In the future, Augmented Reality could play a role in a variety of production or assembly processes. On the one hand it can provide support for those working on individual, custom products made in mom-and-pop shops or by specialized welders on location. At the other extreme, Augmented Reality can also play a role in high-volume, low-mix manufacturing in factories full of automated and specialized machines.
In highly automated production facilities, workers are few and far between. Their role is to anticipate and respond to the needs of machines. These machines usually have dozens or even hundreds of sensors continually capturing information about the machine’s activities in the real world.
In today’s factories, most sensor data is sent directly to a control room. Human operators receive alerts or make decisions based on raw readings or on algorithms that analyze the sensor observations, and then go to the machine to perform planned and unplanned procedures on the equipment. The operator travels between the control room and the production machinery to determine the status as procedures are implemented. There may be changes in the data while the operator is in transit. The operator may make mental errors, forget or invert data when transcribing observations or once at the machine.
New case studies recently released by AREA member DAQRI provide a glimpse into the future.
Kazakhstan Seamless Pipe Steel Operators See More
A team of DAQRI solution architects visited the Kazakhstan Seamless Pipe Steel (KSP Steel) factory in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan and studied the problems facing machinery operators up close. They then developed and demonstrated an application for Hot Rolling Mill Line optimization using the DAQRI Smart Helmet.
Live machine performance data could be seen in real time by those using the DSH when on the shop floor. The factory supervisor remarked that this technology has the potential to “decentralize” the control room and reduce the time for workers to respond to machinery performance data.
The results of the demonstration suggest that using Augmented Reality in the manner implemented by this project could reduce downtime by 50% and increase machine operator productivity by 40%.
More information about this project and a video of the DSH in use are available on the DAQRI web site.
HyperLoop Welders Receive Support on the Spot
A project involving the DSH on the HyperLoop, a transportation system invented by Elon Musk and being prototyped in 2016, demonstrates another use case that has a great deal of potential to offer productivity gains.
In a proof of concept with HyperLoop engineers and the DSH Remote Expert application, experts in a central “command” center view live video coming from remote robotic welders. The supervising engineer in the Los Angeles office sees construction progress and provides audio and telestration guidance while a welder performs a very specific spot weld. The description of the project and a video of the DSH in use are also available on DAQRI’s web site.
Tip of the Iceberg
These case studies reveal the potential for dramatic productivity improvements when workers are equipped with Augmented Reality-assisted systems such as the DSH.
Other enterprise customers are testing the use of Augmented Reality for manufacturing and production of a wide range of products. Stay tuned! New case studies with details about the potential for significant customer benefit will soon be coming to light.
If you have a case study that you would like to share, provide a link to it in the comments of this post or contact the AREA’s editorial team. We will be happy to support the preparation and publication of your case studies and testimonials.