Virtual Simulation and Training of Assembly and Service Processes in Digital Factories

Virtual Simulation and Training of Assembly and Service Processes in Digital Factories

The information gap between virtual product and manufacturing engineering and the physical start of production is a fundamental problem for European manufacturers. Knowledge about products and processes, which is currently distributed over heterogeneous systems, is rich of information, but a platform for presenting this knowledge according to the different user roles (e.g., production planners or shop floor people) is missing. Enterprise data must be captured, updated, enriched and transferred into an interoperable platform, which enables cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing throughout the product life-cycle.

Reuse of product and process data is a promising approach to leverage virtual simulation of manual manufacturing processes. Up to now, the complexity and incompatibility of digital data are main reasons why planning and training of manual manufacturing processes, e.g. in automotive and aerospace, are still carried out in physical stages or during the ramp-up. The simulation and training of complex manufacturing processes in physical stages are expensive and often ineffective. In order to reduce the need for physical prototypes and to reduce time-to-market, virtual training must overcome the problems of former approaches, e.g., inadequate authoring times, cost-prohibitive hardware and insufficient user integration. VISTRA aims at the development of a comprehensive platform for simulation, documentation and training of manual assembly processes based on advanced ICT-technologies and concepts, such as auto-generation, realistic physical behaviour, game-based learning, advanced user-interaction, low-cost hardware and cross-disciplinary information sharing.

The overall aim of the VISTRA project is to minimize the number of physical prototypes in the field of industrial production by more efficient and realistic simulation techniques on the basis of realistic and user-centred simulation methods, and to enable that gained knowledge will be (re-)used for efficient knowledge sharing between different stakeholders. The overall aim is divided into the following strategic objectives:

  1. Data Mining and Harmonization from Product and Manufacturing Enterprise Data
  2. Acquisation and Representation of Cross-disciplinary Knowledge
  3. Interactive Environments with High User Acceptance
  4. Physical behaviour and Optimized Real-time Simulation of Deformables in Virtual Training
  5. Reuse of Knowledge and Cross-disciplinary Knowledge Sharing
  6. Applicability in Real Industrial Environments
  7. Interoperability and Standardization


  • DFKI (Germany)
  • Fraunhofer IGD (Germany)
  • Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre (Sweden)
  • University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
  • Serious Games Interactive (Denmark)
  • VOLVO Technology Corporation
  • Adam Opel AG