October 24, 2021

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing

Recently, a smartphone game "Pokemon Go" developed by Japanese video game giant Nintendo and American software development company NianTIc has become popular around the world, forming a borderless national participation phenomenon. Apps with the highest downloads and revenues in the Android and iOS app stores.

The game cleverly combines life, realizing that the map in the game is related to the real world, and the map will update the position of the sprite in the game in real time according to the player's position.

If you want to catch more elves, players need to change places frequently and look around in a variety of places to achieve the purpose of exercise, good for health. Nowadays, in the streets of the United States, Australia, Japan and other countries, you will find that many young people suddenly appear. They hold mobile phones, plug in charging treasures, and shuttle around to find "monsters."

As the core technology used in this game, "Augmented Reality" technology (AR), overshadowed the recent fiery "virtual reality" (VR) technology, and has become the focus of global attention.

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing

What is the difference between augmented reality AR technology and virtual reality technology?

"Augmented Reality" is a new technology that integrates real world information and virtual world information "seamlessly". It is an entity information (visual information, sound, taste) that is difficult to experience in a certain time and space of the real world. , touch, etc.), through computer and other science and technology, simulation and then superimposition, the virtual information is applied to the real world, perceived by human senses, thus achieving a sensory experience beyond reality.

Augmented reality technology not only displays the information of the real world, but also displays the virtual information at the same time, so that the two kinds of information complement each other and superimpose, so that the real environment and the virtual object are superimposed on the same picture or space in real time. In short, users can extend their real world through “augmented reality” technology and directly see virtual objects or information that are invisible in the real world.

It is generally believed that the emergence of "augmented reality" technology stems from the development of "virtual reality" technology, but there are obvious differences between the two.

Virtual Reality Technology (VR) is a new technology in the computer field that integrates various computer technologies, such as computer graphics technology, multimedia technology, human-computer interaction technology, network technology, stereo display technology and simulation technology. It is in the ability to create and experience virtual worlds. The user can create a feeling of immersing in the virtual environment through visual, listening, touching and other sensing behaviors and interact with the virtual environment to cause real-time changes of the virtual environment.

Traditional “virtual reality” technology can create another world for users to immerse themselves in the virtual world; while “augmented reality” technology brings computers into the real world of users, realizing the technology “people-oriented”. There are significant differences between the two.

In addition to being able to shine in the game, Augmented Reality AR has also become more and more extensive and in-depth applications in the manufacturing industry. This has also become the focus of many enterprises, and it has also become one of the important technologies that China is paying attention to in the development of the manufacturing industry.

The technology roadmap for the key areas of China Manufacturing 2025 issued by the China National Manufacturing Strong Country Construction Strategy Advisory Committee lists Augmented Reality AR technology as one of the key technologies in the field of intelligent manufacturing core information equipment. Its core content mainly studies three-dimensional space RFID registration. Positioning technology, industrial IoT information three-dimensional space, search, display and interaction technology. Intelligent manufacturing core information equipment refers to the key infrastructure equipment for information acquisition, real-time communication and dynamic interaction, and decision analysis and control in all aspects of the manufacturing process. It can be seen that augmented reality technology has become one of the key technologies in the process of Chinese enterprise intelligent manufacturing transformation. The main application modes are as follows:

Make equipment maintenance easier

For the manufacturing enterprise, the maintenance and repair of the equipment and the stable operation of the equipment play a very important role. However, with the increasing integration and complexity of the equipment and the lack of experience of the operators, the maintenance and repair of the equipment becomes more and more difficult. However, with the aid of augmented reality technology AR, the maintenance and inspection of complex equipment can be made intuitive and convenient, which can help enterprises to cope with the above challenges, thereby transforming the original equipment maintenance and maintenance methods, improving efficiency and ensuring quality.

Taking Fujitsu as an example, in order to improve the on-site operating environment of factory equipment maintenance and repair staff, the company has applied augmented reality technology to its own equipment inspection and 24&TImes;7 service operations. Before using augmented reality, the staff usually manually records the temperature, pressure and other information on the checklist, and then enters the information into the computer. Today, workers can use the touch screen to enter information, create spreadsheets and share recent information. Augmented Reality can quickly display job manual data, inventory levels in the history of failures.

Using text input provided by Fujitsu AR technology, field staff can use it to quickly share information. When conducting on-site inspections, no matter how small the details are, they can be recorded. With augmented reality technology, we can easily determine which devices are functioning properly, and combined with data analysis, preventive device maintenance can be achieved. On the other hand, with the rapid acceleration of an aging society, fewer and fewer workers have skilled technical experience. Through the use of AR technology, even the "novice" with the ability and experience can accurately complete a variety of on-site maintenance operations, which will help the inheritance of technology and experience.

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing

There are also cases in the automotive industry. Perhaps any car mechanic or car enthusiast in the past can recognize a large part of the engine parts and know the specific use. Nowadays, as cars are applied to more and more complex sensors, computers and safety facilities, the maintenance of cars is no longer so easy. To this end, BMW has developed an augmented reality glasses, BMW car repair personnel can see the highlighted parts with glasses, the computer will tell the user how to install in what order. The small screen on the glasses worn by the technician allows the technician to see the computer generated pictures in a real environment.

