Virtalis becomes a member of The AMRC with Boeing
VIRTALIS is honoured to become a member of The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC) and has designed and installed a StereoWorks Advanced Visualisation System at its office in Sheffield.
The AMRC with Boeing is a multi-million pound partnership, which builds on the shared scientific excellence, expertise and technological innovation of the world’s leading aerospace company and the world-class research within the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering.
Professor Keith Ridgway, Research Director and HEFCE business fellow at the AMRC, commented: “Using Virtual Reality (VR) for design reviews is a widely accepted practice, but we are using advanced visualisation techniques for analysing how composites react to the forces put on them by robots and other manufacturing techniques. Only by understanding a material’s flexibility can we begin to create a virtual assembly.”
The AMRC and Virtalis have informally collaborated on various projects over the last five years. The formalisation of the working relationship of the two organisations means that Virtalis will be involved in all AMRC projects involving a simulation element. Simulation allows manufacturing specialists to predict behaviours better and therefore saves both time and material cost, because many fewer prototype components are required.
Professor Ridgway explained: “Sometimes modelling in a virtual environment shows you what is not achievable and narrows down design choices, sometimes it merely confirms a design. WeBoeing landing gear modelled by the AMRC with Boeing using PTC DIVISION MockUp, a package in which Virtalis are experts have seen both recently. Using finite element analysis coupled with our VR system, we simulated the stresses being placed on a lorry’s suspension system as it moved. The virtual model told us that a component within that suspension system had to be redesigned. Conversely, we also used our VR system to analyse the stresses placed on an aircraft undercarriage as it lands. In this case, the design was confirmed in the virtual environment.”
In the short term, Virtalis and the AMRC will collaborate with research teams in several large industrial and academic projects. The first of these began earlier this month and is a Framework VI project attracting a €8 million EU grant and is known as AFFIX. Its purpose is to research the alignment, holding and fixing of large and difficult to handle components. Other immediate, multi-million pound projects focus on simulated manufacturing and assembly within virtual environments.