The efficient management of materials and inventory is a great enough challenge on a typical project – let alone on ITER, one of the world’s most ambitious energy projects.
In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world's largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.
The experimental campaign that will be carried out at ITER is crucial to advancing fusion science and preparing the way for the fusion power plants of tomorrow. The ultimate outcome is to build and operate the ITER experimental device, bringing fusion to the point where a demonstration fusion reactor can be designed.
Parts and materials for the project are being transported to France from all over the world, including India.
"Materials management takes place behind the scenes," says Aaron Shaw, ITER’s logistics, storage & materials engineer. "When everything is running smoothly you don't hear about it... it's only when things go wrong that you do. Good materials management begins with correct data.”
Aaron's ally in the organization of many megabytes of data is SmartPlant Materials, Intergraph’s materials management solution. ITER recently published an article explaining SmartPlant Materials’ role in the project, which you can read in full on the ITER website here.
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Image taken from ITER.org.