TheoremXR schematic factory layout tool

How Can Extended Reality Help Build a Smart Factory?

Written by Jennifer Cox
Posted on
3 mins

The creation of smart factories is a fundamental part of the digital revolution currently happening in manufacturing (often referred to as industry 4.0), but how can companies make factory layout planning more effective?  

What is a Smart Factory 

A smart factory is designed to capitalize on innovative digital technologies to create an interconnected system that can analyze data and make decisions autonomously. This can include sensors, artificial intelligence, automation, and a wide range of other technologies that work together to create a more efficient factory. Many manufacturing sectors are benefitting from these technologies today, with the automotive, aerospace, and electronics sectors leading the way. 

However, building a new factory or updating an existing one is time consuming and expensive. Delays are costly and can result in a domino effect throughout the entire supply chain.  

How Can Extended Reality Help? 

Extended Reality (XR) is an incredibly powerful application, enabling users to visualize and rework potential layout ideas in the early planning stages, using existing digital assets. By combining XR with schematic design and layout apps existing processes can be revolutionized, helping to reduce costs and unnecessary delays. 


What can XR do to optimize and enhance your existing planning and layout processes?

  • Optimize your factory planning

  • Enable users to define, review, edit, and validate layouts digitally. 

  • Work at full scale.  

  • Delivers context.  

  • Work collaboratively, from remote locations. 

  • Reduce Costs, unnecessary delays and travel. 

As a result, it is easier to modify layouts, spot potential issues earlier in the process, and assess human factors (such as access requirements), all of which may not be obvious when reviewed on a screen, or from reviewing series of 2D drawings. 

Advanced Visualization with TheoremXR Schematics 

TheoremXR’s factory layout experience takes layout and planning to the next level - enabling users to visualize layouts immersively and at full scale, whilst collaborating with remote team members worldwide.  


Users can upload digital assets and build libraries of equipment to build their factory from the ground up. However, if digital assets are not available, the schematic tool can be used instead.

Theorem’s schematic tool enables users to plan a factory layout by drawing basic shapes of equipment and structures, creating a foundation for the layout. This allows early planning using placeholders for CAD models and other digital assets (scan data, meta data, AEC data), providing a better understanding of the layout. While not as immersive as using actual design data, these schematics still offer a sense of scale and help identify potential access issues or clashes when visualized in XR.

The schematic tool is useful throughout many stages of a design project. In the early stages, when specific dimensions aren’t known, schematics can estimate scale and help plan potential locations and layouts. The schematic components can be easily moved and repositioned for adjustments. Once component dimensions are known, they can be inputted for more precise designs.


As digital assets become available, they can be linked to the corresponding schematic components, replacing them in the design. This process is straightforward, allowing full layouts to be reviewed in XR while most planning is done in advance. Schematic components can also be visualized alongside CAD models in a hybrid environment. Additionally, the schematic tool can mark out non-buildable areas (e.g., structural elements like pillars), making it useful even if CAD models are available from the beginning as costly errors such as clashes can be avoided in the early design stages. 

Theorem’s Factory Layout Experience supports both Mixed and Virtual Reality, is data and device agnostic, and provides the flexibility to use any XR device so users are not limited to a particular XR hardware. Different devices can be used within the same collaborative session, and sessions can be joined from a desktop if needed, meaning users without access to a head-mounted display can still attend. Users can even record sessions with comments for future review or for those unable to attend, reducing the likelihood of costly communication errors. 

In Summary 

As the demand for smart factories grows, efficient factory layout planning becomes essential. Extended Reality (XR) proves invaluable for designing new layouts or modifying existing ones, enabling users to visualize their designs at full scale for more effective reviews. Theorem’s Factory Layout Experience, featuring the schematic tool, supports this process by allowing users to draft layouts before obtaining all the CAD models. Once the CAD models are available, they can be seamlessly integrated. This capability ensures that users can begin planning and reviewing their factory layouts early, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of the design process to save time and avoid unplanned costs.

Want to learn more? Request a TheoremXR demonstration today.