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Siemens acquires 3D specialist VRcontext

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has expanded its industry software portfolio with the acquisition of VRcontext International.

With its Walkinside product family, VRcontext is a leading developer of 3D visualisation and training software for displaying complex engineering data in the shipbuilding and plant construction industries.

This acquisition is expected to strengthen Siemens' position in the industrial software market.

Walkinside 3D visualisation software is currently in use in plant operation, maintenance and servicing in more than 200 companies in over 30 countries.

Whatever the system used, the software directly accesses all plant information to display the current status of a plant in realistic 3D graphics.

VRcontext has specialised particularly in remote offshore installations for the oil and gas industry. With Walkinside, the company has created a standard for 3D visualisation in the process industry.

"The integration of the Walkinside 3D visualisation and training software of our long-standing partner VRcontext into our industrial software portfolio will benefit our customers significantly," said Eckard Eberle, CEO of the Siemens Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit, to which VRcontext will be assigned.

"Using intelligent 3D models can make plant engineering and operation safer and more efficient in a great many sectors of industry." 

Walkinside will be the supplement for Comos, the Siemens software solution for holistic plant management, in providing fast access to 3D engineering data from the basic and detail engineering phases.

A standard interface links Comos bidirectionally with Walkinside. The geometric elements from a virtual reality model are linked to the latest plant information throughout the entire plant lifecycle.

Highly complex plant models can thus be represented realistically in three dimensions, with Comos acting as a global data center.

As a result, up-to-date plant data is always available as a 3D model in all lifecycles and can be used not only for engineering and monitoring purposes, but also for operation and training. Service and maintenance work can be planned efficiently and maintenance times reduced.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has now acquired a number of software companies including UGS (USA, 2007), Innotec (Germany, 2008), Elan Software Systems (France, 2009), Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação (Brazil, 2011), Vistagy (USA, 2011), IBS AG (Germany, 2012) and Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH (Germany, 2012).

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