Airbus simulation team chooses Virtalis for virtual reality

Airbus has taken delivery of a Virtalis StereoWorks VR (virtual reality) suite to help with validation of methods and process improvements around composites manufacturing for the new A350XWB aircraft.

Geoff Tantum, Airbus UK’s engineering group leader for simulation, explains that it’s the top of the range system with a 3D stereo, dual channel Christie projection system and Intersense head and hand tracking, as well as a heavy duty, Haption, 6-DOF, force feedback system.

“We’d been looking at VR technology for some time,” says Tantum. “It was the combination of our Dassault Systèmes PLM [product lifecycle management] software gaining integral VR enablement and the formation of a dedicated simulation team here that galvanised us.

“We wanted a system that would take our Catia and Delmia PLM data and turn it into a 3D VR model automatically, without any need for translation.

“We also wanted a system that would link into a high end haptics system – allowing VR to become an integral, day-to-day tool for our manufacturing engineers.”

Tantum says that Airbus worked with Dassault Systèmes to find a supplier capable of designing and installing a turnkey system that would integrate seamlessly and transparently with the current V5 PLM and future V6 PLM environments.

“We explained to the Virtalis consultancy team exactly what we wanted and gave them details, like the size of our room, then left the specifics to them,” he says.

“The choice of Haption was also clear, as this is the haptics system already in use by our colleagues in France for design engineering.”

Brian Tinham

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