Virtual Engineering Using Realistic Virtual Models in Brownfield Factory Layout Planning
Journal article, 2021

As more pressure is put on manufacturing companies to increase productivity and reduce waste as a means to remain competitive due to increased globalization and digitalization, many companies find themselves investing in their production systems, leading to changes in their existing factories and production systems. This process is usually performed with 2D CAD drawings and data of varying quality, leading to several challenges along the way. This longitudinal research follows up on eight years of industrial studies where researchers have applied 3D laser scanning and immersive virtual reality to improve the brownfield factory layout planning processes in real industrial scenarios, a novel approach in the research field. By interviewing key stakeholders at each company and analyzing the findings, challenges in data availability and accuracy of existing data, grasping scale and perspective, and challenges gathering input and communicating around planned changes are identified and shown to be substantially alleviated by the application of the technological tools and allowing more people to be part of the factory layout planning process. By using virtual engineering, industries can improve their brownfield factory layout planning process and take wellinformed decisions leading to sustainability benefits via fewer costly mistakes, improved employee engagement, and less need for travel.

factory layout planning

virtual engineering

3D laser scanning


point cloud

virtual reality


Daniel Nåfors

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems


2071-1050 (ISSN)

Vol. 13 19 11102

Digital tvilling för utveckling och installation av produktionssystem - DIP

VINNOVA (2018-02698), 2018-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Computer Systems

Areas of Advance




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