Visualising the future factory though virtual reality

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Virtual reality

In this exclusive interview, TNA global XR manager Natasha Avelange talks to Food Manufacture about the role that VR will play in the creation of the future food factory.

TNA has been using VR to help manufacturers visualise their factory in 3D space – before the first brick has even been laid – from the comfort of their office or even their own homes just by donning a 3D headset.

“We can make more informed decisions about layouts and we can bring in more people ​[into] VR to really walk around and really understand what the customer is buying,”​ said Avelange.  

‘Like you’re there’

“We can make changes not just on a plan, but like you were really there. It’s that next level of communication and its empowering to the whole team.”

Outside of viewing factories before building begins, VR can also be used to train factory staff before they even get access to the machines in real life and even simulate real scenarios on the shop floor, such as when things go wrong if there was a fire.

“It's more independent, but it's another level above reading a PowerPoint and answering a quiz,”​ Avelange added. “Right before you actually ‘hit’ the machine you're already familiar with everything.”

Working from home in VR

As business become more spread apart thanks to the rise of working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic, VR can also be employed to create virtual spaces for team members to meet up , share ideas or even just relax with each other.

“It's just the beginning and it's just now that the technology is really hitting a level that's allowing us to deliver it to customers in ways that give them choices or how to utilise it,” ​Avelange concluded.

Meanwhile, as news emerges that Russian cows are being given virtual reality headsets​ in a bid to boost milk yields, Azhar Zouq, managing director at Lancashire Farm Dairies, looks at the trends set to affect the UK dairy industry and gives his predictions for 2023.

Related topics Emerging Science & Tech Operations

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