Founded in 1983, NIS works across multiple engineering sectors, providing bespoke solutions, integration and assembly. Previous complex projects the SME has been involved in include nuclear decommissioning and developing next-generation security scanning products. Working with R&D engineers at AMRC North West, NIS was shown the benefits of working with VR, learning how the business might use it in-house.
“This project with NIS was about bringing computer aided design (CAD) and VR capability into their processes,” said Nick Hall, business engagement manager at AMRC North West.
“Initially, this was for their own purposes, to clarify briefs from clients and get a picture of what they are going to make before they make it. As the project developed, NIS realised this could be a valuable tool to use with their clients too, to show them what to expect.
“It’s great when one of our projects supporting a local SME results in more far-reaching benefits that we’d foreseen at the outset.”
According to Marc Green, product development portfolio lead at NIS Engineering, it was part of the company’s business plan to implement new technologies, and approaching AMRC North West for help was a key initial step.
“We had a great experience with AMRC North West,” said Green. “From the introduction, to scoping out the project and demonstration, the engineers gave us a professional approach tailored to our requirements.
“Our VR is up and running and we have a real time discovery project going through the system – which takes NIS data and builds the VR model to NIS specifications, with the support of the VR supplier. We now have five of our staff trained up and able to use it.
Green said the company is now marketing the capability for external use having begun to see people ask for this type of technology to help with training and understanding.
“The AMRC engineers were informative and gave a real-life perspective on the benefits of adopting VR capability,” he said. “We would recommend this to all SMEs.”