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Virtualreality testing boost for small firms.

Byline: Jenny Waddington Business editor jenny.waddington@coventrytelegraph.net

A VIRTUAL reality suite at Coventry's Manufacturing Technology Centre is set to help SMEs across the region.

The cutting-edge 3D facility, which is capable of drastically cutting process development times, will be on show at an all-day workshop next month.

Local firms will be able to claim two days of funding for the innovative technology - a day for the workshop and a day of consultancy or a site visit.

In a project known as CASiM2 (Centre for Advanced Simulation and Modelling), the fourwalled immersive environment suite can simulate advanced manufacturing processes in real time and three dimensions.

The state-of-the-art technology means engineers can test complex processes without time-consuming and expensive investment in hardware and facilities. This is particularly helpful to small and medium companies who could not afford the technology for themselves.

The revolutionary multimillion pound facility helps companies test technology before major investment, and also provides an opportunity to use cutting edge immersive virtual reality technology.

The workshop on June 16 is aimed at West Midlands SMEs in a wide variety of industry sectors including aerospace, automotive, medical, education and entertainment.

Delegates will hear from some of the country's leading experts on the technology, learning about 3D modelling, weld simulation, component analysis, heat treatment modelling, process mapping and factory layout planning. Ken Young, technology director of the MTC, said the purpose-built facility placed the MTC and its partners at the leading edge of manufacturing process development, and would be a powerful business tool for UK manufacturing companies in many sectors. He said: "The suite provides a mechanism to visualise complex, threedimensional processes. "The diversity of applications is limitless and includes such things as the testing of new product designs, the analysis of weld joints or the development of a new manufacturing facility.

"We are excited by the prospect of working with a wide range of companies and organisations to explore the full benefits of immersive technology for manufacturing processes."

Companies to have already benefitted from the MTC facility include Hickman & Smith, an architectural services company who used it to plan property renovation, and Smethwick Drop Forge who took advantage of CASiM2 to plan new manufacturing processes.

Peter Parkes, director of Smethwick Drop Forge said: "The CASiM2 project enables SMEs to access knowledge, facilities and expertise that they wouldn't normally have access to. Through CASiM2, businesses can try out and explore innovative technology in a costeffective and reliable environment.

"Aside from the technical expertise and long term knowledge transfer, the CASiM2 project has helped Smethwick Drop Forge become stronger commercially."

? Anyone interested in attending the workshop should contact Satty Sahota at the MTC on 024 7670 1600 or email satwant. sahota@the-mtc.org

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 28, 2015
Words:452
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