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ActiveWall boosts Digital Factory research

Germany's Clausthal University of Technology installs ActiveWall to boost Digital Factory

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | July 12, 2015 | Higher education

The Clausthal University of Technology, based in Lower Saxony,Germany, has installed a Virtalis three channel rear-projected ActiveWall to provide it with the centrepiece for its research into the Digital Factory. 

Head of Department in the Institut für Maschinelle Anlagentechnik und Betriebsfestigkeit (IMAB), Prof. Dr. Uwe Bracht explained: “Our ActiveWall is 10,5m wide by 2.7m high and importantly, is mounted just 5 cm above ground level.  With a 60 degree splay, it gives a sense of intense immersion that impresses visitors.”

Prof. Bracht and his colleagues have been carrying out research into the Digital Factory since the mid-1990s and have previously used a Virtual Reality (VR) facility they designed and built themselves. Pragmatically, Virtalis recycled the DTrack2 tracking system from the original system in the new ActiveWall.

ActiveWall draws on active stereo technology and features a custom screen, specialist computer and powerful projectors. It is Virtalis’ best-selling 3D visualisation system and is scalable, easily upgradable and extremely cost effective to run as well as being virtually future proof. 

“Our research encompasses supply chain analysis and we work with smaller companies who could not justify having a system such as this,” said Marco Seewaldt, head of visualisation with IMAB.

“We have seen time and time again how mistakes that are visible in 3D are not in 2D. We also work with architects in collaboration with Police, Fire Departments and Health and Safety specialists and VR brings these groups together, breaking down barriers, when new, virtual designs are being considered.”

“Other projects simulate robotic handling to check whether what has been programmed is really possible, or, when working for the automobile industry, analyse design changes to a car’s body.  VR generates detail not available by any other means, thanks to that third dimension.  We believe our Virtalis system represents the best performance for the price and its installation went very smoothly.”

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