Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Industrial software in 3D!

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has now acquired a number of software companies and, in so doing, has consolidated its leading position in the industrial software market.

The latest expansion is the acquisition of VRcontext, Brussels, (B). The announcement was made at the Digital Plant Congress in Würzburg,(D). With its Walkinside product family, VRcontext is one of the leading developers of 3D visualization and training software for displaying complex engineering data in the shipbuilding and plant construction industries. This acquisition will help Siemens to further strengthen its established position in the industrial software market. The parties agreed not to disclose details of the purchase price.

VRcontext was founded in the year 2000 and is represented around the world by numerous strategic partners, dealer networks and a branch office in Houston, Texas, USA. Walkinside 3D visualization software is currently in use in plant operation, maintenance and servicing in more than 200 companies in over 30 countries. Whatever the system used, the software directly accesses all plant information to display the current status of a plant in visually appealing, realistic 3D graphics. VRcontext has specialized particularly in remote offshore installations for the oil and gas industry.

With Walkinside, the company has created a globally accepted standard for 3D visualization in the process industry. "The integration of the Walkinside 3D visualization and training software of our long-standing partner VRcontext into our industrial software portfolio will benefit our customers significantly. Using intelligent 3D models can make plant engineering and operation safer and more efficient in many sectors of the industry," said Eckard Eberle, CEO of the Siemens Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit, to which VRcontext will be assigned.

Walkinside will be the perfect supplement for Comos, the Siemens software solution for holistic plant management, in providing fast access to 3D engineering data from the basic and detail engineering phases. A standard interface links Comos bidirectionally with Walkinside. The geometric elements from a virtual reality model are linked to the latest plant information throughout  the entire plant lifecycle. Highly complex plant models can thus be represented realistically in three dimensions, with Comos acting as a global data center. As a result, up-to-date plant data is always available as a 3D model in all lifecycles and can be used not only for engineering and monitoring purposes, but also for operation and training. Service and maintenance work can be planned efficiently and maintenance times reduced.

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