Virtual design and new product development

Digital data, virtual processes, and their integration throughout the product development process are at the core of the Industry 4.0 approach.

Digital platforms enable the business ecosystem of people and machines to collaborate closely and access all key variables anytime, anywhere, ensuring that efficient, effective, and optimized products are achieved. Product and process data, when properly sensorized, can be collected, analyzed, and monitored enabling continuous improvement over time.

PLM tools enable integrated product data management, project activity planning and can be configured to expose the most appropriate data summary to the user, while also integrating with other enterprise systems. In addition to supporting the design phase with 3D geometric modeling software, they enable connection to tools for performing real-time kinematic, structural, fluid-dynamic, and multiphysics simulations as well as the connection to technologies for optimizing shapes and costs related to the manufacturing process.

With the latest generation of digital design tools, visualization of design results in immersive virtual and augmented reality environments is also enabled. Such visualization mode can be enjoyed through viewers, including in collaborative and multi-user mode or in virtual reality rooms (CAVEs) where multiple people can “immerse” and collaborate to optimize design review stages. The effective presentation of the results of design activities and the absolute ease of use of the proposed software allows the designer to focus on high value-added activities, leaving the digital platform to handle repetitive tasks automatically.

The final presentation of the product with virtual/augmented reality techniques is not only a remarkable asset for technical functions but also for marketing: showing the potential customer what the final product will look like will not only have a strong impact, but will exceed his or her expectations and allow possible customizations for specific needs.

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