Gain valuable insights into how augmented reality can be utilized to provide support, service, and troubleshoot industrial machinery. Our co-founder, David Nedohin, Chief Customer Officer, is hosting a webinar that covers the customer journey to identifying and resolving key use cases. Furthermore, Stephen Laslo, Digital Technology and Training Supervisor from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will discuss their WorkLink solution used for step-by-step maintenance and repair processes for the EVOL equipment line. This ultimately improved technician efficiency, minimized downtime, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Viewers of this webinar will understand:
– How augmented reality is modernizing the equipment service industry.
– The deployment of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ augmented reality solution for the EVOL equipment line and the resulting benefits.
– The ways in which augmented reality work instructions are provided as an add-on package for machinery sales, enhancing customer experience and quality.
Additionally, viewers will gain insight into the challenges and opportunities Mitsubishi Heavy Industries encountered while implementing the augmented reality solution and how they ultimately overcame these to achieve success. This webinar is ideal for anyone wishing to explore how augmented reality can enhance equipment service operations and customer satisfaction. Learn from Stephen Laslo and see how Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is pioneering the industrial technology landscape.
Watch this exclusive fireside chat with prominent leaders in the Medical Device and Technology community to discuss their views on how AR is shifting the paradigm.
Judi Haberkorn Senior Director Service Operations IDT Jeff DiDomenico Senior Technical Product Manager, XR Johnson & Johnson William C.B. Harding, PhD Distinguished Technical Fellow, Advanced Technologies & Data Science, Innovation & Insights Medtronic
The WorkLink platform is an enterprise scale solution designed by industry pioneers Scope AR to support knowledge transfer and retention between Subject Matter Experts and less experienced workers in the field, on the factory floor or wherever they are located.
The WorkLink platform is an enterprise scale solution. Designed by industry pioneers, Scope AR supports knowledge and transfer retention between subject matter experts and less experienced workers in the field on the factory floor or wherever they are located. By leveraging the most advanced augmented reality devices and capabilities on the market, WorkLink platform experts are able to support problem areas and increase efficiency in a variety of ways.
SMEs can connect live to workers and problem areas and provide instant support using powerful annotation tools with remote calling or easily create pre-built instruction sequences which workers can load on demand when guidance is required. For the most effective results, WorkLink allows users to combine these capabilities, adding detailed instructions to an ongoing call or requesting live remote expertise during an in progress work session.
The WorkLink platform has been successfully applied to multiple industries across many different use cases, generating some of the most impressive ROI numbers ever recorded including: Prince Castle’s field service and installation team, Unilever’s factory operators groups, and Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing experts.
Scope AR’s WorkLink platform; built for enterprise, proven results.
One of the questions we get a lot is “How do we make AR instructions if we don’t have 3D models?”
It’s a valid question. The WorkLink platform was built primarily around the concept that organizations would be leveraging their own products’ CAD models to create augmented reality training and instruction materials. Many of our clients are using it in exactly that way, and having no difficulty in achieving that workflow. If you’re in that category then congratulations! you can probably grab a coffee.
The scenarios where this approach doesn’t fit tend to be in a few general categories
“We need to assist our employees on equipment that is supplied by a vendor”
“The CAD files exist and we own them, but we are struggling to get them released to us”
“This equipment pre-dates our CAD software”
In actuality, most of these scenarios are likely to be short-lived. Where IP protection is a concern, for instance, CAD files can be converted and simplified at source to maximize the value to instruction while minimizing the exposure of proprietary information. In addition, the very nature of self-authoring keeps that exposure limited to your internal content authors and a pre-approved workforce working across a secure network. As the benefits of AR instruction and assistance become more commonly understood, these barriers are starting to fall.
In the meantime though, it can be
extremely useful to have techniques for these situations, and we thought
we would share a few, as well as publish a WorkLink project
specifically made with no supplied or ‘made to order’ 3D content
whatsoever as an example. We chose a basic car maintenance example,
commonplace and straightforward, but also a good reference point for
more complex situations.
LESS IS MORE One key thing to understand is that good AR instruction is really about adding as little to the user’s workspace as possible. While movies tend to portray augmented reality as the ability to add as much as possible, the fact is that this doesn’t work well. Our goal is to provide small, but key, additions to the space which will have maximum impact. From this perspective, having complex 3D models of the equipment is actually not beneficial at all. When working on an engine after all, the engine is there. We have no need to reproduce it. For a large variety of processes, arrows, circular beacons, basic tools and simple shapes are all that is needed to communicate everything your user needs to know… Particularly when they are animated effectively and placed exactly where the user needs them. All of these things, along with the ability to place video and images, are provided for your use in the WorkLink platform. For common objects that aren’t included, support for standard file formats makes adding 3rd party content (from public websites etc) a simple process also.
