Geo Week News

October 3, 2012

Siemens acquires VRcontext


Visualization software to complement Comos

NUREMBERG, Germany – The Siemens Industry Automation Division announced this week the acquisition of VRcontext International S.A., based in Brussels, Belgium. According to a Siemens press release, “With its Walkinside product family, VRcontext is one of the leading developers of 3D visualization and training software for displaying complex engineering data in the shipbuilding and plant construction industries.” The company said the buy would “further strengthen its established position in the industrial software market.”

Financial terms were not released. VRcontext will be assigned to the Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit. Siemens believes VRcontext’s flagship Walkinside software “will be the perfect supplement for Comos, the Siemens software solution for holistic plant management, in providing fast access to 3D engineering data from the basic and detail engineering phases.”

You can see a demonstration of VRcontext’s flagship Walkinside software capabilities here:


VRcontext was founded in 2000 and also keeps a branch office in Houston, Texas. According to Siemens, Walkinside 3D visualization software is in use in plant operation, maintenance and servicing in more than 200 companies and 30 countries. VRcontext has specialized, the company said, in remote offshore installations for the oil and gas industry, but the software is used in a number of applications.

In 2007, SPAR profiled the company’s involvement in the rebuilding and refurbishment of 800,000 square feet of building space on Brussels’ Rue Royale.

With Walkinside, the company hopes it has created “a globally accepted standard for 3D visualization in the process industry.”

“The integration of the Walkinside 3D visualization and training software of our long-standing partner VRcontext into our industrial software portfolio will benefit our customers significantly,” said Eckard Eberle, CEO of Siemens Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit, in a statement. “Using intelligent 3D models can make plant engineering and operation safer and more efficient in a great many sectors of industry.”

A standard interface links Comos bidirectionally with Walkinside, Siemes reports. The geometric elements from a virtual reality model are linked to the latest plant information throughout the entire plant lifecycle. Highly complex plant models can thus be represented realistically in three dimensions, with Comos acting as a global data center. As a result, up-to-date plant data is always available as a 3D model in all lifecycles and can be used not only for engineering and monitoring purposes, but also for operation and training, according to the statement. Service and maintenance work can be planned efficiently and maintenance times reduced.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has now acquired a number of software companies: UGS (USA, 2007), Innotec (Germany, 2008), Elan Software Systems (France, 2009), Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação (Brazil, 2011), Vistagy (USA, 2011), IBS AG (Germany, 2012) and Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH (Germany, 2012).

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