With no warning at all, the coronavirus completely changed our private and professional lives. Our own four walls have now become our office, where we meet our colleagues in virtual meetings. EDAG has been making use of this virtual collaboration for a long time, and we even go one decisive step further in this respect: by offering virtual and augmented reality technologies for your production engineering. So you too can work on projects worldwide – from your sofa.
From the game console to Industry 4.0 – digital change has long been reality
We know about virtual worlds from computer games. And with industrial applications, we also work with game figures – only we call them avatars. In virtual reality, we take an active part in this digital world, and can become fully immersed in it. Virtual reality (VR) glasses are our entry ticket for immersion.
This technology enables us to perceive digital space – a production hall or laboratory for instance – visually and dimensionally, and in this way go anywhere we want.
With augmented reality (AR), we do not so much enter a purely virtual world as enhance the real world with digital information and interactive elements, using various media such as special intelligent glasses.
There is no limit to the possible applications for VR and AR technology
VR and AR technologies can be used by any sector and any company division. In the automotive or consumer goods industry, trade or the service sector – applications can be found everywhere: from product development to production, logistics, maintenance or virtual training. Even marketing and sales are possible areas for use. Process optimisation, increased efficiency or cutting costs? All three are possible.
Saving time. Improving quality
- With the help of simulation, the processes for developing and implementing new products can be shortened enormously, and weak points spotted and corrected. Vehicle manufacturers, for instance, use virtual reality to accelerate and add to the functionality of the development phase of a new vehicle, to make decisions with regard to the design and conception, and then to optimise manufacturing processes. Even before the first real vehicle is constructed, complex assembly procedures or vehicle components can undergo three-dimensional and digital testing under realistic conditions and influences, and production methods can be optimised.
- Interdisciplinary teams work together in a virtual environment, increasing efficiency and productivity, and optimising processes. This means that engineers and technicians can, for example, receive real-time information via an AR interface, to identify problems quickly and provide solutions. Audiovisual interaction between individual partners is always possible via their respective avatars. Even if the partners are located all around the world, “on-site” plant or factory inspections are still possible.
- For educational or training purposes or workshops, employees can perform virtual activities, test tools and in this way expand and perfect their knowledge. At the workplace, too, important insights can be gained into ideal and healthy ergonomics, and work and process flows can be optimised
- Marketing and sales can give product presentations, turning even the most complex products into a unique virtual experience for the customer.
- Working with AR, a virtual robot can be controlled and tested by means of a real teach pendant coupled to the scene via data interface, and with the help of the real hardware.
“Engineering – from your own sofa”
Internationally operating companies already use these technologies to enable international project teams to work together.
The production know-how of EDAG PS and the virtual and augmented reality expertise of the Feynsinn division have been combined to create a tailor-made concept for industry. Sofa collaboration is a solution that can be adapted to the individual requirements of our customers, as either a service or a complete station.
By linking virtual tools with planning and engineering tools, for instance, our innovative concept enables you to hold time- and resource-saving “on-site discussions” in engineering projects. Virtual images of entire factory landscapes enable work to become independent of a fixed location.
The concept is not only riding on the “new work” wave, but is pushing the trend of the virtual industry to the forefront: “networked working in engineering projects” – from the sofa.
Efficient work-life balance
Sustainable, efficient, couch-compatible: this is the impressive summary of this groundbreaking concept for production engineering created when virtual and augmented reality and the EDAG ideal work together in a short triad.
Why sustainable? It saves you travelling time and travel expenses.
Why efficient? Virtual on-site inspections, design reviews for rapid error detection and subsequent optimisation, interaction with the digital twin in real time for the approval of production cells, and the representation of safe zones are all made possible.
Why couch compatible? Through interaction with real control technology, and thanks to the coupling with the digital twin, virtual workshops – robot training for example – can be carried out in real time from almost anywhere in the world.
Community instead of individuals
The advantages of collaborative work are obvious: by bringing together certain employees or a whole team, individual strengths can be harnessed and weaknesses counterbalanced. Everyone can bring something to the table.
Tasks can be carried out simultaneously or at different times. The working world is becoming virtual. And EDAG has appropriate solutions. The only thing we can’t do for you yet is get you a cup of coffee.
See for yourself!
Smart factory, digital twin, big data, predictive maintenance. Digitalisation is rapidly changing industry, creating an intelligent network of the virtual and real worlds. The working world of tomorrow will be more networked, faster and more digital. The Corona crisis has shown us that, in times of crisis, far from being just nice to have, such highly developed digital work simplifications very quickly become vital for a company’s survival.
Become a digital pioneer yourself, and use the advantages of collaborative working for engineering projects
- Using VR glasses, you can collaboratively participate in project meetings or even complex robot workshops from anywhere in the world.
- Global teams can communicate with one another in virtual space, without having to fly around the world to attend meetings. This saves time and money, and also makes project management easier.
- Production variants can be discussed, further developed and even “tried out” virtually at a very early planning stage. This simplifies the decision-making process and leads to optimum results.
- Complex engineering phases can be accelerated, and even international experts consulted – without the financial and schedule-related pressure that travel expenses and travelling time put on the development project.
- In robotics, you control a virtual robot with a real teach pendant. This simulation makes not just observation, but also direct interaction possible. Location-independent robot controls can be experienced.
You too can enter the world of VR/AR collaboration and discuss your specific application possibilities with our experts. Make use of digital potential. Create projects in virtual space. Our colleague Benjamin Kolobaric looks forward to receiving your enquiry, and to presenting the concept to you in person – you decide where. Maybe virtually, from your sofa?