Plant design at light speed

Nuclear fusion could be just around the corner. Just ask the folks running the ITER project, a joint international research and development effort. With construction on a demonstration fusion power plant set to start this year in Cadarache, France, and reactor assembly projected for 2012, ITER plans to demonstrate that nuclear fusion, the energy source that lights the sun and the stars, can b...

05/01/2008


Nuclear fusion could be just around the corner. Just ask the folks running the ITER project, a joint international research and development effort.

With construction on a demonstration fusion power plant set to start this year in Cadarache, France, and reactor assembly projected for 2012, ITER plans to demonstrate that nuclear fusion, the energy source that lights the sun and the stars, can be harnessed on earth to produce electricity in a safe and environmentally benign way.

ITER is made up of an organizing central body, and seven partner countries: the European Union, Japan, China, India, Korea, Russia, and the United States.

With this kind of global structure, it's not surprising that plant and mechanical design team members work from points around the globe. To work efficiently, they must collaborate in real time.

To ensure data interoperability across the organization, ITER brought in product design and product life-cycle management (PLM) solutions from Dassault Systemes. It implemented these solutions on the Microsoft Server System, which serves as the underlying IT backbone. The platform includes Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Windows Server.

The organization's IT department documented a tenfold performance improvement after implementing Microsoft servers to run design and PLM systems, says Hans Werner Bartels, ITER's senior technical officer for IT.



Microsoft-based PLM solution CATIA V5 and ENOVIA V5 from Dassault Systemes allow members of globally dispersed engineering teams to visualize, analyze, and work with data in ways that suit their individual needs while being assured that all the assemblies they design will fit together properly because everyone is working with the same data.

For design, ITER uses CATIA V5, the 3D CAD program from Dassault Systemes. To track the millions of parts that make up the plant, ITER uses the PLM system ENOVIA VPLM V5, which acts as a single repository for all design data. Letting teams design in tandem on a project this complex is essential, says Eric Martin, ITER's design office head. It also was essential to have the Micrsoft-based PLM solutions that allow users around the world to visualize, analyze, and work with data in ways that suit their individual needs while being assured that all the assemblies they design will fit together properly because everyone is working with the same data.

Without these PLM tools to structure the data, Martin says, “The project would have been in jeopardy.”

Joint value proposition:

Dassault Systemes, a leader in 3D and product life-cycle management (PLM) solutions, serves more than 100,000 customers in 80 countries. Dassault Systemes solution facilitate the design, simulation, and production of complex systems and manufacturing facilities. CATIA V5 and ENOVIA V5, two of Dassault Systemes' flagship technologies, enable intuitive design of the virtual product, and management of data structures that allow process efficiencies and collaboration. Microsoft offers the broadest set of technologies for supporting CATIA and ENOVIA. The cost savings and ease of implementing Microsoft technology infrastructure such as Microsoft Windows Server, SQL Server, and Exchange Server combined with Dassault Systemes' applications enables companies of all sizes to adopt leading-edge, value- and results-driven PLM strategies.

Dassault Solutions

  • CATIA V5 : A 3D CAD program. It empowers end-to-end process coverage for composite design to manufacturing, electrical harness design to documentation and printed circuit board design. It also consolidates functional modeling support for the design of complex machined parts, extending this unique approach to more manufacturing processes.

  • ENOVIA V5 : A product life-cycle management (PLM) solution. Acts as a single repository for all product-related data. The application links engineers, allowing them to work together on current designs. It gives all design team members access to the same up-to-the-minute information. It also lets them easily search for pre-existing assemblies in the system.

Microsoft Solutions

  • Microsoft Exchange Server: A software platform that supports messaging and other collaborative business activities. It is the backbone for email, calendaring, and task management. It fully supports mobile and Web-based applications and information exchange.

  • Microsoft SQL Server: A comprehensive, integrated data management and analysis software program that enables organizations to reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run today's increasingly complex business applications. Allows companies to gain greater insight from their business information and achieve faster results for a competitive advantage.

  • Microsoft Windows Server: A multi-purpose operating system capable of handling a diverse set of server roles, depending on a company's needs. The roles can range from file and print server to Web server and Web application server, as well as mail and streaming media server.



Challenge

:Link far-flung plant and mechanical designers via design and life-cycle management systems that run on a distributed network.

Why Microsoft and Dassault Systemes?

Dassault Systemes' CATIA V5 design software and ENOVIA VPLM V5 give designers access to the latest design software and lets them design in tandem while creating one central data repository for design information. The Microsoft Server System offered the distributed network backbone to run these solutions.

Solutions

CATIA V5

ENOVIA VPLM V5

Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft Windows Server.

Key benefits

ITER designers can work and design together from locations around the globe.

Thanks to the paired design and PLM solution, ITER operates with five times fewer staff members than would be needed were the systems not in place.

Plant and mechanical designers rest assured mechanical assemblies will fit together and work as they should because all potential problems have been troubleshot and solved on the digital CATIA system.

The server system that acts as the backbone for the design and PLM applications speeds performance tenfold as compared to previous multi-operating-system server platforms.



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