Research & Innovation
Virtual reality allows for greater transparency, efficiency and safety
By P&PC staff
July 16, 2018 – Voith's new smart service package – Virtual Reality Solutions by Voith Paper – offers paper manufacturers an opportunity to have their new machine modeled in virtual reality, allowing Voith customers to benefit from more transparency, efficiency and safety in paper production over the lifecycle of the machine.
By P&PC staff
Paper manufacturers can obtain a digital representation of their own new machine within a matter of days. The system allows the machine to be brought to life before it is even built, either on a monitor or for an even more realistic experience using virtual reality goggles. In the planning phase, this makes it easier to configure the machine and develop infrastructure (e.g. for stock preparation, buildings and access routes in the planning phase). Providing information to stakeholders is also a simpler process if the characteristics and functions of individual components and the entire machine can be represented realistically at any location in the world.
With Virtual Reality Solutions by Voith Paper, time can be used more effectively prior to the commissioning of the machine. Operators, maintenance crews and managers can acquire proficiency and familiarize themselves with the machine and its inner workings that are not directly accessible in real life. Virtual training programs allow personnel to acquire experience with the operation even though their paper machine may not be running. Training in a virtual reality environment is about more than just visual perception; there is also a realistic noise backdrop and controls allow the user to move along the entire machine and execute certain hand actions. Better learning outcomes can be achieved by addressing several sensory perceptions at once.
Virtual Reality Solutions by Voith Paper also ensures more efficiency during operation itself. Staff can practice maintenance activities in advance in interactive training scenarios. The training not only includes all work processes, which are simulated step by step with the necessary tools, it also focuses on occupational safety. For example, the replacement of a press sleeve or screen basket can be simulated and practised in a safe virtual environment before the task is due to be performed at the machine. The routine acquired in this way then leads to shorter downtimes in real-life maintenance, a lower error rate and a reduced risk of workplace accidents.
Voith Paper is making its next step en route to Papermaking 4.0.
“Our aim is to combine the potential offered by digitalization with the physical manufacturing process and in this way optimize paper production,” Thomas Holzer, president, business line projects, Voith Paper, said.
In doing so, Voith is offering its customers a tailored service solution based on customer requirements that will significantly increase machine availability and process reliability.