Rolls Royce Trent XWB Engine Assembly

Trent XWB Engine Assembly

Showcasing their engine assembly process, Rolls Royce plc have recently released this video showing one of the latest generation Trent XWB gas turbine engines being assembled.

A large number of the engine assembly tools for these procedures were designed by Nova either using previous engine tools as typical examples or from scratch as blank sheet engineering design projects.

The Trent XWB engine is currently in service with a number of airline carrier companies and flies on the Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

For those readers with an interest in the aerospace industry, the XWB engine installations on Airbus A350-900 aircraft can be tracked on with Aircraft code ‘A359’.

Although unprecedented, the Trent XWB’s performance is not unexpected. It’s the 6th generation engine in the Rolls Royce Trent family, and has evolved from over 70 million hours of Trent family experience.

Drawing on the Rolls Royce plc unique three-shaft design, advanced materials and the latest fan system technology, the Trent XWB balances fuel efficiency and life cycle costs while delivering weight savings and improved aerodynamics.

With a 15 per cent fuel consumption advantage over the original Trent engine, it hits current and future emissions targets, goes further on less fuel and offers world beating performance and noise levels.

Such is the demand for the Trent XWB that Rolls-Royce have recently officially opened a new engine assembly line for its Trent XWB engines in Dahlewitz, Germany, complementing its main engine assembly production line in Derby, UK, and marking the first time that complete large civil engines have been assembled in Germany.

Trent XWB Engine Assembly Tooling

Rolls Royce Trent XWB 97 Civil Aerospace Engine

The new engine assembly line will help meet the exceptional demand for Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines by delivering up to two engines per week by the end of the year. Combining this with the capacity to deliver up to five Trent XWB engines from its main production line in Derby means that Rolls-Royce will be able to deliver one Trent XWB engine per day at peak.

The factory is an important production and development facility in the global Rolls-Royce group, assembling both the successful BR700 engine family and the V2500 engine. The Dahlewitz site also plays a role in the development of the next generation of aircraft engines, hosting a test centre for the power gearbox system which will feature in Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan® engine slated for delivery in the middle of the next decade.

For further images of the Trent XWB engine assembly process, why not view the Rolls Royce Trent XWB Flickr image library.
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Posted in Design, Engineering Design, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, UK Manufacturing

Autodesk Inventor 2018 – What’s New ?

Autodesk Inventor 2018 is released

The Wait Is Over !

Autodesk Inventor 2018 is now available to download and having done so and undertaken a couple of software installations, here’s Nova’s first look at what’s new.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - What's New ?Inventor 2018 is built for the continually evolving needs of the modern engineering design professional and this year, the Product Managers at Autodesk have included over 50 user requested ideas into this release with much of their efforts having being focused on adding professional grade design enhancements, an expansion to interoperability, and general improvements to the user experience.

Building on its breadth of 3D modelling capabilities and powerful design automation tools, Inventor 2018 marks the next step forward in professional grade 3D mechanical engineering design. Interoperability enhancements enable distributed, multi disciplinary teams to work together more efficiently with data from a variety of sources.

These efforts will allow our design engineers to design, engineer and collaborate faster and more effectively than ever before.

Inventor 2018 - professional grade design engineering software

Professional Grade Engineering Design

Design engineers constantly need to drive innovation in their design work for better products and more efficient processes. To stay ahead, we need ever faster, more powerful tools that help our engineers to release better performance and productivity. Inventor 2018 appears to deliver just that.

Improvements have been made in several core functionalities our engineers use on a daily basis. Projecting geometry in sketching, multi-body sheet metal parts and part modelling workflows have all been enhanced. Inventor 2018 delivers key performance improvements to large assembly and drawing workflows. Integrated Model Based Definition has been added giving our design engineers the ability to add Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) and 3D Annotations (3DA) to their models streamlining documentation and enable downstream use of the 3D designs for manufacturing and quality processes.

The Autodesk Inventor 2018 Experience

Customer driven enhancements throughout Inventor 2018 have improved core workflows and model interaction. Commands like Chamfer, Assembly Interference Analysis, Extrude and Hole have added useful options, in addition, both the Browser and Measure have been refreshed to deliver a more feature rich experience for all Inventor users.

Model Based Definition

Model Based Definition (MBD), is a powerful new set of tools for adding annotations, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), and other manufacturing information directly to a 3D model part.

Model Based Definition -Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Engineering Design SoftwareThe integrated Tolerance Advisor checks the health of the tolerance scheme and lists any potential problems, errors, and other information in the Tolerance Advisor browser.

