.
2) My impression is that this tool started out as that (merely meant to promote Hilti products), but that it has evolved. There are a lot of features in the program now. How many of the competitors do irregular shaped base plates and anchor rod layouts?
3) The regular software folks (RISA, RAM, et cetera) have largely abandoned baseplates. Their programs are either extremely simple (RAM) or have been discontinued (RISABase).

I'm not sure how I feel about Hilti charging a fee. They have every right to charge a fee for the work they put in. But, if it makes it more burdensome for me to use their products then I'm not happy.

I would prefer if they were to "spin off" the software branch of their company (like PCA did with Structure Point). That way there is a clear differentiation between the free service they provide to their customers (maybe even a stripped down, free version of the software they still provide) and the service they are changing for as a value added software.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

(OP)
Navigating the myriad of requirements for anchorage to concrete can be a nightmare.

Hilti has (19) different post-installed anchor options, and their competitors have a similar amount. Each one of the anchors has different load capacities based on embedment, edge distance, concrete strength, spacing etc etc... and it's different for each manufacturer so you can't swap one for the other without checking it (well, sometimes you can).... and the load capacities change based on Code reports it seems every few months. Without a program to help navigate the myriad of conditions and options it would take forever.

If the program were to be used solely to design generic anchors I would agree, there should be a charge for it. However, their program is used to help the engineer design, and spec, their product. This should be free in my mind, it's called customer support which is supported by the sales price of their product.

I haven't used the new tool so I didn't know about the added features some have pointed out.... maybe it's worth the money for those features but I think it should be separate. They're bundling what should be a free tool with something you may or may not need and making you pay for it. However, maybe they'll keep the free desktop version and I'll be happy... but the online version includes anchoring to concrete over metal deck while the desktop version doesn't... and the online version number is 3.0 something while the desktop version is 2.8 something. this make me wonder if they'll update the desktop version going forward.

I went to check their KB anchor for anchoring to concrete over metal deck, which is included in the free Simpson tool and not the free Hilti tool (only the paid online version)... guess which one I'm going to spec.

$360 is peanuts to a mid sized engineering firm, but that isn't my point though. I'm just wondering if this is the beginning of a slippery slope for all the manufacturers for all the various products we spec out to begin to charge for their design tools... anchors, I-joist, hangers, connectors... We use a number of design aids from various manufacturers to help us design and spec their products. If they all went this route it could start to add up. I already pay way too much for ACAD, RAM, RISA, SAFE, Enercalc, Revit etc, but that's another rant.....

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

My understanding is there will be a standard free version which does everything the old Profis software did. The "pro" version which will cost a monthly amount will include base plate analysis, anchoring to masonry, anchoring to metal deck, multiple load cases, excel load import, and BIM/CAD export.

Open Source Structural Applications: https://github.com/buddyd16/Structural-Engineering

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

If I hire an Engineer, I am not going to be comfortable with the Engineer using software from a firm that also supplies products that will be specified in my construction documents and bought with my money.
Before hiring an Engineer, I would request a list of his software suppliers. Any connections would be suspect.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Quote:

Before hiring an Engineer, I would request a list of his software suppliers. Any connections would be suspect.

Why?


Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Buggar, would you also object to an engineer using a product datasheet? Any proprietary product?

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

If this happens, I'll just specify some other manufacturer's solution. No problem whatsoever.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Quote (My understanding is there will be a standard free version which does everything the old Profis software did. The "pro" version which will cost a monthly amount will include base plate analysis, anchoring to masonry, anchoring to metal deck, multiple load cases, excel load import, and BIM/CAD export.)


I heard the same thing on a Hilti webinar recently.

Powers used to have an on line version of their software but it seems to have disappeared. Red Head has an on-line design program called Truspec.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

When you go onto the Hilti Engineering Suite web page, it has a list of "Standard" features and "Premium" features. The note on the web page says the premium features will be available for free till 8/1/19. The standard features appear to include the CIP anchors and post-installed anchors just like the old desktop Profis whereas the premium features include more plate design options and masonry anchorage.

https://www.hilti.com/content/hilti/W1/US/en/engin...
Scroll down about half way to see list of standard (free) features versus premium (paid) features.

