2. Can Virtual Reality help Optimize Product Engineering, Manu…

Can Virtual Reality help Optimize Product Engineering, Manufacturing and Operations?

Adding Virtual Reality (VR) to your CAE solution set may be a logical next step in your product realization process. Unlike FEA and CFD results visualisation capabilities, when you import CAD data into a VR program, you will see your designs as if you had made the actual prototypes. VR promises the opportunity for product development teams to identify more issues, optimize manufacturing, simplify maintenance, and create presentations that impress customers.

Using Virtual Reality for Product Development

ESI Group offers a VR software suite called IC.IDO (pronounced “I see, I do”) that can run either on individual workstations or on more collaborative settings such as the inside of a VR cave. Ryan Bruce, Business Development Manager at ESI Group, said: “IC.IDO improves collaborative decision-making though virtual interactions, in real time. This can be done early in the design process, which means at less cost than when the development phase is nearly complete. IC.IDO levels the playing field as engineers, executives, sales, and production can all look at and discuss the same 3D virtual image, simplifying collaboration.”

When using IC.IDO software in a cave, the images will be scaled to a life-size, 1:1 ratio and calculated in real time with sub millimeter accuracy. The interactive software allows the users to not only look at CAD data, but to manipulate it. This allows the team to better test the products under production, maintenance, and usage situations. The sales team can also use the same models to immerse prospective customers in the product when still in the prototype stage, which means when it’s still easy to iterate, rather than bringing in large, heavy props often too late in the process.

How IC.IDO Helped Collaboration at Ford

Using the IC.IDO software,Ford’s styling and engineering team was able to work together to accelerate product development. The Ford team used a four sided immersive cave to visualize, interact with, and compare the interiors and exterior of a series of car variants. This allowed the team to discover and eliminate errors early in the design cycle.

“This increased collaboration is universal and not just at Ford,” confirms Ryan Bruce, Business Development Manager at ESI Group. “Virtual Reality feels natural to use and is better than working at a workstation. IC.IDO also has efficient workflows and processes so that teams can review many design variations quickly without a physical prototype. It’s fun! Our customers want to come back to the program to improve their products again and again. After all, it’s easy to find issues when you are walking around the product and sitting in it as if it is really there. And since everyone is in the same room while the assessment happens, decisions are made much faster than in a meeting based on a PowerPoint slideshow.”