Parkinson Technologies, Inc. is excited to announce that it is introducing a new virtual reality (VR) system for exhibiting and illustrating its broad base of plastics production and web handling machinery to potential customers and industry stakeholders. This system, which utilizes HTC Vive technology, will be premiered at the upcoming K-Show in Dusseldorf, Germany, taking place October 19-26. It will allow users to transport themselves into an environment featuring a full-scale biaxial web line and to interact with the line or individual machines—something that is impossible at trade shows due to a number of logistical factors.
“Communicating the full capabilities of our products in a trade show setting is extremely challenging due to a variety of reasons,” said Brian Lundgren, Marketing Manager at Parkinson Technologies. “For starters, most of our large-scale machinery is customer-specific, so it goes from the shop floor directly to the customer’s facility. Then there are the logistics of shipping, booth size, and machine availability. But now, with a VR system, we’re able to bring the complete experience on the road with us.”
Instead of having machinery in bits and pieces—such as a screen changer or slitter—Parkinson Technologies will be able to show customers larger equipment such as a casting machine, MDO (machine direction orientation) and TDO (transverse direction orientation) systems, along with integrated technologies. “You’ll even be able to see the tenter frame of the TDO as the oven disappears, with just the click of a button,” Lundgren said. “Users feel like they’re standing right in front of the machinery and interacting with it in real time.”
Virtual reality technology has been in development for many years. However, it is only with the release of hardware such as Oculus and HTC Vive—combined with the appropriate computer horsepower—that Parkinson Technologies is able to deliver a life-like presentation of its machinery. Following October’s K-Show, the company will establish a virtual reality lounge at its headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where customers will be able to experience its machinery virtually, in addition to equipping Parkinson sales personnel with mobile versions of the system to allow customers a similar experience via mobile devices.
Says Peter Termyn, President and CEO of Parkinson Technologies: “VR is a game changer for us. To our knowledge Parkinson is one of the first manufacturers doing anything of this kind in the industry and we are extremely excited to leverage this technology to engage with customers. As an engineering-driven manufacturer, we’ve always been about pushing boundaries, and this new VR system underscores our position as an industry innovator.”