UWG Cuts Design Time for Rigs and Equipment

U.K.-based UWG, Ltd. is using SolidWorks 3D CAD and COSMOS design analysis software to develop equipment that makes oil drilling around the world safer and more efficient. UWG has standardized on SolidWorks and COSMOSWorks to reduce product development time and deliver cost effective products and technical solutions to such global powerhouses as BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell.

A subsidiary of the Acteon Group, UWG designs and installs minimum facilities platforms, structural centralizers (which hold pipelines in place on a production platform), sub-sea structures, sub-sea cameras, and performs tiebacks engineering for connecting wells from the seabed to a platform. The company had been using a combination of 2D and 3D CAD programs before standardizing on SolidWorks. Together, companies in the Acteon Group have 25 licenses of SolidWorks.

"We needed to get designs and products out the door faster, and we needed to reduce the cost for quoting and delivering these to our clients," said UWG Design Team Leader Matthew White. "We often had to recreate models in our previous analysis software, which took time, introduced errors, and frustrated us as we tried to finish designs on deadline. SolidWorks' integration with COSMOSWorks eliminated those challenges so we can focus on the project, not managing CAD software."

That integration has played a crucial role as UWG recently designed customized small minimum facilities platforms, drilling templates and centralizers for its clients. Precision is a must as platforms in the North Sea and around the world can be rocked by vicious weather patterns, violent seas, and powerful currents. The centralizers have to hold the pipeline in place without allowing it to bang into the platform or shake free anywhere above or below the ocean floor.

Using SolidWorks software's design tables, engineers cut development time for the 80-square meter platform from one week using 2D to two days. They then used COSMOSWorks to study how the structure would stand up to gale force winds and shifting seas to ensure clients wouldn't lose production time or money because of a structural failure.

"SolidWorks and COSMOSWorks give us confidence in the accuracy of our designs, so we know our designs and products will deliver on our promises," said UWG IT Manager John Rainbow. "That's how we continue to design better products and strengthen our reputations in an extremely competitive industry."

UWG uses eDrawings e-mail-enabled design communication tool to share designs with clients, as well as with internal procurement staff so they know exactly what parts they are purchasing at what price. SolidWorks PDMWorks product data management (PDM) platform allows UWG to manage all of the design data it generates while enabling engineers to safely store, track, and work on designs concurrently.

"There is no margin for error for workers on an oil rig in a storm at sea," said SolidWorks' Executive Vice President of Europe Michel Gros. "UWG's products make sure some of the biggest petroleum companies in the world retain structural integrity under the harshest of conditions."

UWG relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller Innova Systems for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

UWG, an Acteon company, is an industry leader in creative engineering solutions in the seabed-to-surface domain. UWG has built its capabilities around top-class competency in structural analysis and delivers timely, creative and cost-effective solutions in five critical areas: pre-drilling, conductor integrity, minimum facilities structures, pipeline commissioning and subsea visualization and inspection.

Innova Systems helps customers develop better products faster and more affordably using SolidWorks software. Based in Cambridge, U.K., Innova provides customers with certified SolidWorks training, support, and consulting services together with a broad range of SolidWorks partner products to address applications such as manufacturing and design automation.

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products.

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