Conquer global markets with a virtual showroom

Via the world’s first VR platform, with which companies can showcase their products in a virtual showroom and thereby boost global business. Herrmann Ultraschall, a pioneer in ultrasonic welding technology, is already taking advantage of this.

It only takes a few milliseconds until a sealed seam is formed. In the room-filling welding machine, the plastic packages which have been filled with hand soap and completely welded are passing by. Not visible to the human eye: the moment when the plastic melts by ultrasonics, bonds and forms a high-density seam. Not with the bare eye, but with VR technology. Thanks to a virtual reality application, the welding system can be seen in a virtual showroom. In fact, it is as real as if you could touch it. Here, the melt can even be visualized in slow motion and zoomed in.

The company Herrmann Ultraschall in Karlsbad, Baden, opens up completely new possibilities for its products with the VR software. The global player is the leading technology provider in ultrasonic welding technology, which is also used in packaging technology. “The virtual showroom opens up a cosmos of new possibilities for us,” says Marketing Manager Steffen Ullrich at the Karlsbad production site. VR technology is revolutionizing conventional product presentation because it allows products to be experienced live using data glasses. What does this mean in particular for the products of the Karlsbad company? “VR technology enhances our exhibits, especially at trade fairs. In the virtual room, we can take interested parties down to the micro level to explain how ultrasound – a joining technology that works in the µ range – works,” says Ullrich.

Sealed seams can be found wherever packaging needs to be securely welded: in food, cosmetic products, medicines and industrial parts, i.e. for soap, coffee capsules, salad, toothpaste and much more. VR technology makes detailed access to the products possible and even details that are difficult or impossible to see can be visualized in this way. In addition, the entire plant is bypassable and visible.

Experiencing products live creates phenomenal customer experiences

“It’s a bit like conquering a new galaxy,” says Michael Neidhöfer, Managing Director of ZReality in Kaiserslautern, who helped to develop the application. “The digital showroom creates a phenomenal customer experience. In a digital showroom, you don’t have to worry about square metres, rental costs or transport issues. Because space there is almost infinite. The brilliant thing about it: “With a single digital representation of a 3D product, we can present it all over the globe,” says Michael Neidhöfer, “that is extremely resource-saving for the customers. In order to enable customers to immerse themselves in a visualized and animated product world, all they need is CAD data from a 3D model. The German startup ZReality offers the world’s first VR platform, via which companies can virtually present their products. “Our VR applications are very popular for engineers when it comes to checking whether a machine is working,” explains CEO Neidhöfer. The advantages are obvious and also the pioneer in ultrasonic welding in Baden has recognized them long ago. Apart from an intensive visual impression of the machines or machine modules, which the company also sells, a virtual showroom brings simplification and cost savings in many areas. “Michael Neidhöfer is convinced that the cost savings achieved by a virtual showroom can be in the six-figure range for a company. The technology eliminates the enormous costs of developing prototypes of real objects. Plus the coordination with colleagues who often work decentrally in different development centers. “They can communicate with each other online. This saves travel costs,” says Neidhöfer. Change requests can be considered and implemented very early in the planning phase and defects can be identified and rectified early thanks to the simulation of processes. Companies can act more globally and thus increase their sales figures. “Customers who use VR for product presentation are much better perceived in the market”, Neidhöfer is convinced, “also beyond the store visit.”

Simple application – global reach

The application is also sustainable in terms of user-friendliness. Steffen Ullrich: “The user is introduced to operation at the beginning. After that, many things are self-explanatory. Nevertheless, the user is always looked after by an external employee who explains what he is seeing and gives tips on where to go in the virtual space to discover more exciting features. The cloud platform is like WordPress for VR/MR applications. It enables the smooth creation of cross-platform and cross-reality apps in best quality and with minimum time effort for every creative, marketer or product manager”, promises Alexander Fridhi, also managing director of ZReality.

The software can be used to plan new creative spaces in order to generate worlds of experience, to present products in order to make them accessible in virtual reality for trade fairs, sales and customers on site or to create virtual training centres for employees – and it can be used in many different ways, giving great potential for new realities in the retail sector.

Hermann Ultraschall also hopes to create many positive experiences with the new marketing tool. The feedback from customers to this point has been consistently positive.