Thursday, January 19, 2012

News: 3D system makes working with nuclear components a Virtual Reality


A specially designed Virtual Reality (VR) system has been installed at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) in Rotherham that will help engineers get to grips with massive components weighing 50 tonnes.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, The £25m Nuclear AMRC is a joint initiative between the University of Sheffield, The University of Manchester, and a consortium of industry partners. It provides a focal point for the bulk of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry supply chain.

Leading company, Virtalis has designed and installed two systems on the world-class centre of excellence that will help experts work with the massive components needed in the next generation of nuclear power stations, and ensure that UK companies have the expertise to be able to manufacture them.

They will be used for virtual assembly, design validation, virtual training and design for maintenance.

Rab Scott, Head of Virtual Reality and Simulation at the Nuclear AMRC, explained: "The visualisation capability Virtalis has delivered will make our technology more accessible than ever before. This is because what makes the nuclear sector different is the sheer scale of components and their machining tools.

"We're talking about massive components weighing 40 or 50 tonnes. Any small alterations that need to be made to components that size should be made where they are manufactured, rather than at the assembly stage.

"We believe that our VR systems will give us an accurate, virtual prove-out, with all alterations made prior to shipping. We'll achieve this by scanning the components and dropping them into their virtual environment to check they fit with the other components in the assembly."

The centre boasts a multi-sided VR system called an "ActiveCube." It has the appearance of a floating 3.2m. glass box and creates an immersive experience with two to four people able to enter the virtual world inside.

A second interactive 3D visualisation system called and "ActiveWall" has been designed for up to 25 people to experience.

Scott added: "We envisage three to four people interacting in our ActiveCube with their movements within the virtual environment being watched by up to 25 more observers via the ActiveWall.

"We also see them being linked with other VR centres worldwide to allow us to carry out international design, manufacturing and assembly reviews, as well as complex training exercises."

The world's leading companies are already partners at the Nuclear AMRC, eager to access the groundbreaking technology. Key industrial members include Rolls-Royce, Westinghouse, Areva, Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata Steel.

Virtalis website
Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Virtalis


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP