IT LOOKS LIKE a computer game, but the advantages wipe the floor with the old methods. This is a visualisation method for industrial investments developed by the design consultancy agency Merius. The method saves considerable amounts of time and money and streamlines the practical work in an unprecedented way.
Merius designs and visualises, for example, the layout of a future factory or the installation of a production line as a 3D animation in virtual reality. Going through the process virtually first means that many challenges, potential errors and hazardous places are spotted and fixed before they occur in practice.
“Using this method, we have created better solutions, quicker lead-times and considerable cost savings. Nothing more, nothing less”, says Hannu Sarja, CEO of Merius.
LARGE AND COMPLICATED investment projects often involve a huge number of people and stakeholder groups. Thanks to Merius’ visualisation, the investment can be presented to everyone easily and intelligibly in just ten minutes. Everyone involved, from production to management, canpoint out things to be taken into account and potential pitfalls in the plan. The big picture is easy to understand, with one glance.
“With our system, traditional concentrated decision-making turns into shared problem solving. Alongside numerous other advantages, the staff are more keen to implement the change and more committed to it”, Sarja explains.
MERIUS’ WAY of boosting the design of factory layouts in large-scale industry using virtual reality is unique in the world. Thanks to the technologies the company uses, the factories and production lines to be built and the streams of goods traveling through them can be made visible beforehand. But how?
“We chart and shoot drone footage of the built-up environment that is to benefit from the investment and create an illustrative 3D model of it. The footage collected is carefully utilised in the design, and finally the installation of a production line, for example, is illustrated as an animation in the virtual world created of the factory or industrial area in question”, Sarja explains.
THE TECHNOLOGIES used by Merius are wellknown in the world of games. As a small and agile company, Merius is now remodelling the working methods of engineers and utilising game technologies in industrial projects. Why are its larger competitors not doing the same?
“They of course want the entire design process from the customer to themselves. We, on the other hand, do all the work as the customer’s partner. We are reshaping the entire sector in order to profit the customer, i.e. manufacturing company.”
THE CUSTOMER can learn about the investment plan visualised by Merius by watching it as an animation, with virtual glasses or on the big screen. It is possible to inspect factory areas ofup to several square kilometres and walk virtually into a meeting room on the other side of the world. The customer can move around every part of the factory and see and investigate potential challenges in peace, without factory noise or other distractions.
“You will never have to make investment decisions blind again”, Sarja sums up.
Business sector: Engineering, consulting and project management services for industry
Turnover: 3 MEUR
Major markets: Finland, Sweden, Norway