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Media Corner
12 December 2014

F4E opts for IBM platform to follow up its share of ITER components

(Left to right) Ivan Bénilan and Gonçalo Serra, members of F4E’s Technical Process Integration Team, demonstrating the ITER components database.

ITER will be the biggest ever fusion machine counting approximately one million components. Given the fact that Europe is responsible for nearly half of ITER’s in-kind contribution, its share of procurement will be no easy task. Take a minute to count the different stages from the moment a high-tech component is conceived, specified and designed till the moment it gets manufactured, tested and finally goes through the rigorous acceptance tests. And for a complex project like ITER aiming to push the R&D frontiers further, these stages will be multiplied. Therefore, a system that will encompass the management of all requirements, help with the tracing of their specifications, their final acceptance and delivery is fundamental. For this reason F4E has opted for IBM Rational DOORS® as the platform that will contain the information about anything it will need to procure to ITER. Gonçalo Serra and Ivan Bénilan, working in F4E’s Technical Process Integration Team, explain how the workflow is now streamlined and balanced: “Basically we link the requirements received by the ITER International Organization to the industrial specifications of F4E and then cross check them during the lifetime of the component. The platform is constantly being updated mirroring the progress in design, manufacturing and guaranteeing compliance. In case of an audit conducted by the French Nuclear Safety Authority, we are in a position to provide the relevant information along the way”. Both colleagues have spent a lot of time customising this platform in order to suit the needs of F4E’s contribution to the ITER project. In the “Innovate” IBM conference that took place in Orlando earlier this year, they unveiled some of the tweaks that they have introduced: i) “the cockpit” is an option that gives users an overview of all the actions taken and pending vis à vis the procurement package, ii) a matrix giving the state of play can be generated in just four clicks, iii) the transfer analysis is an option that helps users to capitalise on the requirement analysis performed for each component and incorporate any modifications. The use of DOORS® is spreading fast in F4E and so far at least 80 people have been trained. In future it is envisaged that suppliers will also be fully equipped to use the platform and integrate the progress carried out at their end. Watch Gonçalo Serra explain how F4E uses IBM Rational DOORS® here

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