Insights from Smart Factory Expo: Embracing Extended Reality and 3D PDF Innovations

Written by Jennifer Cox
Posted on
4 mins

Theorem Solutions recently had the opportunity to attend the Smart Factory Expo (part of Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week). While at the event, we spoke to many attendees about Extended Reality and 3D PDF in particular; however, there was also interest in converting CAD data from one format to another with our CAD translation solutions. Reflecting on the experience, it's clear that these types of events are invaluable for gaining insights into the latest industry trends and the common challenges that businesses face. Let's delve into some of the significant takeaways from our participation in the expo. 

Extended Reality (XR) Becoming Better Understood 

One of the primary observations from the event was the increasing familiarity and interest in Extended Reality (XR) technology. While XR has always been an exciting technology to showcase for Theorem Solutions, it is particularly difficult to convey its potential without trying it first-hand. This year, however, we noticed a shift. Many attendees not only understood XR but were already exploring practical applications within their businesses. 

This growing awareness signifies that XR is no longer a futuristic concept but a present-day tool being integrated into many different industries. Numerous companies we spoke with had already invested in XR hardware, and had well-defined use cases.

Given the context of the Smart Factory Expo, many use cases revolved around visualizing planned factory layouts. However, we also engaged in discussions about using XR for training purposes and creating step-by-step XR guides, highlighting the technology's versatility. 


Enhancing Collaboration with XR 

XR is proving to be a powerful tool for enhancing collaboration across supply chains and with customers. For instance, XR allows for immersive virtual tours of factory layouts, enabling suppliers to understand the spatial constraints and operational workflows without the need for physical visits. This can lead to more efficient design adjustments and better alignment with production requirements. 

XR also facilitates real-time collaboration with remote teams and stakeholders. Using XR platforms, engineers and designers can work together on 3D models, making live adjustments and receiving immediate feedback, regardless of their physical location. This not only speeds up the design process but also ensures that all parties have a clear and consistent understanding of the project. 

Addressing Data Sharing Challenges with 3D PDF 

Another topic for discussion at this event was the challenge of sharing data efficiently, which sparked considerable interest in 3D PDF technology. The ability to create branded templates was particularly appealing to attendees, alongside the fundamental advantage of making 3D data accessible to non-CAD users. These customizable templates can be tailored to specific use cases, offering a wide range of applications as demonstrated by the diverse feedback we received. 


Streamlining Data Sharing Across Platforms 

A recurring theme in our conversations was the need for new methods of sharing design data, especially for those who have recently switched CAD systems. For example, many new 3DEXPERIENCE users (upgrading from CATIA V5) expressed interest in 3D PDF as a tool for sharing their design data with a broader audience. Transitioning to a new CAD system often presents challenges in maintaining seamless communication and data sharing across different platforms. 3D PDF offers a solution by providing a universal format that can be easily accessed and understood by stakeholders who may not have specialized CAD software. 

We recently conducted a webinar for people with similar issues on “Supercharge your 3DEXPERIENCE Platform with Enhanced 3D PDF Export Capability” which discusses how 3D PDF can be beneficial for sharing 3DEXPERIENCE data with GD&T as well as exploring some potential templates. 

Enhancing Accessibility and Collaboration 

3D PDF technology enhances accessibility, allowing detailed 3D models and technical data to be viewed and interacted with using standard PDF readers. This capability bridges the gap between CAD users and non-CAD users, fostering better collaboration among diverse teams, including engineers, marketers, and clients. By embedding interactive 3D content within PDFs, users can rotate, zoom, and explore models in a way that static images or 2D drawings cannot offer. This interactive experience is invaluable for presentations, reviews, and collaborative discussions. 

Final Thoughts 

Our participation in the Smart Factory Expo was immensely rewarding. The event provided a platform for numerous enlightening discussions, particularly around Extended Reality (XR) and 3D PDF technology. The growing familiarity with XR among attendees and the continued appeal of 3D PDF for data sharing underscore the dynamic advancements in manufacturing technology. These conversations not only highlighted the current landscape but also pointed to the exciting future possibilities within the industry. 

Theorem Solutions looks forward to continuing to engage with industry leaders and innovators to drive forward the adoption and implementation of cutting-edge technologies. Events like the Smart Factory Expo are crucial in shaping the future of smart manufacturing and engineering, and we are thrilled to be a part of this journey.