Delivering Industry 4.0 Use Cases Today – Building the Collaborative Thread

Delivering Industry 4.0 Use Cases Today – Building the Collaborative Thread

The first two parts of this series of blogs addressed the key requirements in building the foundations for real-time collaboration (integrate, create and collaborate) and discussed the key new innovations which will greatly accelerate the adoption of immersive technologies. In the final blog in this series, Masters of Pie will dive into the range of use cases enabled by Radical’s modular software approach to building solutions to solve Industry issues.  

by Karl Maddix – CEO & Founder of Masters of Pie

Remote Expert Assist

Remote assistance provides the ability for a remote expert to help a technician in situ, in solving a machine malfunction or maintenance task.  

The use case makes perfect sense, as it costs a lot of time, money and effort to get an expert from one office into a plant location that could be in another country and even in another time zone. 

Delays incurred in getting this expert on site can be very great indeed. It is estimated for the Fortune 1000, the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion. This figure doesn’t include negative impacts on areas like brand reputation or additional engineering costs.

The ability then, to bring expert knowledge to site in a quick and timely manner is invaluable to restart production and keep downtimes to a minimum. 

Many use cases are showcasing Microsoft’s HoloLens as the AR glasses and Microsoft’s own Remote Assist product as the vehicle through which the expert connects with the technician.

Microsoft Hololens. Source: Microsoft

In the example above from Microsoft’s website, we can see the expert trying to tell the technician how to fix the machine part. The expert has no CAD data to reference, and there would need to be a lot of ‘hand waving’ in order to try to communicate to the technician which part of the machine she should be fixing, and which parts she should be leaving alone. 

This experience can be taken to a different level with Masters of Pie’s Radical.

Without the ability for the expert to gain access to the CAD model, the technician is always going to struggle to understand the issues, and is likely to be unable to fix the problem on site, unaided. 

That said, Masters of Pie not only provides collaborative software, we also provide users with access to sharing the live CAD data from the host package through a streaming solution. This gives experts and technicians the ability to see the CAD model, often referred to as a Digital Twin, interact with it, and reveal ‘hidden’ parts deep in the machine that are more likely the cause of the problem. 

A Digital Twin is the CAD version of the real-world artefact (machine for example) that the user is interacting with on the shop floor. Having the CAD model available as a reference greatly improves the user experience when trying to diagnose, fix, and maintain machinery. When both the expert and the technician is able to view the Digital Twin at the same time, it greatly increases comprehension and diagnostic ability, resulting in a faster solving of the problem at hand. 

Above is an example of a digital twin next to the actual real-world object on the factory floor. This deeply embedded solution gives many more opportunities for collaboration between expert and technician. 

Masters of Pie’s Radical software solution provides the ability for all participants to interact with Digital Twins on site, in order to save time, travel and expense and keep downtime to a minimum, resulting in greater profits for the manufacturing industry. The process also keeps diagnostic accuracy high, and knowledge transfer fast and efficient. 

In today’s world of Covid-19, it is simply not possible to fly experts on-site to help technicians fix problems with machinery. Even in a post Covid-19 world, it’s still an expensive solution to fly people around, and not a very environmentally sound practice either. 

Radical’s collaborative, immersive solutions bring the expert and the data to you, helping to save time, money and maybe even contributing to sustainability goals defined by the company.

IIOT production data 

According to a recent report from Deloitte, manufacturers believe smart manufacturing will be a major competitive advantage in the next five years. At a global scale, manufacturers have already implemented or are in the process of rolling out smart factory initiatives.

The research also concluded that despite the high level of investment associated with smart manufacturing, typically these initiatives generate on average 10-12% gains in areas such as manufacturing output, labour productivity or factory optimisation.

The introduction of IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) is a key game changer. The ability to have critical performance information shared through a network of sensors and devices revealed many positive impacts in the production process such as cost reduction, time to market, mass customization and improved safety.  

The output of IIOT therefore is a direct consequence of the technology put in place. A decade ago it was groundbreaking being able to walk around a factory plant with a tablet in our hands, checking machinery and production levels. In today’s world we know this is good but not good enough. The current IIOT frameworks give the ability to monitor performance, but do they give data and insights context? Do current capabilities allow for the ability to plan and make changes to robotic simulation requirements and understand the impact in the factory? The list could go on, context is king.

