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What are your thoughts on virtual reality in advanced manufacturing?

UTS, Sydney professor Graeme Sheather is asking for input from technologists and manufacturers to help develop a new educational tool to speed Australia’s transition to smart, advanced manufacturing.

Sheather has the novel idea of using virtual reality tools – VR goggles if you like, that create an immersive visual experience – to educate and enthuse manufacturers about moving their businesses into the world of additive manufacturing, micro robotics, the internet of things and smart and sensored machines.

Educational institutions have struggled to reach manufacturers busy in their workplaces but Sheather’s immersive technology idea promises to turn learning into useful experimentation and inspiration.

Ultimately he plans to develop a programme and tools by which manufacturers could experiment in a virtual world that mimics their own factories with various transformative manufacturing technologies, models and techniques. By re-arranging and evolving their virtual factory, they could test the risks and benefits of change.

“A ‘fly through’ (similar to that used in real estate promotions) mechanism in virtual reality mode, would allow operators to inject ‘what if’ scenarios relating to alternative design options, new operational processes, shift to composite materials, specify new staff skills and task sets, pursue integrated supply chain options, explore disruptive technologies, trace the impact on time-to-market, throughput speed and volumes, changes in WIP, new control systems, and product quality.”

Graeme, a visiting professor in manufacturing at UTS Business School, is looking for software engineers, consultants and advanced manufacturing companies who are interested in change and in the power of immersive technologies to contact him.

Contact Graeme at UTS Business School, PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW, 2007.

Landline: 02 9918 3210

MOBILE: 0408 170 939

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