THE University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) has added to its digital manufacturing facilities by adding a visual realisation suite at its Inchinnan base, near Glasgow Airport.

The suite, which is the first in Scotland, will effectively allow manufacturers to test a range of scenarios, from changes to production lines to the implementation of new equipment. It has been installed by advanced visualisation company Virtalis, with the centre-piece a 10 square metre active wall – a fixed 3D stereoscopic projection system with head and hand tracking system.

Danny McMahon, team lead on digital manufacturing at the AFRC, said the technology has arrived as the manufacturing sector is shifting into the digital era, with visualisation playing a “crucial role”. He said: “Working on fully-immersive virtual and augmented reality, we create content for companies allowing them to test different scenarios, such as the use of space, changes to the production line and implementing new equipment. This can help significantly in terms of planning and reducing wasted time, effort and money.”

The suite comes shortly after the AFRC received £16.5 million of funding to help create the “forge of the future” at the site. The FutureForge is expected to generate £40m of research and development projects over the next decade, creating 34 jobs.