The IVIMA project


  • Three needs are covered by the iVIMA project.
    The product process: validation of assembly procedures and detection of assembly issues during the early stages of a vehicle project without the use of a physical prototype; uncovering issues such as an uncomfortable operator’s posture, a difficult or impossible assembly, or hazardous contacts for the operator.
  • Operator’s training: standardize the process on all the production sites and all the products. Optimization of the gesture of the operator to improve the cadence, the security and the ergonomics.
  • Maintenance: Creation of a maintenance database to inform and assist the operators in repair-shops.

These needs can’t be covered by the tools currently used by car companies to simulate assembly on virtual mock-up.
Current tools still lack interactive interface: trajectory are computed and then replayed.
There’s also a need for soft bodies simulation. Many assembly issues are connected to the use of soft body materials, such as cables, pipes, isolation moss or others. A tool that can simulate such materials is therefore needed by the automotive industry.

iVIMA’s objective is to create intermediate applications connecting the physical appearance and the digital data for operations of assembly / disassembly.

  • Identify problems as soon as possible
  • Push aside non-relevant solutions
  • Take into account the industrial process at the earliest
  • Reduce the number of dedicated physical prototypes


iVIMA is a European project started in 2004. It’s an immersive application that can simulate complex assembly tasks. The final product should be available at the end of 2006.
iVIMA is built as a collection of dedicated modules around the P2V© application software (Virtual Vehicle Presentation). These modules feature the following characteristics:

  • Possibility for 2 users simultaneously to work on assembly operation with a stereo vision at scale 1 of a virtual model.
  • Interaction with the model through the use of a 6-axis of freedom force-feedback device. This device also permits trajectory record and replay.
  • Collision detection and dynamic simulation, including complex phenomenon such as friction or sliding effects.
  • Simulation of soft bodies collision and deformation.
  • Direct importation of Catia V5 models.


iVIMA gathers research teams from various labs and companies through Europe, including Renault CTS (Technical Center for Simulation – Project Leader), Barco, Kaletron, Oktal and the CNRS (LPCMV).

Renault provides the application requirements. Renault’s CTS takes care of the software integration of the physics engine and the force feedback device.
Barco provides a compact visualization system capable of immersive stereo vision for two simultaneous users.
Kaletron implements an engine for soft body physics simulation and integrates a 3D meshing tool.
Oktal implements CAD/CAM import and tessellation tools as well as different configuration and edition pieces of software for physical material.
The CNRS (LPCMV – UMR 2858) validates the uses of the VR platform.


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