Once the 3D CAD model has MBD and 3D Annotations applied their can be carried through to the 2D  manufacture drawings, exported in a 3D PDF or STEP file.

The Inventor interface has been fine tuned based on real-world user feedback. Searching and filtering is more robust. New tabs make navigation quicker.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Interface Improvements

Information rich interactive panels save design engineers from digging. More drawing data on-screen means fewer clicks. Commands like measure have been refreshed to streamline workflows and provide you more data, more quickly.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing

Geometric Dimension & Tolerancing Integration - Autodesk Inventor 2018

Autodesk Inventor 2018 now has integrated Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) and 3DA so that users can finally include important information in the 3D model space and accelerate traditional 2D drawing production.

GD&T Integration in 3D CAD Models - Autodesk Inventor 2018One of the best parts about it is the fact that Inventor automatically recognises tolerance features such as holes, and will use the correct GD&T symbol for that particular definition.

Tip: Go to the Get Started tab > Tutorial Gallery and download the GD&T guided tutorial to get familiar with the new commands.Autodesk 2018 - GD&T Integration in 2D drawings

Sheet Metal

Multibody sheet metal parts now support unique rules and thickness for each body. Multi-body rules can be applied to bodies in the browser, or while creating new bodies within the Face, Contour Flange, Contour Roll, and Lofted Flange dialog.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Sheet Metal Improvements 

Tip: The Sheet Metal 3 v2 guided tutorial includes the new unique thickness workflow.

Drawing Improvements

After selecting an assembly document to place in a drawing, if the preview can display in under 3 seconds it will do so. If it takes longer a Preview progress dialog box displays. The dialog box is the only element you can interact with during its display.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Drawing ImprovementsFrom the Open dialog box you can:

  • Defer drawings
  • Turn off model preview
  • Recover mesh bodies, surface bodies, and all model dimensions

Export to PDF

  • The From and To values specified for Sheets in range are no longer session based.
  • The new option, Display Published File in Viewer, when selected, displays the sheets in Adobe Acrobat Reader after clicking Save.

Autodesk 2018 - Export As PDF

BIM Content

BIM Content has been enhanced for simplification, authoring, and publish workflows. Inventor 2018 lets you publish directly to IFC and Revit (.rfa) file formats.

Inventor 2018 - BIM Compliancy - Autodesk Revit

Delivering content for use in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is a key business opportunity for many of Autodesk’s customers. With Inventor 2018, design engineers and CAD operators can remove information and publish their 3D models directly to Revit (.rfa) format – simplifying all CAD models, whilst protecting intellectual property, and reducing file size and complexity.

Expanded Interoperability

Autodesk has made the difficulty of working with foreign CAD files a thing of the past. AnyCAD was released in Inventor 2016, and has seen improvements in both of the last two major releases. Inventor 2018 brings in one of the most requested improvements to that workflow – backwards compatibility. Design engineers can now work between 2017 & 2018 seamlessly, whereas previously the entire engineering design team would need to be on the same version of the software to collaborate. This allows early adopters to take advantage of the newest features, while some can remain in the previous release if needed.

Expanded Interoperability - Inventor 2018

Of course Inventor 2018 can open Inventor 2017 files. But the latest version introduces backwards compatibility allowing Inventor 2017 users to take advantage of AnyCAD to use Inventor 2018 files in their designs. That means when you move to Inventor 2018, your collaborators and suppliers on Inventor 2017 can still reference your data.


With Inventor 2017.4, AnyCAD has been expanded to allow design engineers and CAD technicians to leverage Inventor 2018 files in your Inventor 2017 designs. This means you can now work with others who are on versions of Inventor that are earlier or later than the version you are working in. To help you identify the version of an Inventor file, the Open dialog now displays Inventor version a file was last saved in.

AnyCAD - Inventor 2018 gains backwards compatibility

Starting with Inventor 2017.4, engineers can reference future (newer) versions of Inventor part and assembly files in an earlier version of Inventor. For example, with Inventor 2017.4 you can reference an Inventor 2018 part file in Inventor 2017.

Inventor 2018 / Inventor 2017 Backwards Compatibility

All in all, the latest mechanical engineering design offering from Autodesk appears to offer lots of improvements over previous software releases. We’ll be providing additional feedback when our engineers have pushed the software further in the mechanical engineering design projects undertaken by our internal team of design engineers.

