“Many a visitor here has had a sudden rush of vertigo, desperately reaching out for a hand rail that is only virtual,” says Nanna Thiele, Linde’s program manager for digitalisation. This is hardly surprising as the sight from the top of a 75-metre-high coldbox, a crucial part of gas processing plants, can be awe-inspiring.
But in this case, the view from the coldbox is only an illusion, albeit a perfect one. Looking through virtual reality glasses, Linde’s clients can examine their future plant during its construction phase. In the past, these so-called design reviews took place via a projector and overhead slides. With virtual reality, they will become a powerful first-hand experience.
The VR project started out at the Linde campus in Pullach, Germany. “We always focus on one question in particular: how can we use the data Linde owns to help our clients and at the same time, develop new business opportunities,” says Philip Kamires, head of digitalisation at Linde.
The Digital Base Camp is the laboratory where Linde aims to foresee the future. Having assessed a business idea’s viability and its potential to be scaled up, Karmires and his crew build a prototype. “Ideas are always in the interest of enhancing our clients’ and our own business,” says Mathias Mostertz, senior business development manager. This is precisely the case with VR.