Augmented Reality Tool Assists Manual Assembly Processes

Augmented Reality Tool Assists Manual Assembly Processes

Humans are still essential for many manufacturing processes. Especially for assembly. But assuring the correct parts go in the assembly in the correct orientation is essential. Enter an augmented reality (AR) tool to help.

Light Guide Systems partnered with information technology company HP Inc. to release a tech tool an augmented reality (AR) dubbed Light Guide Stratus. Leveraging Sprout Pro computing platform by HP, Light Guide Stratus provides a flexible, adaptable benchtop platform for assembly processes.

Light Guide Stratus builds on the company’s initial product Light Guide Systems Pro, which launched in 2016. The Stratus system integrates the Sprout Pro directly into a bench structure to increase the display surface area and free up critical space on the workstation. This expanded workspace can be used to integrate new types of applications and tools for a particular assembly sequence.

“The launch of Light Guide Stratus is a testament to the growing demand for flexible and powerful AR guidance systems,” said Paul Ryznar, OPS Solutions founder, president and CEO. “We knew that Light Guide Systems Pro brought a critical level of functionality and flexibility to improve outcomes for nearly any industry. We expect Light Guide Stratus to address even more applications and become an integral part of assembly and manufacturing operations for companies in every space, from medical to auto to aerospace and energy.”

Light Guide Systems projects a digital operating “canvas” onto virtually any work surface to provide audio and visual prompts, guidance, pacing, and direction. Light Guide Systems Pro takes the tool to the next level by incorporating its proprietary software into the Sprout Pro PC platform. Light Guide Stratus takes user experience into account with a flexible and repeatable design that opens up the workspace.

“HP’s Sprout Pro with Light Guide Systems reduces training time and improves quality in manufacturing assembly through projection and scanning in an augmented reality platform,” said Louis Kim, vice president and general manager of Immersive Computing, HP Inc. “Light Guide Stratus demonstrates the flexibility of the Sprout Pro platform combined with Light Guide’s innovation and leadership.”

Data-Driven Decision Making—Connected Vehicles

Data-Driven Decision Making—Connected Vehicles

The afternoon stream I moderated at the Industry of Things World conference focused on connected vehicles—Construction Equipment, Trucks, Airplanes. I also interviewed a farm equipment manufacturer about some perhaps surprising uses of data-driven decision making in agriculture.

But first, a thought from another keynote address:

From a NASA study—If you want to employ a creative genius, you’ll have 98% success employing a 3-5 year old; if you hire an adult, you probability of success drops to 2%.

Data-Driven Agriculture

I caught up with Alexander Purdy of John Deere between sessions. He’s not an engineer or IT manager like many of the attendees and speakers (he had a later keynote). He on the business end. How can John Deere grab a competitive advantage and serve customers through connected data? After a career as a consultant, he loves actually doing things.

His group deals in guidance systems and digital solutions. Guidance systems essentially link a GPS to large farm equipment. Not only does this ensure the rows of corn are nice and straight, the digital decision making increases coverage and yield.

Deere’s digital solutions include online JDLink, JDonline, and an ops center. A farmer can sit in her office and plot out planting regimes setting up everything before going into the field. There is even a way to collaborate on methods and local information.

Let’s take seeding for example. Sensors connected back to the system can feedback soil conditions. This helps the planter decide for each seed in a cornfield the optimum x, y, and z (yes, they measure depth of planted seed). The idea is to get each plant to grow at about the same rate.

Connected Construction Equipment

Kjell Jespersen, Caterpillar, spoke on huge construction equipment. Customers have been using the large amount of data generated by construction equipment mainly for improving maintenance. However, they crave better productivity data to manage their business. Developing the systems for gathering and analyzing all the data will become crucial as a competitive advantage—or failure to do so could force a company to exit the business.

Connected Trucking

Turning to the long-haul trucking business, companies are turning to truck suppliers such as Volvo and Mack Trucks to provide connected vehicle technology to provide data for improved customer support. According to Evandro Silva, Manager Connected Vehicle Services, Volvo Group Trucks North America, a telematics solution was used to develop a connected service that enables quick diagnosis of issues, proactive scheduling for repairs, and confirmation that needed parts are in stock and ready to install—all while the truck is still on the job.

Airplane Digital Twin

Robert Rencher, Senior Systems Engineer and Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company, took the discussion to a new level—literally. From equipment that stays firmly on the ground, Rencher discussed the role of a “digital twin” throughout the lifecycle of an aircraft. A digital twin is defined within a system representing the characteristics of the object and the virtual environment in which the digital representation of objects and their physical equivalent, vice versa, are represented digitally and co-exist such that the object’s past, current, and future capabilities and can be assessed and evaluated in real-time. As an object progresses through each phase of its lifecycle, various systems interface with the digital twin.

Next Year

Look for information about next year’s conference and all the other conferences.  Next year will be about the same time of year in San Diego. Details are still being worked out. Check out twitter conversations at #IoTClan