Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering

Valuechain innovates business intelligence solution with Bentley Motors by integrating virtual and physical product lifecycle stages.

Bentley Motors Luxury Vehicle Manufacturer

Luxury vehicle manufacturer

Automotive Alliance Cluster Organisation

Cluster organisation representing automotive companies in North England

OPTIS Virtual Reality Software Innovator

Virtual Reality software innovator

Virtual Engineering Centre VR

A spinout of University of Liverpool focusing on VR

Project Objectives

  • Reduce time and costs of new product introduction programmes by capturing issues and innovations earlier in the product lifecycle.
  • Deploy virtual reality technologies to visualise new concept vehicles so that cross functional teams capture and resolve issues before committing excessive tooling costs for physical prototypes.
  • Deploy virtual reality technologies to simulate manufacturing processes so that manufacturing efficiencies and ergonomics can be optimised before committing costs for plant and equipment.
  • Develop business intelligence solution that integrates virtual reality technologies with physical production environment to drive innovation throughout the product lifecycle.

Virtual Reality Issue Capture Bentley


Bentley Motors aspired to increase business agility by shortening new product introduction programmes whilst reducing costs. However Bentley was previously reliant on physical prototyping to capture issues and innovations which required significant investment in tooling and extended the new product launch process.

Bentley used multiple systems from state-of-the art product lifecycle solutions through to fragmented spreadsheets used by cross functional teams to capture and log issues. This meant that capturing and actioning issues and innovations was manually intensive, slow and costly. Furthermore, the lack of standardisation and integration of the issue capture spreadsheets meant that valuable knowledge was often isolated within specific teams rather than shared throughout the business to optimise product lifecycle innovation.

STRIVE Concept Development Virtual Reality

The Virtual Engineering Centre recognised the impact virtual reality and business intelligence solutions could have at Bentley Motors to shorten new product introduction programmes and assembled the STRIVE project team (Simulation Tool for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering) to collectively bid for funding from the UK Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. The application was successful and the 3 year STRIVE project started in May 2013.

Project Successes

Vehicle Visualisation Bentley Interior

#1 Vehicle Visualisation

Enabled Bentley to view vehicles in an augmented immersive environment that looks and feels real, visualising manufacturing issues on surfaces of the car, including variation and audit scores.

#2 Virtual Manufacture

Enabled Bentley to view vehicles in an augmented immersive environment that looks and feels real, visualising manufacturing issues on surfaces of the car, including variation and audit scores.

Virtual Manufacture Augmented Reality

Product Lifecycle Integration STRIVE Intelligence

#3 Product Lifecycle Integration, Intelligence & Innovation

Deployment of Valuechain’s iQapture enabled Bentley to replace fragmented spreadsheets with an integrated solution that used mobile devices to capture data from virtual reality visualisation of new concept vehicles and virtual manufacturing simulation through to physical prototyping and full production.

Bentley cross functional teams were able to action and manage corrective actions and innovation activities through personalised task consoles. Complex performance dashboards and status reports were automatically generated which reduced manual activities by 48% and enabled teams to focus on innovation activities rather than updating spreadsheets and charts.

iQapture saving Bentley 48% Innovation Focus

The integrated and structured iQapture solution enabled Bentley`s cross functional teams to share business intelligence across the business to develop a centralised knowledge repository that supports future new product introduction programmes. Importantly this meant that lessons were learned and not only logged which underpins continuous innovation.

iQapture Continuous Improvement Collaboration


The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) is a funding competition designed to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains. Funding was focused on supporting research and development, skills training and capital investment to help UK supply chains achieve world-class standards and encourage major new suppliers to locate in the UK.

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