What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality expands the information we get from the real world. Normally this is achieved by superimposing on a real image the data that we want to observe, as additional information on the observed element. This is achieved by using devices that allow us to see reality and show virtual elements at the same time, for example, mobiles, glasses or even projectors. The type of information can be of any kind that we could imagine, from information about an object that we are observing, simulation for the placement of objects in a certain space or elements of a video game.
Types of devices for Augmented Reality
In order to use Augmented Reality, it is necessary to have a device that allows to visualize virtual information about real-world objects.
- Portable display devices: like smartphones o tablets, elements easily available and especially useful if we want to make use of a Computer Vision recognition system and it is necessary to be present in the place where Augmented Reality will be applied, since it allows to make use of its camera. It is also possible to use a computer with a camera, which will be enough if we only want to remotely see some type of information regarding what is observed.
- Smart glasses: if you are looking for something more sophisticated, it is also possible to use virtual glasses that allow to visualize the information in a more comfortable way. It is used in maintenance applications with displacements.
- Industrial projectors: the use of a projector is also a good option for occasions when you want to see certain information without the operator having to be using a device all the time and you only want to observe the information in a certain area. You can see the example of a Project that we carry out to project the assembly instructions using an industrial projector.
What is it for? Augmented Reality applications for industrial maintenance
One of the greatest utilities found in Augmented Reality for Industry 4.0 is the possibility of taking advantage of it to facilitate maintenance tasks. Combining it with other technologies such as Computer Vision, it is possible to obtain information regarding certain objects such as, for example, the stock number, characteristics of the object, parameters, temperatures, the place where it should be taken for storage, information regarding a package … In this way, multiple tasks can be facilitated, since in addition to allowing quick and easy access to information, it also facilitates the way to display this information. We tell you 7 applications of augmented reality in industrial maintenance:
- Display of element labeling on machines. Through Augmented Reality aided by Computer Vision, the elements of a machine can be identified so the technician can easily know what each piece is.
- Simulation of machine elements before / during maintenance. Thanks to Augmented Reality it is possible to simulate the operation and the fit of the different elements of the equipment. This ensures that there are no problems in the actual implementation.
- Find faults remotely. Avoid risks in repairs in danger areas. When using an Augmented Reality system, the maintenance technician doesn’t have to go to read or identify the elements, he/she can do it remotely. It is especially useful in high risk installations. A Computer Vision system could be used to find failures and through Augmented Reality visualize the failure and the place where it has occurred.
- Access and control to plant equipment and elements. It is possible to connect the Augmented Reality system to the plant control systems so from the same application you can visualize and act on the different equipment.
- Remote assistance and guide. It is one of the most used applications, since it allows the technician to be guided during the repair so the result is safer and with higher quality. In this link you can find a more detailed example in which we guide the operator in the placement of packaging and another in which we guide in the assembly of electronic boards.
- Training of operators and technicians. Through an Augmented Reality system it can help teach the operation of machinery and certain processes, being especially useful for new incorporations.
As you can see, Augmented Reality offers multiple possibilities that can help simplify a large number of processes thanks to a wide field of application and a multitude of platforms with which to be used.
Augmented Reality combined with Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence
One of the main objectives of Augmented Reality is to facilitate access to information. By using Augmented Reality in combination with other technologies such as Computer Vision or Artificial Intelligence increases its number of possibilities. For example, it can be used in combination with computer vision to recognize or locate a certain object or code, depending on which different information regarding that element will be projected, as well as the place where it is projected. If , in addition, the system is provided with a connection to a database or to some management and maintenance system, a large amount of useful information may be available that can be displayed in the system.
Benefits and Advantages of Augmented Reality applied to industrial maintenance
Augmented reality applied to industrial maintenance offers us three very important advantages:
- Time saving in the interventions. The maintenance technician has all the information at his fingertips, being able to save time when look for for manuals, guides, data and measurements.
- Quality in interventions. The operations carried out will be carried out with more quality, since the total availability of information and data will make the interventions have a higher degree of quality.
- Safety for operators and equipment. Being able to do remote observations and simulations increases the safety of maintenance technicians. In addition, machines and equipment will also be safer.
How to do an Augmented Reality Project for industrial maintenance?
When we start an Augmented Reality Project, the first thing we need to do is decide what data we want to show . There are infinite parameters and information that we may need from our team and the first step will be to decide which are the most important. Next, we will need to collect the data that we want to display. This will require an initial time but after having the system installed we can assure you that you will save many hours. It is also necessary to take into account when choosing the device with which we are going to work, that we will need a certain processing speed , so the application we develop can work smoothly.
Do you want to apply Augmented Reality in any of your Projects? Contact us!
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