Computer Software for Steel Professionals

Structural Material Manager Version 15.1 Upgrade

Introduction: The Version 15.1 Structural Material Manager software system is a free upgrade to all registered owners of its predecessor, Version 15.0. Here is a quick overview of Version 15.1's features:

  • The Production-Control Module has been upgraded to store shipping ticket header information that is specific to each printed ticket rather than generalized for the job.
  • Numerous round HSS items have been added to the size libraries (specifically, new HSS sizes that correspond to Pipes).
  • Reports that are simultaneously collated and stapled are now able to be properly handled on copiers and high-end printers.
  • KISS-file import has been improved to be “forgiving” of KISS files that are improperly formatted with missing and/or incorrect material type codes.

Details of these individual topics are presented below.


Ticket-Specific Shipping Histories: The system now stores header information exactly as it appeared on specific Shipping Tickets. By remembering that information, it is able to retrieve it in case the user later pulls that ticket up for editing. Formerly, a ticket retrieved from the shipping history would inherit whatever headers were used on the job’s last-used ticket.

Unlike most other reports, the Shipping Ticket is one in which pulling up last-used header information will not suffice. For instance, if a previously-printed ticket is pulled up for editing so that it can be tweaked before re-printing, having the Shipment Tracking Number field from some other, newer ticket appear by default is not acceptable. In the case of Shipping Tickets, only information that appeared on a specific ticket should be retrieved when that ticket is pulled up for editing, and that is exactly how Version 15.1 operates.

When creating a new shipping ticket rather than pulling up a historical one for changes, header fields such as the Customer Purchase Order Number, Ship Via, Ship-to Company Information, etc. default to whatever appeared on the ticket last printed for the same job. Exceptions are the Shipment Tracking Number and the Complete Shipment indicator which have such ticket-specific meanings that no last-used values from a previous ticket should ever become defaults for a new one. The situation is different when you retrieve an existing ticket for editing, as all headers - including the Shipment Tracking Number and the Complete Shipment indicator - automatically take on the exact values they had on that particular ticket. No matter whether you create a new ticket or retrieve an existing one, of course you always have the freedom to change header fields as needed before the ticket is printed.


Pipe-Size HSS: Round HSS was introduced by the American Institute of Steel Construction (A.I.S.C.) in 1997. Although full adoption of the HSS material type took quite some time to take hold, HSS is now routinely used in the steel industry.

When Structural Material Manager Version 12.5 introduced Round HSS many years ago, Pipe was still commonly specified for structural work. Today, however, Pipe is sometimes forbidden on structural jobs due to its A53 grade designation, and HSS in some structural grade - usually one of the A500 grades - must be used instead.

Since many structural designs are based on Pipe sizes which originally had no equivalent HSS sizes, tube manufacturers are now producing A500 HSS items in the same sizes that were traditionally available as A53 Pipe. At first glance the new sizes might not appear to be the same since Pipe is specified by Inside Diameter (I.D.) and HSS is specified by Outside Diameter (O.D.), but closer examination reveals that they are indeed the same. For instance, 1 1/4" Pipe corresponds not to 1.250" HSS but, rather, 1.660" HSS. A 1 1/4" Sch. 40 Pipe in grade A53 matches up with HSS 1.660 x 0.140 in grade A500 when a structural item is needed. Similarly, a 1 1/4" Sch. 80 Pipe in grade A53 could be replaced by structural member HSS 1.660 x 0.191 in grade A500.

Since A.I.S.C.’s tables do not currently list all of the available Pipe-size HSS items, Structural Material Manager Version 15.1 has implemented them using data supplied by tubing manufacturers.


Support for Collated, Stapled Reports: Some copiers and high-end printers can be outfitted with stapler accessories. When Structural Material Manager Versions 15.0 and older printed multiple copies of collated, stapled reports on such units, all worked as expected under Windows XP. Under Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and 10, however, those Structural Material Manager versions incorrectly stapled the entire stack of collated copies once rather than stapling each packet individually.

The reason for different behavior under different Windows versions is simple: Microsoft changed the way the Print dialog handled collation under Windows Vista, and newer Windows releases have inherited that new behavior.

Beginning with the Version 15.1 release, Structural Material Manager queries the operating system to determine which Windows version is running. It then automatically adjusts for Print dialog differences between operating systems so that collated copies will always be stapled properly.


Elegant Handling of Improper KISS-File Formatting: KISS files have been able to be imported via the optional External Data Interface since the Version 13.0 upgrade was released. The Version 15.1 upgrade now elegantly works around a couple of formatting errors that are sometimes seen in KISS files.

The KISS file specification is a published field layout with which KISS files are expected to comply. One part of that specification dictates the allowable material type codes such as PL for Plates, CP for Checkered Plates, etc. Unfortunately, some programs that export KISS files take liberties with the material type codes instead of strictly adhering to the published specification. Sometimes the material type code is completely omitted, or at other times the code might be an illegal one never even mentioned in the KISS specification.

Given the first case - that of a completely missing KISS material type code - Structural Material Manager now automatically converts the imported line to a Miscellaneous Item. This prevents an import error dialog from popping up every time an item with no material type is encountered.

The second case, that of an illegal type such as SHIM, GASKET, etc. is now handled in similar fashion: the system automatically converts the line to a Miscellaneous Item. It goes one step further in this case, however, and adds the illegal material type to the item's description. Suppose a KISS file lists an item with an illegal type of "GUY WIRE" (there is no such KISS material type), and the item description is "3/8" 1x7 Galv." The Version 15.1 upgrade would automatically convert this illegal line to a Miscellaneous Item with the description "GUY WIRE 3/8" 1x7 Galv." without generating an error message.


Upgrade Price Quote and Ordering Info: If you are an existing customer with an older Structural Material Manager version, please e-mail us at to obtain a price quote on the latest upgrade. You can then use the Online Upgrade Order Form to conveniently place the order for the latest Structural Material Manager upgrade.


Other Upgrade Versions: This page specifically covers Version 15.1 upgrade features. For information concerning other upgrade versions, visit our main Structural Material Manager upgrade page which contains links to pages describing improvements in each software release from Version 10.1 (circa 2007) to the present.