Augmented Reality in the field

Digitisation with Bitnamic and AR

The future of industrial maintenance

The added value in using augmented reality is the simplification of workflows in maintenance processes by placing spatially correct overlays. The benefits have been examined and verified by user surveys. The following two scenarios have been tested with success and shall offer examples of practical relevant augmented reality application.

Ultrasonic measurement in aviation

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This scenario shows support capabilities of augmented reality for ultrasonic measurement tasks in the aviation industry.

An aircraft component shall be examined for material defects. An ultrasonic measurement device is used for the so called non-destructive testing. This testing method makes it possible to examine the component without causing damage to it. The scenario includes step-by-step instructions which help the user complete the tasks. Textual elements or images are superimposed on the real environment for guidance purposes such as telling the technician what actions to take or how to perform them (left picture).

During the scenario, possibly faulty areas on the component are indicated with animated markings. Those areas have to be scanned in the following steps with the ultrasonic measurement device (middle picture). After a scan, an image containing the result are superimposed directly on the component above the scanned area (right picture). Usually a technician needs to take a look on a separate display of a computer connected to the measurement device (e.g. a laptop). This necessity does not apply when using the HoloLens which leads to a more efficient workflow.

This example shows that augmented reality task support results in work simplification. Without any additional devices the self-contained augmented reality headset allows for fast task completion. A major benefit is the possibility of hands free operation. The scenario has been tested by a large number of users (including testers on the CeBIT 2017 fair) which yielded a very positive conclusion.

IoT Integration

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This scenario shows a possible integration of available machine data in combination with benefits of our solution.

An industrial robot is three-dimensionally visualized in front of the user (provided by Salt and Pepper). The robot is part of an industrial assembly line and it is equipped with an array of sensors. The sensor data of the robot is transmitted by the Beat Monitoring System (BMS) to our servers and can be seen on the virtual model in real time (left picture).

Error data regarding the industrial robot is synchronized with our servers as well. The user will be notified if errors occur. According to the given error event the relevant components of the virtual model will be highlighted and the error message will be shown (middle picture).

Solving the error is only possible with the help of an expert. Thus, the user can establish a Remote Service Assistance session in order to transmit the camera video stream to a remote expert (right picture). Due to the full integration, the expert can not only see the video stream but the sensor data and error message of the failing component as well. With the expert's help the error can be solved resulting in a failure free state of the industrial robot.

For the scenario, a virtual representation of a machine is utilized. In actual industrial application, direct augmentation of sensor data on real machines in place would be appropriate (see ultrasonic scenario). This way the interconnection of machine data and our infrastructure can lead to efficient support in fault-clearing scenarios.