OPTIS & the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC): a springboard for UK industry

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OPTIS, a global virtual prototyping company, recently announced their collaboration with the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), a leading digital technology innovation centre, providing expertise and facilities, helping organisations access digital toolkits and understand how 4.0 technologies can help to improve their productivity.

This partnership will help improve business performance and competitiveness for UK industries through easy access to expertise and facilities including the VEC’s Sandpit facility and the simulation and immersive visualisation capacities of OPTIS.



Whilst working with the VEC and accessing their 3D Immersive Laboratory, the virtual reality solutions from OPTIS offer lifelike, immersive experiences. The partnership provides a unique toolset and enhances opportunities to fully explore products and processes to any business client. The VEC offers a unique sandpit environment which uses digital technologies to enable teams to fully understand and test their products and processes in a virtual environment, making cost effective modifications. Combined with OPTIS accurate visualisation and range of software solutions, the partnership offers a valuable R&D capability to organisations.

The collaboration provides industry with access to expertise and facilities at Daresbury, near Warrington and central London. The organisations provide professional resources to key sectors including Automotive, Aerospace, Nuclear or FMCG organisations, with a specialist focus at the London facilities based around SMART cities, industrial design and transportation.

The use of virtual prototypes is recognised as essential to support the UK’s global competitiveness in key sectors, enabling industries to work with both organisations to explore novel technologies and evaluate innovations that support real-time decision making. This partnership aims to focus on the development and demonstration of the use and benefits of virtual reality. The VEC facilities provide the opportunity to work on joint client projects and develop consortiums for industry key problems.

OPTIS’ real time simulation software such as THEIA-RT, is available in the Virtual Engineering Centre’s 3D Immersive Laboratory, allowing engineers and designers to evaluate different lighting conditions and using immersive VR to fully explore how the product will perform in many various lighting conditions. This includes the human perception of light and colour, the analysis of critical reflections, glare, and how the eye adapts to changing light conditions.

“With OPTIS’ human vision and light simulation expertise coupled to the Centre’s facilities and skills, we can offer real benefits to our industrial partners and win them a competitive advantage in their markets”. It will fill the ‘innovation gap’ focusing on proven expertise and best practice demonstration,” comments Fabrice Mekersi, Vice President EMEA at OPTIS. He pursues “As of now, UK businesses can explore how immersive virtual reality can be integrated into products and manufacturing processes, as OPTIS’ VR solutions make it possible to simulate every step of the industrial process from the very first prototype to final validation.”

“The Virtual Engineering Centre is delighted to be working in collaboration with OPTIS at both our Daresbury and London facilities. OPTIS offers a range of quality digital toolsets and expertise that will complement the knowledge and innovation our engineers, programmers and industrialists bring to our clients projects. The ability to co-develop in real-time and explore multiple scenarios in a cost-effective way will provide real impact to our clients and will help them to realise the benefits of Industry 4.0 technologies to develop new and improved products processes and confidently deploy these technologies across their organisations” says Lynn Dwyer, Head of Commercial of the Virtual Engineering Centre.



Beyond the visual and design aspect, the partnership will give the opportunity for industries to look at their processes and training of their resources in a different way. As an example OPTIS proposes HIM, their VR software to virtually experience complex installations easily and validate assembly and maintenance operations. “Virtual reality is a sheer luck for industries to gain valuable manufacturing time, and to get a head start on future: this is the issue of our agreement.” says Dr Charles Patchett, Technology Expert at VEC.