CONTEXT IS KING Under these circumstances, the AR author is still left with one significant challenge. You start your project, secure in the knowledge that you a combination of simple content is more than enough to communicate exactly what your end-user needs to know… as long as they are placed accurately in the workspace. Without a model of your equipment in the scene, how can you place your content? You need a reference framework of some kind… context.
There are a number of strategies for
establishing this framework. One method is to take some key measurements
and create some simple 3D shapes to represent key landmarks in your
work area. This can be effective for straightforward situations, and if
you have ready access to your equipment, some trial and error may be an
acceptable approach. If the area you want to present instructions in is
basically flat (or a series of flat spaces) such as a control panel for
instance, it might also be an option to take photos (carefully, and
square to the camera) and bring those images into your project as
stand-ins. For more complex, demanding projects, it may be worth the
effort to create 3D objects that are more representative of the actual
equipment. 3D models can be created at various levels of detail, and
there is ample middle ground between detailed CAD models and simple
shapes. Although this skill set isn’t available in every organization,
it’s also not particularly challenging or expensive to access. For some
projects it may be worth the relatively small expense of generating some
models for this purpose. This method is particularly important if your
process demands an extended disassembly or assembly process, where
layers of parts are needed.
REALITY CAPTURE For circumstances where the area is more complex, or where access is more challenging, what’s needed is some form of reality capture. This term covers a broad variety of options, but the essence is basically the same… the ability to go into a space and quickly generate a 3D model of it without any particular skills. These models can be extremely useful for providing context, but you will not have the ability to ‘disassemble’ them. These types of models will represent a contiguous surface with no recognition of where one object ends and another begins. Great for providing a reference framework, so you can use it as a map for placing your instruction, but you will likely not show this type of model to your end user.
Here are some of the major options:
Laser Scanning: If you have
access to laser scanning equipment, or your budget allows contracting
these services, this can be an effective way to get a surface model of a
Photogrammetry: This is
relatively simple process, requiring access to a camera and. Essentially
the process is to take a large number of photographs (>100) of a
work area, from a wide variety of angles and distances, and using
generally inexpensive 3rd party software to generate a textured 3D
model. Results can vary, and depending on the software you may have to
manually scale the resulting model, but this technique can be quite
useful in the right circumstances.
Depth Camera/3D Sensor: This is currently our preferred method.
Utilizing a handheld depth camera, either built into a smartphone, or
as an external accessory to a tablet or smartphone, you can essentially
walk around an area and generate a simple textured 3D model ‘on the
fly’. Formats used are compatible with WorkLink, so you can bring the
model in immediately and use it as a quite accurate reference for
Results from all of these methods can
provide workable results, but detail levels vary. The goal here is to
allow a rapid reference framework to be put in place, low detail levels
are entirely acceptable for the less expensive approaches.
TEST DRIVE If you’re interested in this approach, I highly recommend you check out our “A3 Maintenance Demo” using the free WorkLink authoring app. It’s designed to take full advantage of the Microsoft HoloLens, so if you have access to one, definitely use that, but you can download it on any device’s store. Log in as a guest and load the A3 project, then either use a standard Scope AR marker or “Interactive Mode” (on handheld devices) to view it. You can also see this project featured in the video at the top of this post.
The project includes a series of
maintenance instructions designed to be viewed directly on the vehicle
itself. We’ve included some additional content strictly to help
demonstrate the concepts discussed here. The car outline is a commercial
3D model, but is included only to provide context for those viewing the
instructions away from the car, and would not otherwise be needed. The
engine model itself was scanned in about 15 minutes using a smartphone
with a 3D depth camera. Again, when viewing these instructions on the
vehicle itself, this model would not normally be included. We’ve
included it in the demo to show what type of results can be expected
from this sort of process, and also to help viewers understand the
context of these instructions.
Visibility switches (blue spheres)
are provided to allow you to show and hide the various models. Turn off
the car body and engine to view the instructions as they would appear
when seen on the real car.
As you will see, this approach makes for a very effective style of
instruction. For many of our clients, projects like this are the answer
to a difficult question, allowing them to quickly create effective
instructions without the need for a lot of engineering support or
For more information on creating AR Work instructions with no coding or previous experience, check out the WorkLink page, or see our Youtube channel, and be sure to keep track of the latest Scope AR news on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with the links below.