Virtual reality delivers quality savings for Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce has saved almost £2 million in just over a year, after investing in virtual reality software.

The nuclear arm of the business was the first in the UK to invest in the 4K system in 2014 and it has revolutionised the way the company operates. The systems use of Lean principles has reduced bottlenecks on the factory floor and solved challenges in facility creation and product movement, as well as product realisation.

Virtual reality software makes a difference on the factory floor

So far the team has identified approximately 30 issues since 2014, leading to the cost avoidance of almost £2 million.

William Lord, MCQI CQP, Pre-Production Delivery Manager at Rolls-Royce explains how the software has made a difference: “The technology has made a huge difference to the general flow on the factory floor and how we handle and move from one process to another. It’s helped us with tooling, and running the facility, as well as looking at the head count and resource loads so, crucially, we can now easily find out where the biggest constraints are. We can change things in a matter of seconds by just highlighting an area and moving it around.”

The software acts as a major time saver.

“Traditionally you would have to create a multitude of drawings or drafts and then go through the assessments. The great thing is virtual reality allows you to explore these scenarios with multiple members of staff from different departments at the same time,” Lord said.

Technology as an enabler for process improvement

To make the new technology most effective it is being built into Rolls-Royce’s existing processes. Vince Desmond, Acting Chief Executive at the Chartered Quality Institute explains why this is a crucial part of innovation: “Technology and the speed of information provides challenges and opportunities in today’s competitive business environment. By engaging quality professionals when undergoing innovation, businesses can ensure that technology is seen as an enabler for process improvement that delivers benefit for the customer and efficiency for the organisation.”


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.