In the Swedish city of Lund, one of the largest science infrastructure projects in the world is under construction: the European Spallation Source (ESS). Designed to generate neutron beams, the ESS facility will benefit a broad range of research, from life sciences to energy, engineering materials and information technology.
What makes neutrons so interesting? With neutrons we can see things that are impossible to view with other technology such as x-rays or MRIs. Because neutrons have no electric charge, atoms and molecules can be investigated without damage.
At the heart of the facility is the most powerful linear accelerator ever built. It will enable generating more neutrons than any other spallation source in the world.
The result? The neutron beams on the instruments will be up to 100 times brighter than anywhere else today, allowing scientists to investigate faster and with better accuracy material structures at scales not possible with other neutron sources.
How does ESS manage the coordination of all stakeholders as well as the facility’s design? With 3DEXPERIENCE.
Building such a powerful neutron source is not easy. The facility is comprised of 23 buildings including the 600 meter long proton accelerator, a rotating tungsten target station, 15 state-of-the-art neutron instruments and a suite of laboratories. It requires an unprecedented level of collaboration among world-leading scientists and engineers across Europe. Views of civil engineers must be meshed with those of scientists, to integrate everything from civil structure to the tiniest micrometer component. And everything has to fit together and meet different requirements and specifications.
The ESS engineering team adopted Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to integrate design and data management as well as to streamline collaboration. The platform allows coordination of the design and the construction of the millions of parts comprising the facility by integrating the 3D designs of each contributing partner in a single 3D master model. With numerous partner institutes in the member countries throughout Europe working simultaneously, using a single platform meets the requirement for concurrent engineering. It also ensures that all different stakeholders have the proper data with correct revisions, avoiding discrepancies in the design process. In addition, authorities can access all documentation on the platform for regulatory compliance.
Working on a master model also has led to safer construction and maintenance processes, because designs and tasks can be virtually simulated before workers attempt to build or repair a part of the facility.
From the very inception of the project on, ESS capitalized all data on the platform. This way they can ensure full traceability and keep track of the project’s history – for a sustainable and bright future filled with exciting new discoveries.
Want to learn more about ESS and its efforts to advance neutron science?