CATIA V5: Designing at high speed

02-06-2021 | Posted by Principia


The pandemic has shown the importance of something as basic as the air we breathe. Now more than ever it is essential to ensure its quality to arrest the propagation of Covid, particularly indoors. Planes, offices, trains and schools are examples of the need to renew and purify the air to maintain the activity.

SODECA is a company that manufactures industrial fans and extractors, a sector where success depends on the ability to adapt to project-specific specs, something the pandemic demanded.

From its headquarters at Ripoll, SODECA ships its solutions to Europe and the rest of the world, like its projects in Saudi Arabia, Colombia or the Maldives, among others. In Ripoll, a mountain village with a few thousand inhabitants, they all know each other. When the pandemic started, the priority was to protect the neighbours and to clean the streets from the “bug”. As need spurs innovation, they developed equipment to disinfect the streets and passed it to the Regional Council for the whole region.

“With the quick propagation and the news from the rest of the world, we needed to find an immediate solution to SARS-CoV-2. Although information was scarce, we guessed that the spread was taking pace via aerosols”, says Josep Font, director general of SODECA.  And they attacked the task of making machines, compact and without complex installations, that could try to eliminate the virus through cleaning and disinfection systems.

Knowing that ultraviolet light is effective against many pathogens and bacteria, SODECA looked for ways of combining ventilation and filtration technologies with the application of ultraviolet light. Apart from effective against pathogens, the equipment had to be portable and compact, optimising the location of its elements (turbine, filters, pressure switch, and control) without interfering with the air flow.

Time was of the essence and design had to proceed at speed. After evaluating the available tools, they chose CATIA V5 because of its power, features and ability to work with sheet metal: “It offered the possibility of designing quickly and efficiently all of the parts of the product, allowing a preview of the final outcome before fabrication”, says Aitor López, Product Manager of SODECA.


CATIA V5 correctly places all the elements of the unit, optimising space to achieve a compact product. And it generates the documentation for series production, including the drawings for large-scale manufacturing.

The pandemic has entailed new ways of working, with collaborative environments able to create quick and efficient solutions in real time. CATIA V5 has shown to be on the side of innovation, allowing simple designs for complex products.

Technological support is essential to operate in innovative environments. Josep Font, director general of SODECA, states that “in Principia we found a partner that offers unconditional support for design and development, providing advice about the best tools and technologies available for our projects”.

CATIA V5 SODECAPurification equipment, light and compact, was developed in record time. “Now more than ever, offering solutions for indoor air quality (IOQ) is a need highlighted by the pandemic, which has changed our mentality with respect to the air we breathe”, says Aitor López, PM of SODECA.  SARS-CoV-2 has reminded us of the need to care for the indoor air, now a key factor in social and labour interactions.

The project took them to combine various technologies, like ultraviolet light, ionic techniques, HEPA, F9, photocatalysis, and the electrostatic and active carbon filters. Many technologies were considered for innovating and improving air quality from now on. The innovation of this Catalan firm has led to the creation of a new division, SODECA IAQ, specialised in the treatment of indoor air, which is already installing units at schools, hospitals, offices and ski resorts, to allow their activity to proceed uninterrupted, now and forever. 

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