Holistic Virtual Integration
Integration of parts, components, and sub-assemblies with environment and process
We apply Virtual Reality in engineering with a holistic approach, recognizing that VR has value beyond visualization for cross functional teams at major review gates, but also fulfill a role for the engineer performing in-process packaging or functional reviews. Engineering the best products requires more than a mere focus on deterministic simulation, but requires designers and engineers to integrate their products, processes, and people to assure the highest level of Safety, Quality, Cost, and Delivery time performance.
Virtual Integration or Virtual engineering is the aspect of product packaging that assures that the parts and components of the complete product are merged and evaluated for how well the different objects fit together, often included as a requirement for product engineering release. Beyond just testing the assumption that the design "envelope" or "space claim" is maintained statically, integration also involves validation for collision or clash of parts during planned use and normal ranges of motion, evaluation of visibility of and accessibliity to parts/components as required by service or production requirements, and the appropriateness of the human factors in design and assessment of ergonomics.
image courtesy of Boeing
This process historically was completed as mock-ups of the product were produced and evolved as part of the product development process. However, as digital engineering practices have successfully reduced the reliance on practical mock-ups and replaced with CAE and FEA modelling, the learning and emergence of design integration issues that resulted unplanned from the building of mock-ups has been lost.
The creation of production intent prototypes and mock-up builds of products, would often give insight into the asssembly and service of the product, inform engineers and designers of potential conflicts between the design intent and practical completion of the product, and raise physical constaint issues that may not have been envisioned during the packaging and space claim planning for the product.
Integration challenge include:
- Static and dynamic space-claim of components
- cable and hose routing
- installation and removal of components or parts
- customer acceptance (bespoke or highly customized products)
- in-situ part movement, rocking, or shifting
- vislbility and accessiblity requirements
- design for assembly and service requirements engineering
- assembly and service tooling requirements
image courtesy of Daimler
For more information about specific examples of virtual engineering and Holistic Virtual Integration, see the links below:
- Virtual Engineering for Automotive
- Virtual Engineering for Aeronautics and Aerospace
- Head Mounted Displays for Virtual Engineering
- Virtual Engineerinng industrial machines
image courtesy of Bausch+Stroebel