2018 What’s New Topics

Direct links to Autodesk Website

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Posted in Autodesk, CAD Software, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Inventor, Nova Design News, Software News, Software Updates

Digital Design Reviews

Due to the size and duration of the projects that we undertake in our engineering design office, design reviews are an increasingly important part of our mechanical engineering design process. Conducted either digitally or face to face, they allow us to provide our clients with regular updates before and throughout each design stage.

Design Reviews | Digital design reviews | online design reviewsCatering to a client base which now encompasses the whole of the UK together with current mechanical design projects from both Norway and Canada, digital design reviews are being used on a regular basis to ensure our clients are satisfied with the 3D models and CAD drawings that we are producing, before they are finalised.

Digital design reviews allow us to take away any of our client’s concerns during a project, by showing them exactly what is going on at short notice. We use collaborative tools such as WebEx and Skype to show our clients what is currently being worked on and what has been done so far, giving them several options if they’d like something done a particular way. We know that everyone is unique and has different preferences, therefore initial meetings and possibly additional design reviews are important to understand our client’s requirements. Due to the complexity of our work, digital design reviews are the most efficient way for our clients to highlight any changes or tweaks they may wish to make to a design.

We came to realise a long time ago that our clients often don’t have the time in their diary to meet face to face with us, and therefore introduced digital design reviews. This now allows us to clear up any concerns our clients may have in a matter of minutes, by allowing them to see things for themselves from the comfort of their own office on their own monitor. They have become particularly useful for the larger, more long-term projects that we carry out, allowing us to give our clients peace of mind in terms of meeting their deadlines with high quality, on time deliverables.

Digital design reviews are just one of the tools we use to keep our engineering design clients happy, in order to consistently supply them with CAD drawings and models of the highest quality.

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Posted in Nova Design News

Why Outsource Design Engineering ?

The benefits of outsourcing engineering design projects

Many engineering companies may not see or fully understand the benefits of outsourcing their engineering design work, or may not like to consider it as an option. There is often fear of not having control over a project once it has been outsourced, but with an outsource engineering design company such as ourselves, you can relax knowing it will be in safe hands. See below for some of the main benefits you can gain from sub contracting your design work.

Benefits of outsourcing include:

  • Improves reliability and service quality
  • Lessens potential impact of any risks that are taken e.g. taking on new staff in a hurry
  • Your business will become more flexible to change
  • Frees up human resources, allowing your staff to focus on their main responsibilities
  • Reduces overheads

Why outsource engineering design projects? 

  • You don’t have the required resources e.g. hardware, software and expertise
  • You have a project deadline approaching fast, and need extra assistance in order to meet it
  • You fear a competitor is about to release a rival product sooner than you
  • To avoid frequent training costs
  • No need to worry about costly CAD software updates, which are usually due on an annual basis
  • Allows you to call upon the skills and expertise of dedicated, experienced design engineers
  • Total flexibility to use someone only when you need them

Why outsource to Nova Design?

  • Our professional approach is fully geared towards achieving a total quality solution
  • We possess over 20 years experience across several industries
  • The invaluable experience of our 40 person strong design team
  • We use the latest tools and technology, all housed inside our modern design facilities
Nova Design - Engineering Design Outsourcing Drawing Office

Nova Design – Outsource Engineering Design Drawing Office

We do not outsource any of our work and all of our projects are kept in-house in our modern engineering design office based in the West Midlands. This is to allow us to monitor quality levels and ensure our work is kept at a consistently high level.

For further details on our engineering design services, give us a call on 01384 400044

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Posted in Engineering Design, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, UK Manufacturing

Latest Mechanical Automation Project Is Unwrapped . . . . .

One of our latest mechanical design projects hits the shop floor into manufacture. Nova produced mechanical designs and detailed manufacture drawings for the mechanical automation of the animated cheeseburger prop, soon to be bound for a theme park in Dubai.

UK Loco - Mechanical automation of cheeseburger for Dubai theme park

Animated Mechanical Cheeseburger – Image used courtesy of UK Loco Limited.

All mechanical items were designed and detailed using Autodesk Inventor software, with the FEA requirements undertaken using Ansys DesignSpace analysis software.

It’s certainly a good conversation opener when asked “What did you do today ?” . . . . .


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Posted in Engineering Design

Nova add Advance Steel to CAD software capabilities

Structural design for steelwork - Autodesk Advance Steel - 3D CAD modelOver the last 27 years of trading, Nova have successfully undertaken the site survey, layout, structural design and structural detailing for many structural steelwork design projects. Previous engineering design projects have included staircases, platform design and detailing through to access ways and bridge detailing for road and rail access.