Edited for link.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

3
Hilti's money maker is its anchors, not its software. They should make it easier to specify their anchors, not more difficult by charging a fee. As an engineer, I have no skin in the game to specify one anchor manufacturer over another. So everything else being equal, why would I pay for what I can get for free somewhere else? By charging a fee for the software, they are biting the hand that feeds them.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

"Powers used to have an on line version of their software but it seems to have disappeared"

It's Dewalt now and still exists. Google Dewalt Design Assist.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL) Structural Engineer (IL, HI)

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Motorcity is on the money.

Hilti charges a lot of dough for their anchors. their free software and free extensive engineering catalogue and support is a tool to get engineers specifying their product over alternatives. Hell, back in 2014 I even had a hilti engineer out with me onsite, for a full day, to load test a bunch of their anchors in a novel application on masonry blocks. The engineer brought all the equipment, spent the whole day with me onsite for free, and they picked up the bill for lunch too. After that kind of support, what incentive do i have to spec any other anchor? its an effective old school way to do business.

Engineers are creatures of habit, and because the hilti software proliferated in the desks of engineers, their product has become the go-to for all post installed anchors.

Engineers are people and also at times irrationally cheap. many (most?) will not pay for a 360$/yr software, especially when there is alternatives by competitors that are free. I'm not saying its right, its just a fact. looks like some new business exec got on board at hilti and is trying to squeeze the fruit to increase share price by a quarter point, without considering, their whole business model is built on effective old school shmoozing.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Bad experience with collusion on a Side Plate project.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Not sure why people are upset about this. It was mentioned in this thread and on Hilti's website that the current version will remain free. They now have a premium version that looks to be almost dirt cheap in terms of software costs. They aren't taking away any resources, they're just adding more powerful ones at what looks like a discount. In addition, they're giving you the next 3 months to try the premium version for free, which is a pretty decent trial. Miningman called it in the first post.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Yes if you look at the features, they are not taking any features away, but does charge for new features. I think Hilti is being pretty fair.

That said, the point regarding Simpson having free software should be concerning to Hilti; its a competitive market and I would not hesitate to specify Simpson over Hilti if they give a better and free software. Still does not seem like a wise business move for Hilti. Time will tell.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

I don't blame Hilti for wanting it both ways: pay Hilti to design their super-expensive fasteners and then singe-spec those super-expensive fasteners so that contractors have no choice but to buy them from Hilti.

Nice work if you can get it.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

I can't say I'd be even be interested in any of the features in the premium suite anyway. I wouldn't even use Profis for cast-in tbh, if I'm casting anchors in usually I have enough load I need to develop bar into the breakout cone anyway.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Just today, DeWalt came to our office to show us their anchor design software and also bought us lunch. Competitive market.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

All things being equal regarding fastener manufacturer preference etc, the questions are simple enough in my mind:

How many hours of design time will the annual fee cost me? How many hours of design time will the tool save me over a year? Can I build the cost of the software into a project fee as a tool to perform my scope?

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Quote (JLNJ)

sing[l]e-spec those super-expensive fasteners so that contractors have no choice but to buy them from Hilti.

I tend to note "OR EQUAL" whenever I'm unsure. And, yes, there have been times where the contractor came back asking about using a Simpson adhesive instead. Thankfully Simpson has an epoxy anchor design tool now, so it's much easier to verify which of their epoxies will work.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Teh - I'm aware of the name change but I was referring to the cloud based version of the Powers/Dewalt software. Where I work the company won't install any third party software. Whenever I need to do anchor design I have to it at home.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

Bridgebuster, Ramset Australia has iExpert online software which sounds similar to your old Powers, and it claims to have a US calculation method included. Ramset is owned by ITW; not sure how big they are in the US anchor market but an ITW brand might have software you could use during work hours. I haven't used it for >6 months due to system incompatibility though.

In Australia, I'd guess Ramset is second to Hilti. Ramset owns the 'Chemset' brand name.

RE: Hilti Profis Suite to start charging a license fee

thanks steve

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