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On-the-fly data transfer

-Krista Dulon

How do you work collaboratively on the design of a one million-part machine? The Enovia database sharing system will allow seven Domestic Agencies and the ITER Organization to work as an integrated design office. (Click to view larger version...)
How do you work collaboratively on the design of a one million-part machine? The Enovia database sharing system will allow seven Domestic Agencies and the ITER Organization to work as an integrated design office.
Monday evening, Gandhinagar, India. Using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) tools, Indian designers working on the in-wall shielding of the ITER Vacuum Vessel finish a series of modifications and save them to the database before leaving the office. Tuesday morning, Cadarache, France. Designers at the ITER Organization have an updated version of the in-wall shielding file, and can address any design issues that the Indian changes raise for the surrounding components.

A collaborative design tool for the ITER collaboration - the Enovia Replication System currently being rolled out to all Domestic Agencies will make the design process at ITER simpler and more efficient. It is capable of moving a huge amount of data to very remote locations, providing designers in the Domestic Agencies with a sychronized copy of the CAD database housed at Cadarache.

"A large number of schedule-critical components urgently require CAD database sharing," stresses Eric Martin, Design Office Head. "The design on these components and their many interfaces is still evolving. We lack the resources at the ITER Organization (IO) and need help from the Domestic Agencies (DAs). We are doing everything we can to encourage and support the DAs in implementing Enovia."

6 000 km distant: François Redon and Eric Thomas at the ITER Organization, and Shrishail Padasalagi and Vikram Sharma at the Indian DA stand in front of the same data file for in-wall shielding. (Click to view larger version...)
6 000 km distant: François Redon and Eric Thomas at the ITER Organization, and Shrishail Padasalagi and Vikram Sharma at the Indian DA stand in front of the same data file for in-wall shielding.
The status of the project was presented at this month's IO-DA Coordination Meeting (8-10 February) in Cadarache. The system is now up and running in five of the seven DAs, and the last hurdles are being worked out to complete roll out by summer. Since late 2008, the pilot project at the US DA, the ITER Design Office, IT specialists and the DAs have worked together to overcome licensing issues, networking problems, hardware delays, confidentiality, and customs ... to name only a few.

In a second phase of the project, key suppliers and R&D laboratories working for the DAs will also be connected to the system, when required in the context of design work they have contracted to do for ITER.

Christophe Mouret, Infrastructure Engineer, has spent many a night monitering the deployment of ITER data. (Click to view larger version...)
Christophe Mouret, Infrastructure Engineer, has spent many a night monitering the deployment of ITER data.
"Database sharing will be a powerful tool for ITER," says Eric Thomas, CAD Collaboration Coordinator. "It will permit us to manage over one million individual parts divided into 100 000 work packages, and work as an integrated design office — something that, up to now, we haven't been able to do. The Replication System will simplify our work, and shorten the design cycle."

Within the next six months, real-time design work will be reality from eight spots on the globe. CAD designers working on the ITER project will have the same tools, whether in Barcelona, Beijing, Moscow, Naka, Daejeon, Oak Ridge, Gandhinagar or Cadarache.

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