To aid in the 3D design and production of 2D detailed manufacture drawings Nova have invested in dedicated CAD packages designed for specific industries.

For the structural steel industry we have selected Advance Steel from Autodesk as a structural design, automated detailing and scheduling package.

3D CAD model of structural steelwork produced using Autodesk Advance Steel

Autodesk Advance Steel structural design and detailing software is built to help structural design engineers and steelwork detailers easily create information rich building models/ these 3D CAD models are then used to assist in the fabrication of structural steelwork components. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process-based workflow that helps businesses work more efficiently and helps teams complete projects on time and on budget.

Construction process of structural steelwork 3D CAD model produced using Autodesk Advance Steel

Advance Steel helps steelwork designers, structural detailers and fabricators model with intelligence and helps designers and engineers extend their BIM workflows through to detailed modelling.

Advance Steel Steelwork Connection Design Engine

In-built to Advance Steel is a connection design engine, giving access to simple and complex structural connections. These connections are parametrically driven meaning that as structural members change during the design process, the connections are automatically updated.

Intelligent connection design engine within Advance Steel for structural design steelwork connections

This connection design engine checks compliance against both EC3 (EuroCode 3) and AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) standards to validate structural design models. Steelwork design members and connections can be checked and validated against industry standards at any time with a report generated containing relevant formulas and standards for reference.

Intelligent Design Wizards

The structural modelling process is greatly simplified in the latest releases of Advance Steel through the use of several intelligent features. Advance Steel contains an extensive library of objects and powerful tools to help designers create structural elements including trusses, bracings, purlins, and portal frames.

Staircase and railing intelligent design wizard from Autodesk Advance Steel

As an example, Advance Steel allows the creation of more accurate stairs and railings with the use of special wizards. These dedicated wizards save time by assisting engineering teams to quickly generate straight and spiral stairs, straight and curved railings, and cage ladders. Once created, engineers can easily modify the properties using a large selection of customisable parameters to suit the project requirements.

Complex sheet metal 3D CAD model and 2D detailed manufacture drawing produced using Advance Steel

Complex sheet metal designs can be modelled by using specific commands. These miscellaneous elements can be automatically unfolded during the creation of the detailed manufacture drawings. The unfolded pattern is then fully represented within the exported CNC data to assist in streamlining the fabrication process.

Users of Advance Steel can also import other non-standard components for detailing and the production of detailed manufacture drawings, helping them create a full as-built model. For example, detailed design engineers can import components such as engines and tanks and add welds and bolts to them for better coordination, clash detection, and more accurate bills of material.

2D detailed manufacture drawing produced using Autodesk Advance SteelAutodesk Advance Steel software helps to improve the steel detailing process by providing ready to use drawing templates that aid the creation of detailed manufacture drawings. Detailed design engineers can also produce general arrangement drawings for use during erection at the jobsite.

These clear drawings can be quickly created in isometric, top (plan), front and side elevation views, and automatically dimensioned and labelled by using the customisable drawing styles. The detailed manufacture drawing templates are easily customisable so that they can be refined to fit in with the current business needs.

Bills of Materials / Parts Lists

Bills of material (BOMs) can be easily created using ready-to-use templates. Quantities are defined by the parts used in the underlying model, helping to eliminate waste with more accurate BOMs. Information can also be exported to different file formats so that it can be used in third party systems, such as procurement solutions.

The latest releases of Advance Steel offer bidirectional links to design, analysis, and coordination tools to help the various design teams work better with different disciplines and help provide a validated end-result to your client.

Data Transfer and Interoperability

To assist with the smooth BIM workflow, the Advance Steel Extension for Revit® enables detail designers to import a Revit design model and not only the structural member but also the steel connections into Advance Steel so that they can continue to work where the designer left off. Once detailing is complete, the model can be taken back into Revit and resaved as a native Revit software file.

Advance Steel 3D CAD model opened using Revit showing bi directional file transfer

Finally, models created using Advance Steel can be taken into Autodesk Navisworks software for multidiscipline collaboration, construction simulation, and whole project analysis, enabling engineering team to work closer and more efficiently with other project stakeholders reducing the risk of unexpected issues when the different project disciplines reach the construction site.

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Posted in Autocad, Autodesk, CAD News, CAD Software, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, Software News