More convenient and accurate guidance of the manufacturing process of the product

It can be seen that, due to the intuitive realization of the operation steps and processes, the augmented reality can be applied to the manufacturing process of the enterprise in addition to being able to be applied in the maintenance process, thereby providing the operator with more intuitive process guidance. It's no longer just complicated, boring work instructions and drawings.

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing

According to reports, workers on the Boeing production line have begun to use Google Glass with augmented reality technology to complete the assembly of aircraft harnesses. As we all know, the wiring harness inside the passenger aircraft fuselage is complicated. In the past, workers need to take the internal structure instruction manual of the aircraft or refer to the PDF map to complete the assembly and connection of the wiring harness step by step. The work flow is cumbersome and often error-prone. After starting to use Google Glass, workers don't have to carry manuals and computers to run around in the cabin. Google Glass can project the details of the assembly to assist in the work. According to statistics, after using Google Glass, the error rate of Boeing workers' assembly harnesses was reduced by 50% and time was reduced by 25%.

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing

Use of Google Glass with augmented reality technology to complete the assembly of aircraft harnesses

Make product marketing more sharp

In the aspect of enterprise product marketing, augmented reality technology has gradually become a tool to promote the sales of enterprise products, enabling consumers to have a more intuitive experience. In the augmented reality world, the brand and product promotion will be gradually reduced, and the interaction and service will gradually increase. For example, trials of products, brands such as Topshop, De Beers and Converse are using augmented reality to allow consumers to try on and try out clothes, jewelry or shoes. Shiseido and Burberry further apply augmented reality to cosmetic trials. For car brands such as BMW and Volvo, augmented reality is also a good choice for new car introductions and virtual test drives. Applicable in the selection and purchase of products, such as the subway virtual shop of No. 1 shop, after scanning, choose what you like and you can buy it online.

Use augmented reality to let consumers try on and try shoes

Product design stage simulation, analysis, review product model

Accurate drawings will also limit the accurate expression of the designer's design concept and influence the communication with the customer. Augmented reality technology just makes up for this shortcoming. In the design stage, the designer can use the augmented reality technology to quickly and realistically integrate the designer's creativity into the real scene, so that the designer can have an intuitive and personal feeling for the final product, and make use of the final design.

At the same time, through the augmented reality technology, the designed virtual model can be integrated with the real scene in reality, so that the assembly simulation, analysis, and review of the product model can be better performed before the design is finalized.

Use AR technology to broaden the road of IoT applications

The last thing to mention is the application of AR technology in the field of Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is an important part of the new generation of information technology and an important development stage in the era of "informatization". Integrating augmented reality AR technology into the Internet of Things can make information presentation more convenient, friendly and intuitive.

When we lift the mobile phone, we can see the running status, performance and important parameters of the products we use through the mobile phone. At the same time, the data can be intuitively reflected in the hands of the product designers through the Internet of Things, so that they can continue to To optimize and perfect products, to bring a better experience to customers, saves a lot of unnecessary links.

In this regard, the US PTC company also has some mature solutions. The key link of PTC's “Smart Connected Product” is that every action of the smart product will return to the designer's desktop to achieve real-time feedback. And a revolutionary optimization strategy. PTC combines its existing CAD and PLM solutions with the IoT platform that has grown through mergers and acquisitions over the past few years, to some extent the integration of the digital world and the physical world, but this is not enough. There is also a lack of a bridge between visual and physical models, and augmented reality (AR), a new technology that seamlessly integrates real-world information with virtual world information, complements this and can help design The division is more intuitive in understanding the operation and use of the product in the real world.

Augmented reality helps designers visualize the operation and use of products in the real world

To this end, PTC acquired the original Qualcomm's Vuforia last year. Vuforia is an augmented reality (AR) mobile vision platform for developing applications for mobile devices, such as tablets or mobile phones. Vuforia is capable of mixing real-world and computer-generated images. Make virtual objects and real objects share space.

Through the acquisition of Vuforia, combined with PTC's full lifecycle management solutions and IoT solutions, manufacturing companies have more room to imagine using AR technology. Through the Vuforia development platform, the link between real products and digital products can be made more convenient and intuitive. At the same time, with the combination of Internet of Things technology, the end user user parameters of intelligent products can also be intuitively reflected, thus promoting the full range of smart products. Lifecycle management has become more complete, further expanding PTC's IoT transformation path. As AR technology is applied throughout the lifecycle of product design and development, it will create a new way of working in product design, product monitoring, and guiding operators and technicians on how to properly use and maintain products.

2016 technology maturity curve

From the 2016 technology maturity curve released by Gartner, augmented reality technology is already in a disillusionment period, forming a process that is gradually moving towards the ground. It can be expected that in the next 10 years, Augmented Reality Technology will get closer and closer to us and gradually enter our lives from manufacturing applications.

Five application modes of AR augmented reality technology in industrial manufacturing


Of course, for manufacturing companies, Augmented Reality Technology will certainly not be limited to the five application models listed in the article. I believe that with the advancement of AR technology and the continuous expansion of business needs, there will be more and more in the future. This is undoubtedly the way of application and presentation. Augmented reality technology leaves us with countless imaginations and application methods and application scenarios. The role played by it may not be obvious now, but as we dig deeper, it may not only be to assist in optimizing the manufacturing process of the enterprise, but to subvert the business model, create smart products, and create new ones. A series of earth-shaking changes such as industrial ecology.

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