Virtual reality technologies are being used in the development of the Almera-replacement to be produced at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in the year 2000. The same techniques were used in the development of the Primera Estate which entered production in the north-east at the beginning of 1998.
The time to develop new models is falling all the time and this rate will increase as the effects of virtual reality are felt. The Primera Estate took 30 months; the Almera-replacement is expected to take 30% less, with future development time expected to fall to 20 months.
`The aim of the virtual factory is to find ways to make assembly as easy as possible,’ says Nissan chief engineer Andy Palmer.