case study

Virtual Reality Technology Helping Yorkshire Water Engineers Design New Treatment Plant

See how engineers at Yorkshire Water are using virtual reality and visualisation solutions for design reviews, training efficiency and engineering maintenance

Engineers at Yorkshire Water are turning to virtual reality & visualisation technology developed by Virtalis

Engineers at Yorkshire Water turned to both Virtalis and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) for help in designing future sites. The aim of Yorkshire Water was to design and visualise their new treatment works, not only to save cost and produce better efficiency, but to lower the company’s carbon footprint by keeping design in the virtual world, before the physical build.

The AMRC and Virtalis both recognised that together with Virtalis’ Visionary Render software, Yorkshire Water could benefit from it for design reviews and training efficiency and engineering maintenance. The software, coupled with the latest virtual reality headsets from AMRC, allowed Yorkshire Water engineers to bring to life plans for new treatment works and other equipment. Virtalis and The AMRC worked together to deliver technology which would be a solution to meet Yorkshire Water’s needs.

The result is a solution that saved Yorkshire Water £180,000 on this project alone simply through removing the need to build physical prototypes. This solution enables an engineer to enter a virtual world where he or she can walk around and review design plans without the need to be on site. With this in place, it is predicted that the visualisation of Yorkshire Water’s new treatment works could help save the company £1m in design costs by 2020.

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management at Yorkshire Water, said:

Virtual reality is a brilliant way of communicating with all our stakeholders, providing an instantly recognisable visual experience that enables them to not only understand the design but also to contribute to making it more efficient and effective. It takes a technical drawing and converts it into a powerful, immersive experience.”

For Yorkshire Water, the technology allowed the firm to manufacture more equipment off-site that was rigorously tested in a virtual environment, helping to improve construction accuracy and reducing on-site health and safety risks.

Mike Lewis, Technical Lead at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said:

“At the end of this project, Yorkshire Water will have the equipment and the skills to be able to do this themselves. From there, we could work with them on more advanced systems, pulling in real-time data from sites that improve productivity and maintenance regimes. We could also develop augmented reality training systems, including health and safety, that take the same assets and use them to upskill the Yorkshire Water workforce of the future.”

A detailed virtual reality model has already been made of Yorkshire Water’s Irton water treatment works in Scarborough which recently had a £17.5m upgrade. The virtual design has enabled engineers to check that everything fits where it is supposed to fit before it goes on-site to ensure that operators and maintenance engineers have a site that is simple to run.

In the end, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre along with Virtalis’ Visionary Render provided Yorkshire a VR and visualisation tool for their new treatment works while lowering the company’s carbon footprint.

If you would like more information on how Yorkshire Water is using Visionary Render, get in contact and speak to our XR and visualisation experts.


Further reading

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