Wearing a headset, visitors can look at food processing equipment in three dimensions and watch demonstrations of the technology in action. “You can walk around the machine, operate the machine, see how it works and understand how it works from another perspective, in a virtual reality world,” said Javier Barreio, engineering manager with ANT.
The applications for the technology include marketing, technical training, maintenance and monitoring. The technology is somewhat of a novelty in the food processing industry, but has been adopted and has delivered benefits for users of it in other manufacturing settings. “Manufacturers of equipment are very interested in how they can remotely support customers using virtual reality,” Barreiro said. The opportunities for equipment companies to better meet the needs of their processor customers are increased significantly using VR by linking equipment, users and manufacturers via internet-based cloud technology, allowing for engineers to remotely troubleshoot problems based on real-time data collected from processing machines. “This allows two people to be interacting in the same scenario,” said Barreiro.