Auburn Hills, Mich., USA, June 26, 2008 – Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, and BCP Engineers & Consultants, one of the world’s premier nuclear engineering firms, today announced that Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), a U.S. operator of nuclear power plants, has used DELMIA solutions to help facilitate the modification and installation of its mechanical systems.
Xcel Energy operates two Minnesota commercial nuclear sites, Prairie Island and Monticello, which together provide approximately 1,700 megawatts of electricity. The Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant uses DELMIA, specifically DELMIA DPM Assembly, Human Builder, and Human Task simulation for planning and simulation efforts related to critical mechanical system upgrades in support of an extended upgrade to the plant’s power generation rate. These solutions are directly used to optimize scheduling, planning, and installation, thereby reducing plant downtime.
BCP Engineers & Consultants and Dassault Systèmes are working with Xcel Energy’s Monticello plant to plan and schedule its General Electric Zinc Injection Process (GEZIP) mechanical system-installation project. Industry experience has shown that use of the GEZIP system has resulted in a substantial reduction of radiation dose to workers during boiling water reactor outages worldwide. A key challenge for the commercial nuclear industry is the installation of new systems or modification to existing systems. Additionally, with very tight outage schedules, it is critical that the transfer, movement, installation, and connections such as the GEZIP system occur within committed work plans and schedules. It is also imperative that there be no surprises or impacts on dependent activities or other resources during the installation or maintenance processes.
“This was a pilot project in Xcel’s efforts to perform a series of plant modifications and upgrades in support of an extended power uprate at Monticello,” said Darrel Turner, project manager, BCP Engineers & Consultants. “The use of this 3D technology to build the GEZIP model and simulations has proven practical and effective, and has potential to support a variety of projects at nuclear plants. Industry feedback has been excellent.”
Both DELMIA and Dassault Systèmes’ virtual design solution, CATIA, were used to develop a plant model for simulation scenarios to install the GEZIP mechanical system. This simulation capability optimizes the scheduling, planning, and installation processes resulting in reduced outage time and improved schedule adherence.
“A capability that sets us apart from our competition is that we can optimize virtually any capital project’s construction or maintenance activity via DELMIA with tight integration to standard scheduling solutions like Primavera,” said Al Casas, senior executive account manager, DELMIA, Dassault Systèmes. “Clients can optimize time and resources, and perform safety planning in a virtual environment prior to any physical activity beginning. With projects like Xcel Energy’s, where downtime costs can be very expensive, an optimized construction schedule enabled by DELMIA is invaluable.”