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  • By Lanner
  • In News
  • Posted 07/11/2016

A Project under InnovateUK - using novel gaming and immersive technologies in a move towards zero prototyping of factory layouts.

Lanner has teamed up with academics from Cranfield University and technology experts from GE Power to integrate WITNESS with two complementary innovations in gaming technologies: Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality (VR) headset, and Microsoft Kinect, the low cost 3D sensing device.

The resulting technology incorporates novel immersive VR interfaces and live event feedback into WITNESS. Key to this has been the ability of WITNESS to link to full VR immersion and accept live data whilst a model is running. Lanner’s WITNESS simulation uses the latest VR technology from Virtalis, a world leader in visualisation, and the joint product offering of Visionary Render for WITNESS offers the latest visualisations using Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The project is helping GE engineers to explore:

  • Designing and testing new processes and layouts in an immersive collaborative environment generated and driven from a simulation model
  • Feeding in information from the shop floor directly into a simulation model
  • Actioning any necessary changes from within the virtual environment
  • Verifying whether the requested changes are implemented, and whether the expected outcome is achieved.

This is an exciting project for all involved and will lead to significant savings in GE’s globally expanding factory operations, and spark further competitive interest in this type of technology and process for the rest of the Industry.

Tony Waller, Senior Manager at Lanner says “This project has resulted in advances in how simulation models can be viewed and used in immersive 3D. The use of virtual worlds is an important part of where the simulation industry is headed where digital twins of many formats will be needed. This project has also demonstrated how data can be analysed and fed in to a model directly. This operational use of data feeds and the subsequent predictive analytics is a very important part of Industry 4.0 and is an area where simulation models can make a huge contribution to smart business.”
A team from Cranfield will be presenting the findings of this project at the India-UK TECH Summit 2016 Conference this month. The key note speakers are the Rt Hon Theresa May and Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, highlighting just how important this type of technological advancement is for the global manufacturing industry.


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