Computer games technology has helped a North-East company showcase the inner workings of an innovative piece of machinery.
Staff at Teesside University worked with Billingham-based Tomlinson Hall & Co Ltd to produce a piece of animation to demonstrate how their unique Liquivac vacuum pump operated.
Tomlinson Hall came to Teesside University to find a way to show potential applicants how the components of the Liquivac pump were able to perform a wide range of operations in different industry sectors.
The company was put in contact with Dave Cockburn, a Senior Lecturer in Games Art in Teesside University’s School of Computing and a computer games artist who has worked for several leading games studios throughout his career.
Dave worked in conjunction with Horizonworks, a Newcastle-based marketing company, who were developing a new brand, website and marketing materials to relaunch Liquivac for Tomlinson Hall.
Using the original drawings, Dave was able to make a 3D digital model of the pump.
He then animated the model to show how the pump operated and how it uses its unique liquid ring vacuum design to deal with a variety of different materials including liquids, foams, emulsions and loose solids.
Dave said: “We were able to converge art and engineering to show off the pump in a modern way and enable us to use the animation as a marketing tool.
“One of the biggest technical challenges was the way in which we showed fluid flowing through the pump.
“The key thing when doing this was the attention to detail. Because this is going to be shown to engineers, the accuracy of the animation is paramount.
“I’ve been able to use this as a lecture tool when teaching students and show the way in which games engines can be used in lots of different ways.
“As a result, our students will have lots of transferable skills to be used in a variety of work environments.”
The animation is now being used on a new website for Liquivac and has also received favourable feedback after Liquivac was launched in the Middle East on a market visit to the United Arab Emirates.
The animation – and stills from it – were also used in marketing material produced by Horizonworks for Liquivac, including sales presentations and Arabic-language brochures.
Colin Simpson, Business Development Director of Tomlinson Hall, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with Dave, who has helped to bring the Liquivac pump to life and demonstrate its capabilities to prospective customers across the globe. He is a true master of his craft and took great pains to ensure the pump and its operation were accurately portrayed.
“The animation, in conjunction to the new brand and marketing campaign developed by Horizonworks, has taken Liquivac to new heights and I’m delighted that the collaboration between Tomlinson Hall, Teesside University and Horizonworks has produced such fantastic results.”
Samantha Davidson, Managing Director of Horizonworks said: “Working with Dave Cockburn has been a key part of this process, as his stunning animation of Liquivac has helped to build brand awareness, increase market understanding of Liquivac and enhance the impact of the website and marketing materials.”