This article focuses on various aspects of immersive engineering and its application in a product lifecycle. Immersive engineering can shorten development time and reduce production and maintenance costs. Studies show that immersive engineering also improves resource utilization and material flow, increases producibility, and reduces rework and scrap. Various company case studies show that the benefits of immersive engineering include fewer injuries, lower cost of tooling changes, higher quality, and faster time to market. In order to prepare an immersive engineering simulation, tasks under study are performed or mimed by technicians and workers who wear a couple of dozen spherical reflectors or markers that enable the digital replication of their body movements—motion tracking. The advantage of immersive engineering is that issues involving quality, productivity, manufacturability, lifecycle costs, and ergonomics across broad spectrum can be discovered and addressed early, when changes are less costly than they are after a company has invested in tooling or made other commitments.
Jack Thornton is a technology consultant in Santa Fe, N.M., and a frequent contributor to Mechanical Engineering.
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Thornton, J. (November 1, 2011). "Total Immersion." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. November 2011; 133(11): 42–45. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2011-NOV-3
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