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MSA Safety embraces VR

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

MSA Safety is using virtual reality (VR) in the safety market to enable customers to experience its products in a truly immersive environment, without actual exposure to the potentially life-threatening hazards faced by people working at height.

Evelyn Webb, MSA’s Customer Marketing Communications Manager, said: “VR has undoubtedly been a gamechanger for MSA. It offers a new and innovative way to convey our suite of products to customers and transforms sales meetings. We’ve been using these technologies at trade shows and in presentations, with fantastic customer engagement and feedback.

“We worked with immersive technology specialists, Render, to develop VR to showcase our fall protection products in a completely new, interactive way. The technology makes our products come to life for our customers. The VR scenarios can be accessed through HTC VIVE® headsets or through a mobile app on both iOS and Android. It has enabled us to truly showcase our fall protection expertise and the benefits that brings to customers.”

Render’s Chief Executive, Mark Miles, added: “You’re not just seeing and hearing, you’re feeling. An immersive narrative gives customers the full sensory experience.

“In the VR construction experience that Render and MSA has developed, users climb up to a virtual rooftop, using a controller to ‘clip on’ at every step before they reach the rooftop to carry out vital maintenance. By enabling customers to literally experience the products for themselves in a life-like hazardous environment, MSA can communicate the value of its products in seconds.”

After selecting their choice of language for the simulation, users then select the correct equipment for working at height, including a full body harness and a personal fall limiter (PFL). After clipping on and scaling a ladder to the roof of a commercial unit, the user is required to remove an inspection cover from an air-conditioning unit. The worker is in a fall arrest position and the VR user virtually ‘falls’ backwards over the edge of the roof. MSA’s Latchways fall protection system successfully arrests the fall before gently lowering the user to the ground.

The experience can be updated to feature new products, different working scenarios and additional instruction languages. A simulation for the oil and gas and aviation sectors has also been launched, offering a representative application.

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