Augmented reality visualises complex production processes

July 08, 2015 // By Smart2.0
Augmented reality visualises complex production processes
Interconnected approaches like Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet are currently pose major challenges to electronics production. However, the application possibilities and the exact processes inside the production machines remain hidden even to many workers in the production line. For this reason, the upcoming Productronica trade fair will make these processes more transparent in a special presentation – with the help of augmented and virtual reality methods.

At the productronica 2015, the world’s largest trade show for electronics production technology, the show organiser and the German machine industry association VDMA have put together a special exhibition. Augmented and virtual reality will be used to visualize various application scenarios on five different electronics manufacturing machines. "We want to show how Industry 4.0 can simplify the lives of the people who work with these machines on a daily basis," says Christian Rocke, productronica exhibition director. "Not only is that interesting to our visitors, it also means added value for the exhibitors participating in the special show."

How does the inside of a machine look like? What exactly happens in a machine's inaccessible areas? What instructions does the machine give the workpiece? These are interesting questions whose answers can be visualized with the help of augmented and virtual reality. The ongoing development of the man-machine interface has always been a key to success in the machine-building industry.

The applications for Industry 4.0 that can upgrade, simplify and improve electronics manufacturing machines are very diverse: "Right now we are experiencing the evolution from the built-in touch-panel display to operation using a tablet. Remote maintenance is being simplified considerably," explains Eric Maiser, . If you hold a tablet camera up to parts of a machine, it recognizes them and an overlay image appears on screen showing the appropriate instruction guide or work instruction—the user manual can stay on the shelf. Virtual and augmented reality are already being used in a number of sectors. Examples include the gaming industry, virtual planning tools for designing automobiles and for architects and the "star atlas" app for smartphones," explains Maiser, Managing Director of VDMA’s Productronic section. "This field has a great deal of potential to offer electronics manufacturing, and the purpose of the special show is to demonstrate some of those possibilities."

The concept of the special display follows productronica's new cluster structure: All the exhibitors

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