Virtalis has created a successful, stereoscopic 3D virtual show room for the Areva T&D sales and marketing team for use at exhibitions.
“Our stereo 3D presentations… are always the star turn.” Roger Critchley, Marketing Director, AREVA T&D
AREVA T&D is in the electricity transmission and distribution business. To market these products AREVA searched for an innovative promotional tool to differentiate itself from the competition, while simulating the benefits of having physical hardware present on a booth at events, conferences and exhibitions across the world.
HOW IT WAS
Jason Riley, AREVA’s New Media Specialist, commented: “Before we discovered VR, we used to travel to exhibitions with several fragile plastic and wooden models. These were unwieldy, soon became shabby and looked old fashioned. Looking back, it was like the Dark Ages. The dream had always been to do this in an exciting and more cost effective way and Virtalis made this possible.”
In consultation with AREVA T&D, Virtalis’ Development Team designed and built a virtual showroom showing the Company’s entire product range. Drawing on effects from Star Trek’s teleportation system, the Team designed the showroom so the various pieces of equipment can be beamed in and interrogated at their actual scale. Literature mounted on the walls of the showroom can be read, giving a background to each product.
Virtalis then moved on to create a series of virtual AREVA installations for potential customers to explore. These include electricity sub-stations in an urban setting, a wind farm in its landscape and a series of different systems set on islands. VR is also used to demonstrate innovations in AREVA technology, such as its surge arresters and stations that convert power into different forms, like stations whose output is electricity for trains. The Virtalis team has worked hard to add realism to its virtual models for AREVA, by concentrating on making all the shadows and reflections accurate. No two AREVA installations are the same, but they are comprised of standard modules. The Team has called the models that show whole AREVA offerings “Mega Models” and they are among the biggest VR models Virtalis has ever created.
Riley commented: “Being able to view a configuration of our equipment in a landscape quickly shows what impact it will have. More importantly, now we can interrogate our products and solutions, so we can easily illustrate our major technical advantages.”
Roger Critchley, Marketing Director of AREVA T&D’s Power Electronics Business, explained: “Our stand reliably attracts queues and has a real buzz. After the show, we find potential customers have found us both memorable and impressive. I believe too that our brand has been enhanced by being linked with something as eye-catching and innovative as Virtual Reality (VR).
“The other marvellous thing is that we were simply able to reuse the CAD data we already had for our products to create the virtual models, but while not everyone can “read” a CAD diagram, VR is self-explanatory. Not only do you get a real sense of scale, but you can “explore”, so potential customers can, for example, “fly” down wires, look round the virtual control room and even enter the valve hall where the large power electronics converters are housed. In the past, this would not have been possible without arduous foreign travel by sales teams and customers alike.”
AREVA is a world energy expert offering its customers technological solutions for highly reliable nuclear power generation and electricity transmission and distribution. It is one of the world’s leading transmission and distribution companies, employing over 25,000 people in more than 30 countries, with a dedicated sales force serving customers in over 100 countries.
“There are definitely contracts we have won that we can attribute to the persuasive power of VR”
Jason Riley, Areva New Media Specialist.