Augmented Reality in the Plastics Industry: Individualized Instructions for the Entire Product Life Cycle

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Augmented Reality in the Plastics Industry: Individualized Instructions for the Entire Product Life Cycle

Individualization is the trend. In the plastics industry, too, more and more individualized machines are coming onto the market. Of course, these machines also require individualized manuals with instructions tailored specifically to them. However, this is not yet a reality today. The AdaptAR project wants to change that – with the help of Augmented Reality and an app.

You’re operating a machine, suddenly a problem arises, and you naturally look directly in the manual – but you just can’t find the right answer to your question. Does that sound familiar? This could be because the manual is not tailored to your specific product type, or because your manual is only available in paper form, making it much more difficult to look up specific information.

 

Fraunhofer IPT

AdaptAR solves contradiction between need and reality

Today, user manuals are still often published in paper form. For the most part, they are created manually – at the beginning of the product lifecycle. Subsequent changes to the product can no longer be taken into account. As a result, the information is not geared to the actual needs of users.

This is precisely where the AdaptAR project comes in. Karl Lossie from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT – coordinator of the joint project – explains the thinking behind it.

 

 

 

Concept for the provision of adaptive and context-specific instructions throughout the entire product life cycle : Fraunhofer IPT

 

Maintenance, documentation & Co. – AdaptAR in practice

To achieve these goals, the Fraunhofer IPT is supported by a total of 12 project partners – including DEGUMA-SCHÜTZ GmbH. This company manufactures rolling mills for rubber processing.

User companies such as DEGUMA-SCHÜTZ can use the planned software in various use cases throughout the entire product life cycle.

Fraunhofer IPT

 

In addition to maintenance, the software can also support the assembly of the company’s own products, commissioning and operation at customers’ sites, and finally even the reconditioning of plants. Companies thus not only save costs for skilled personnel and travel, but also time.

 

Overcoming barriers thanks to AR

In addition, fewer downtimes and accidents occur due to improper operation of the equipment – on the one hand due to the availability of instructions that are precisely tailored to the product type, and on the other hand due to user-friendliness and specificity.

Fraunhofer IPT

 

For example, certain steps in the app may have an AR representation, while other steps may not – depending on the user’s preference or experience. As soon as a process is completed, any changed data is also stored in the Digital Twin. Based on the history, it is always possible to see exactly what people who previously worked on the system did or changed.

AdaptAR also aims to overcome any language barriers thanks to its translation function. This should eliminate another source of errors when operating plants.

 

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