Change is the only constant thing in this world, and it is clearly reflected through the industrial arena as well. In the present Age of Industry 4.0 is the age of digitization and automation. The fourth industrial revolution is smarter and more agile. Its autonomous systems are powered by data exchange and machine learning. It would not be wrong to say that the fourth revolution focuses mainly on the digitalization of the industry, and it is happening at an impressive rate. The use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology in today’s industries is opening new doors of opportunity, particularly in the arena of manufacturing.
What VR technology is anyway?
This technology makes use of powerful computers to come up with a simulated environment. But how does it help? VR technology can open up a huge array of amazing possibilities for industries like automobile, renewable energy, and manufacturing of complex types of equipment. From examining properties in 360 degrees to obtaining a situational awareness, there are many ways VR technology can make things easier for the industries. It can help save time as well as production cost. In short, makers will be able to come up with more refined and accurate solutions.
How VR technology can be used?
When it comes to designing a product in which safety remains a prime concern, the use of VR technology can make things easier. For the automotive industry, 3D models can help the makers understand or know how the vehicle would perform and look in real. VR can also help visualize how different part will work together and fit with each other.
Likewise, in the case of renewable energy, the efficiency of wind turbines and solar power plants can be improved significantly with the use of VR technology. The process of troubleshooting a problem in an offshore wind turbine can be made easier with the application of VR technology. This is where the use of Digital Twin technology proves to be more effective. Creating a replica of an entire wind farm or solar power plant with the help of Digital Twin technology is the best way to increase efficiency and reduce downtime, which in turn would lead to increased production. So, this is just one of the many examples of how VR technology can bring in significant changes in today’s industries.
Nowadays, better connectivity along with increased computer power is making factories more productive. The use of Digital Twin technology by GE Renewable for its wind farm in North America has already proved to be a great move. Through VR technology and advanced analytics, GE Renewable has been able to optimize its 15,000 wind turbines digitally. It has resulted in an increased MW-hour output between the range of 5 and 7 percent. In the Industry 4.0 revolution, the role of VR technology has been the most important one so far.
VR Simulation in Training
Companies are increasingly using VR to create immersive training experiences, helping train employees on real-life scenarios. Workers with difficult jobs can sharpen their skills without the dangers of the real world.
As VR is immersive and compelling learners absorb information faster and retain longer as VR gives a real-life experience.
Applicability of Virtual Reality for In-Person and Remote Collaboration
Virtual reality can help create a share shared virtual workspace connecting several people around the same project. Users from different locations will see each other, visualize and work on the same virtual model. This can improve communication between co-workers to pursue validation processes without a physical meeting.
VR for SMART Factories
3D Virtual simulations can be used in plant operations to monitor and analyze real-time data and create a mirror image of the physical world in a virtual model. This includes machines, products, sensors, and humans. It helps drive down machine setup time and improve quality.
VR has tremendous scope for contributing to the evolution of Industry 4.0 At Pratiti technologies we help businesses use AR VR for simulations, O&M, training for complex products/Operations and Remote Monitoring and Maintenance.
We recently helped a customer working in solar energy sector develop a Virtual Reality (VR) based technology solution, which provides highly immersive training to the user with the help of a head mounted display, coupled with 6 Degrees of Freedom controllers. Read the case study here