Remote Expert Assist

The solution is Radical, integrated into the source of the 3D data to build immersive use case support in real time with the bi-directional pipe enabling the ability to implement changes tested in software before being implemented in the physical world. The ability to test and fail in software before the real world implementation on a myriad of applications across the factory is the next critical next step for manufacturing. 

By embracing the new technology enablers such as low latency 5G connectivity, server-side rendering, and edge computing, the ability to deliver untethered and factory wide immersive experiences across the factory footprint becomes a reality. This will allow for example real time IIOT data to be blended with CAD data to provide greater context and insight when performing diagnostics on issues.  

The Radical software approach allows Industry to integrate and build immersive use case support for legacy and incumbent solutions today and provides the framework to evolve and build new use cases leveraging the latest technological breakthroughs to increase adoption and drive efficiency and effectiveness gains across the business.

Augmented ergonomics 

Industrial Designer using Modelling a Car with Clay

From Industrial Plasticine…

Testing design ergonomics is critical to avoid expensive errors in the design process. Today industrial designers rely on traditional methods like clay or cardboard models to assemble and see products in 1:1 scale before kicking off production.

This methodology is very effective although it comes with limitations:

  • Space – You need to have large workplaces to develop this kind of process. It is simply not possible to physically drop a clay model of a car or simulate robotic arm movement in a typical design or planning environment.
  • Collaboration – Dispersed teams and experts cannot contribute in real time during the designreview which impacts the speed of iteration, effectiveness and ultimately increases lead time 

… to Digital Clay

Both issues are addressed by the adoption and implementation of AR and VR experiences throughout the design process from ideation to prototyping. Design teams will not require large and designated workplaces to build a model in 1:1 scale and teams in any location using a combination of immersive (AR and VR) and on the desktop and mobile via the browser will be able to collaborate in real-time to speed up the end to end process.

The implementation of the Radical immersive collaboration tools that support a myriad of devices (AR/VR, desktop and mobile) will allow the wider team and decision-makers to participate during these sessions, without having to wear expensive headsets. The ability to democratise large and complex 3D data for effective collaboration across the business is surely what Industry requires during COVID-19 to ensure business continuity regardless of the circumstances. 

Assembly

Empowering shop floor workers with hands-free AR and detailed 3D data will dramatically improve assembly line efficiency. Radical offers an intuitive environment where product data is fully interactive.

Users can move, hide, isolate and cross-section though parts, all while using markup and voice tools to create super-efficient instructions for the assembly/disassembly of complex products. These instructions will be ‘recorded’ in Radical and delivered as holographic guides via AR directly on the assembly line.

The Future is Now

The doubts about whether immersive technology will add any real value for enterprise teams are over. Radical is already in-market with our commercial partners, including some of the largest engineering companies in the world generating and delivering tangible benefits today.

The wheels are firmly in motion to bring about the age of spatial computing and enterprise teams are demanding that these technologies be supported within their daily workflows along with instant access to colleagues for more effective collaboration or what Masters of Pie like to term the “collaborative thread”.

The data they rely on is growing in complexity and the technology landscape is shifting rapidly. On the horizon we start to see that immersive technology (AR/VR) will become mobile, cheaper and more accessible. By bringing people and the data together in context will drive a period of enormous innovation. In this way, Masters of Pie believe that businesses will be able to unlock a world of possibilities and use cases that will shape Industry 4.0.

Want to know more?

Please contact us at the following if want to understand more – blogfeedback@mastersofpie.com

About Masters of Pie

Masters of Pie is a London based scale-up software company delivering immersive (VR & AR) collaboration solutions targeting initially the engineering and manufacturing industry. Masters of Pie recently completed a funding round including investment and industry validation of the approach to the Enterprise market from both Williams Advanced Engineering and Bosch Ventures. The investment will accelerate plans to scale the business by expanding the adoption of the Radical software framework into new verticals such as the Defence, Energy and Healthcare sectors.

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