Innovation That Matters

VR/AR Trainer

Dutch shipyards are embracing virtual and augmented reality technology


Future-oriented shipbuilding company simulates operations before construction to increase productivity and reduce costs.

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2025 is predicted to be the year where both virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies become indispensable to the business world. From virtual business cards to an app that creates scaled 3D models of property using photos, many businesses today are questioning how they can utilise such technology in their strategies.

Damen Shipyards has also jumped on the immersive technology bandwagon with its latest VR/AR Trainer. The trainer can simulate an entire ship with sub-millimeter accuracy without needing physical outlines. Multiple viewers from different locations – whether designers, engineers, project managers or end-users – can access the simulation at once. This allows for reliable updates and the finalisation of design parameters before construction even begins. Clients are able to interact with a vessel before purchase, and experience more obscure design elements like sightlines and headroom. It can also be useful for training or recruiting sailors and non-commissioned officers. Employees may be tested in close to real-life simulations without having to face the cost consequences of mistakes.

Whereas VR places the user into a digitally created, virtual location, AR blends interactive digital elements with the real-world environment. In Damen’s case, AR complements all the advantages of VR while also supporting straightforward communication between off-shore technicians and onshore specialists. Augmented warnings are triggered by prognostics to improve safety and quality control.

Damen is currently testing the effectiveness of VR technology with a virtual model of a Royal Netherlands Navy Holland Class OPVs (Oceangoing Patrol Vessels).




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