Assistance for complex assembly and maintenance work – Fraunhofer IGD uses augmented and virtual reality to support technical staff in their work and training. The Machine@Hand solution will be presented at the Hannover Messe 2017.
(Rostock/Darmstadt/Graz) As Industry 4.0 moves forward, assembly and maintenance operations in the field of engineering are growing in complexity. The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD are implementing augmented and virtual reality to support technical staff with their complex tasks. The Machine@Hand solution immerses employees and trainees into a virtual working and learning environment.
With the help of visual instructions, augmented reality (AR) guides technical staff through maintenance or repair work. Data – such as texts, images, and videos – are superimposed on a literal camera image, showing objects in their correct positions. Assembly and maintenance instructions become reality-oriented and easy to understand.
For education and training purposes, hands-on teaching facilitates comprehension of the complex functionality of action or maintenance flows. Using AR, trainees can look inside machines and watch individual movements at the right position.
With Machine@Hand, workplace-oriented learning is possible regardless whether the respective machines are available at the training location. The magic phrase is virtual reality (VR). Thanks to the high degree of immersion with VR, (i.e. the realistic feel of the virtual world), the experience gained on the training object is almost as authentic as when operating the actual machine. Trainees experience the work process directly and interactively.
Thanks to Machine@Hand, brainstorming sessions and group meetings can be held directly in virtual reality. Group members are able to discuss their proposals in real time. Using virtual notes (referred to as "pins"), participants attach information or comments directly to the respective objects.
"For example, this is useful if the staff comes up with good ideas during the assembly or training that they would like to share immediately. The functionality can also be used to document maintenance activities," says Professor Bodo Urban of Fraunhofer IGD. In this way, the team can easily access the company's knowledge base directly, and expand it speedily.
With Machine@Hand, creation and configuration of the respective virtual environment is intuitive and easy to implement. Machine@Hand features editor functions that enable both programmers and experts to create contents for AR training, AR assembly support, or VR training on the PC or directly in the virtual reality.
Machine@Hand and other assistant systems of Fraunhofer IGD will be showcased at the joint Fraunhofer Simulation booth D11 in hall 7 at the Hannover Messe from April 24 to 28, 2017.
Further information: http://www.igd.fraunhofer.de/en/veranstaltungen/hannover-messe-2017