Virtual Factories

Written by Elisabeth Forsythe
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Once upon a time, we thought "virtual reality" would change the world. By just putting on a headset and pushing a few buttons, ordinary people would be able to escape to China, ancient Egypt, or even the moon at a moment's notice. Well, even if those big dreams of "let's pretend" haven't quite come true--yet--technology has come up with virtual factories that have helped companies improve their processes.

How have virtual factories helped shape our modern business world? Virtual factories open up limitless possibilities. Many manufacturing companies have utilized process simulation software to create a tiny copy of their business. Complete with animation, color, and 3-D displays, these companies can see--maybe for the first time--exactly how their operations are working. Sophisticated software programs let them receive real-time statistics and feedback. Problems that may not have been apparent can spring into view.

But once these virtual factories have revealed how things are, what next? The great thing about virtual factories is that you can change whatever processes you wish in seconds. Rearrange the floor space--does the estimated production rate go up or down? Do projections show a 10 percent increase in demand for your products in the next year? Plug the numbers into your virtual factory, and discover what changes you'll need to implement to fulfill this need.

Solve Virtually Any Problem

Sometimes, when you're faced with a decision, don't you wish you could look into the future to ensure you're making the right choice? Virtual factories are like crystal balls. With them, you can test out your wildest dreams, and make sure you can achieve your future goals.

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