“Products must be tangible, that’s the future.”

“Products must be tangible, that’s the future.”

When it comes to product presentation, a new era has begun. If you want to present your products effectively and entertainingly, Virtual Reality is a must. Whether it’s clothes, cars, bricks, construction machinery or cement mills, for example. Pfeiffer builds the largest cement mill in the world. At the same time, the company is a leader when it comes to presenting its products with the new VR technology. With VR glasses you leave the real world. In fact, you dive even deeper into the products. Show effects included. The innovative startup ZREALITY also makes access to the “virtual showroom” possible.

It goes up a spiral staircase. The staircase has no railing. Nothing for frightened ones. The experience is impressive. The view is gigantic. The visitors are enthusiastic, but highly concentrated. After all, they don’t want to miss out and fall into the depths. Carefully they grope their way up step by step … No, this scene does not come from a theme park. It takes place in Kaiserslautern in the Palatinate. At Gebr. Pfeiffer SE, one of the world’s largest suppliers of vertical mills, a VR presentation of a 20-metre-high cement mill is currently underway. Equipped with virtual reality glasses, a group of people – with and without fear of heights – are immersed in a virtual world to explore the largest cement mill in the world. For a few minutes, the participants forget that they are actually standing firmly on the ground and that there, where they are walking, there is nothing at all.

Virtual Wow Effect

“That was awesome,” says one of the visitors when he takes off his glasses again. Eric Deubl, Head of Order Execution Department, has often heard this reaction. This was just one of the various applications that Pfeiffer has recently used with its virtual showroom to make its products come alive. “This little adrenaline rush is funny,” he says, “but it shouldn’t distract from the countless other features VR offers to get deeper into the products,” says Deubl. In another application, visitors can control the individual processes on a miniature model of the grinding plant themselves with a virtual control panel in their hands. A virtual entrance room provides the story of the company, which has been based in Kaiserslautern since 1864. Back in 1925, the largest cement mill in the world was built in the family-run company. Pfeiffer has been a pioneer in modern processing technology for 150 years. To this day, the world’s largest cement mill comes from Kaiserslautern.

Charging products emotionally

“A cement grinding plant is admittedly not very emotional per se. However, VR can turn it into an experience, attract attention and be remembered”, says Deubl, “a product flyer no longer rips anyone out of their seat. Customers also want to experience something and need inspiration. Here the customer can explore his already planned plant already before the assembly and experience live.
At the same time, the application provides interesting information and deep insights into the machine. Product presentation at it’s best”.
Pfeiffer not only sells mills, but entire grinding plants for the production of cement, for example, all over the world.
In addition to the innovative mills (MPS / MVR series), Gebr. Pfeiffer offers a broad portfolio of machines for grinding, classifying, drying, discharging and calcining. Particularly in the global market, visualizing and experiencing products is becoming increasingly important. “Products can be emotionally charged with such VR applications,” says Adrian Dietrich of ZREALITY, a company with leading VR specialists that developed the application. “Especially for customer retention this is a helpful tool.

Virtual showroom is a new universe

“Of course it’s not just about show effects, the VR theme also gives us great opportunities to get X-ray views of the product that we wouldn’t have even if we were directly at the real facility. It’s also simply more fun to get closer to a machine in this way. Customers love that.” Another advantage is that everything can be done from anywhere. Especially for products that are difficult to transport or visualize, a completely new (experience) space is created here. With VR technology, it no longer matters where you are on the globe. Such a presentation with VR can literally be pulled out of your pocket. All you need is VR glasses, a tablet or a smartphone.

A virtual showroom is boundless. Neither the size of products nor the type play a role. Everything is possible here. Exciting insights, information and stories can be placed here. Through the exchangeability of worlds, backgrounds, the creation of different versions and variations, VR can embed products where you want them to be. “The application can be transferred to a wide variety of products and business models across all industries”, says Dietrich from ZREALITY, “that’s the exciting thing – there’s an enormous amount of potential in it”.

Better understanding of the product

“Products must be experienced, that is the future. Whoever gets into the subject now,” says Eric Deubl, “has great opportunities. We worked with VR early on and used it to visualize our systems a few years ago. We were and still are absolute pioneers in our industry. The new virtual showroom turns VR into a scalable product with an input for customer relations”. It is planned to further expand the company’s profile as a technology leader in VR and to establish itself as a modern, customer-oriented company. “In the next step, we also want to use this technology for employee training,” says Deubl.