Virtual Factories Accelerate Collaboration, Advance Technologies

(Image courtesy: Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing)

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing  (CCAM), a non-profit consortium based in Prince George County, Virginia, uses a 3D visualization lab to expand beyond the walls of its 62,000-square-foot brick and mortar facility and deliver a collaborative development for researchers in industry, academia, and government.

CCAM achieves this with a “PowerWall” developed by center partner, Mechdyne Corporation  of Marshalltown, Iowa. The PowerWall, a large-scale virtual reality (VR) system, serves as an interface where engineers can visualize an immersive “virtual factory” ecosystem and interact with real-time dataflows, processes, robots, machines, and other highly advanced equipment projected on an eight-foot by 14-foot wall. Engineers wear light weight, motion tracking shutter glasses to experience full virtual reality of the CCAM building and its systems.

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .