NuScale's mission is to improve the quality of life for people worldwide by providing scalable advanced nuclear technology for producing electricity, heat, and clean water.
NuScale Power is also developing a new modular light water reactor to supply reliable, abundant, carbon-free nuclear energy. Their groundbreaking SMR design features a fully fabricated NuScale Power ModuleTM capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology.
While the NuScale SMR design is vastly simpler and safer, the design must still satisfy the same requirements of traditional plants. For example, a U.S.-based nuclear power plant must meet over 60k safety, regulatory, and quality requirements.
Yet, plant information presented challenges: legacy plant information is document-based, there is no clear link to the requirements, design requirements come in many forms, and design changes come at various times from multiple sources. A closer look at the current process, with an eye toward overall improvement, resulted in the following conclusion:
The company's desired outcomes for the project included:
- Managing all design requirements
- Managing design changes
- Managing engineering design changes
- Automating all engineering work tasks
- CAD Management
- BOM Management
- Simulation Management
- Maintenance Management
NuScale’s PLM Journey Leads to Aras
Neil Olivier, NuScale's Director of Corporate Services, joined the company in 2015 and found that there were multiple databases controlling information surrounding various engineering processes. Olivier discovered that they had different systems controlling various aspects of their design control process, all managed by PDF paper-based processes with pointers between the systems. NuScale had Teamcenter® in place for document control, but it was not used for configuration management, leading to cumbersome processes for managing the design's configuration. This reliance on document-based systems for complex projects like a nuclear plant is typical and historically made linking information to the physical design a significant challenge.
NuScale began a search for a PLM solution that would better meet their needs than the disjointed systems in use. According to Neil, "When performing our selection for a fully functional PLM platform, it was apparent that Aras was the most cost-effective, flexible, and resilient solution for NuScale."
Powering the Future With Aras
As it turns out, a study was already underway to explore a PLM solution at NuScale. One of the study's recommendations was to eliminate the existing document control system and implement a PLM solution that would house all the data and allow for the establishment of a digital thread. A subsequent visit to a CIMdata conference gave him the opportunity to speak with a presenter from Microsoft who had detailed his company's experience doing a "rip and replace" of Teamcenter. Upon further inquiry, Neil discovered that the replacement PLM solution was Aras Innovator®.
Read the full case study for more information on this exciting collaboration.