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SGI Japan Installs Four-Screen Virtual Reality System At Komatsu For Construction Equipment Design And Development

FREMONT, Calif., Jan. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SGI (Nasdaq:SGI), the trusted leader in technical computing announced that SGI Japan, Ltd. (Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; president: Ryutaro Ishimoto) and Komatsu Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; president and CEO: Kunio Noji) have installed a four-screen virtual reality system at Komatsu's Ibaraki Plant (Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture) for the design and development of construction equipment. Installed at a modeling facility within the Ibaraki Plant, the system has begun operation.

Komatsu completed its Ibaraki Plant in January 2007 as a manufacturing site for large construction equipment. The plant develops dump trucks and other large wheeled construction equipment used primarily in the mining industry and exports most of its products overseas. The increasing volume of build-to-order production for overseas markets has created the need for efficient design and development processes. The full-fledged virtual reality system installed by Komatsu utilizes large-screen stereographic projection to facilitate sophisticated evaluation of equipment operability, maintainability, and other design features, thereby enhancing and accelerating the plant's development capabilities.

The four-screen immersive virtual reality system creates a virtual environment in which designers experience how drivers and maintenance personnel actually operate inside the equipment. Equipment design is evaluated through the three-dimensional projection of life-sized objects. Driver visibility can be tested in all directions and other key safety aspects can also be tested and validated. Equipment designers of pump and engine components can also achieve the sensation of handling real physical parts, enabling them to accurately study the maintainability and ease of making routine repairs. A key feature of the system is the ability for third parties to use a separate monitor to independently confirm how drivers and maintenance personnel move and see within the equipment, as well as the movement of the equipment itself.

The large-scale virtual reality system is comprised of front, right, left, and floor screens, four projectors from U.S.-based Christie Digital Systems, and six optical motion-capture cameras from Germany-based ART. With screens measuring 3.8 meters wide and 2.4 meters in height and depth, the system can project life-sized images of large-scale equipment.

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