UK's Wessex Water standardizes on SolidWorks software

Wessex Water, one of the U.K.'s largest water supply companies, has standardized on SolidWorks 3D CAD software to design all of its new wastewater treatment plants. Headquartered in Bath, Wessex Water provides water services to 1.2 million people and sewage services to 2.5 million people over a 10,000-square-kilometer region in the Southwest of England. The company adopted SolidWorks software to reduce design time and errors and free engineers to explore different design avenues...

• The U.K.'s No. 1 water utility uses 3D CAD software to achieve right-first-time design

CONCORD, MA, Nov. 28, 2007 -- Wessex Water, one of the U.K.'s largest water supply companies, has standardized on SolidWorks® 3D CAD software to design all of its new wastewater treatment plants.

Headquartered in Bath, Wessex Water provides water services to 1.2 million people and sewage services to 2.5 million people over a 10,000-square-kilometer region in the Southwest of England. It achieved the highest ranking of all water and wastewater service utilities in the country based on water supply, sewage services, customer services, and environmental impact in 2006, according to a report from the U.K.'s Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat). The company adopted SolidWorks software to reduce design time and errors and free engineers to explore different design avenues.

"Some of our projects involve several thousand components and can take months to complete, so we can't afford to spend any time recreating drawings because of engineering changes or fixing errors in 2D," said Simon Oldfield, 3D CAD technician and drawing systems administrator responsible for rolling out SolidWorks software at Wessex Water. "SolidWorks' intuitive interface, collision detection, and built-in analysis tools ensure we get the design right so we don't have to backtrack. That gives us more time to discover new ways to solve design challenges, which is a luxury we didn't have with 2D AutoCAD."

One of the first projects Wessex Water is using SolidWorks for is a refit of an existing sewage treatment plant that passes wastewater through a series of 20,000 membranes. The plant measures 200 square meters and involves thousands of components, including an extensive pipe system. Oldfield and his team will rely on SolidWorks' built-in Design Checker, which ensures designs meet the utility's standards. They will also use COSMOSXpress™ design analysis and COSMOSFloWorks™ computational fluid dynamics software, which analyzes fluid flow through the system, to ensure future 3D plant designs are accurate and ready for manufacture. COSMOSFloWorks ensures engineers properly plan for water volume, flow, and piping configurations for its projects.

Wessex Water also uses SolidWorks eDrawings® e-mail-enabled design communication tool to share design information internally with operations crews so that those technicians who are building and installing equipment can easily and quickly provide feedback. eDrawings enables engineers to share 3D models that recipients can understand because they can rotate, pan, and study the models as if they were holding the component in their hands.

"Wessex Water has long been a model of efficiency among utilities in the U.K.," said Simon Booker, SolidWorks marketing manager, Europe. "The company's devotion to customer service is manifest in its attention to precision design and manufacturing of the equipment that delivers those services."

Wessex Water relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller Solid Solutions Management for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

Headquartered in Bath, Wessex Water is the regional water and sewage treatment business serving an area of the Southwest of England, covering 10,000 square kilometers including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire.

Founded in 1998, Solid Solutions Management focuses on providing industry-leading software and services.

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systèmes S.A. company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management.

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