The digitalisation has been gaining ground in all areas of everyday life. The use of Virtual Reality technologies is particularly promising. It will enable us to be virtually even closer to our customers in the future. Based on the latest technology, PMC Rail International Academy and Deutsche Plasser have developed a Virtual Reality tool (VR tool) of the Unimat 09-4x4/4S that is accurate in every detail.
A detailed, digital interior and exterior view of the track maintenance machine is the basis for the preparation of a realistic 3D machine model. The VR tool makes it possible to move freely within and around the machine and to choose the viewpoint.
The team of Deutsche Plasser expects the tool to provide a great benefit. Using Virtual Reality glasses, they can inspect the machine virtually at the customer’s side, seeing with their own eyes what the customer is seeing on the machine. Using a controller, operations can be carried out, e.g. opening a maintenance flap. As we continue to work on and with the tool, additional features will be implemented. For instance, it will become easier to put oneself in the customer’s situation and to find a solution to a problem.
Up to now, in most cases, the members of staff of Deutsche Plasser need a spare parts number, which the machine operator must find in the documents on site. Using the VR tool, the joint identification of a part is visually supported. As a result, the part can be identified more quickly. The operator is virtually accompanied to the respective part. Once there, a short description, such as “We need the seal kit for this cylinder.” is sufficient to identify the part. This allows for time savings and makes it possible to solve problems more quickly than before. The SmartCatalog of Plasser & Theurer offers additional support.
Currently, the VR tool is in the development phase and is being tested thoroughly. The experiences gained so far are very promising. The new tool will probably be put into operation next year.
However, we are still at the beginning. Philipp Verheyen, responsible project manager at Deutsche Plasser explains, “We are eager to develop the tool further. In the future, there will be more machines and more functions. We aim to support our customers in the best possible way using these technologies - regardless of the machine.”
„The service of the future will bring customers and service even closer.“
Technology Munich, Project Engineer