When it comes to production preparation activities, such as operator training, it can prove difficult to apply physical context to digital data. Despite the existence of useable and representative 3D data relatively early in the product development process, the opportunity to prepare production staff, and benefit from valuable insight regarding potential issues, suffers as a result. The opportunity for faster and more powerful decision-making is being lost.

The Production Build Experience harnesses the power of MR and VR to create interactive, immersive training or visual assistance for production operatives. Organizations can now train operatives in complex build processes using full-scale digital representations of their CAD and PLM data in a real world or immersive environment, accelerating planning, commissioning, and operation. The Production Build Experience can also be tailored to be driven directly by Manufacturing Execution Systems.

Out-of-the-box, the Production Build Experience can be seamlessly integrated into existing business processes, using proven and robust XR technologies, to better understand the stages and complexities associated with product manufacture and assembly build.

Operators can be trained without a requirement for physical assets, or without the need to utilize production assets that have already been deployed; reducing downtime and avoiding risks such as exposure to environmental dangers in a physical location.

Staff can learn and rehearse operation and handling of virtual lines, accelerating readiness and quality improvement. Using AR or MR, key production features such as interface features, master locators or space envelopes can be highlighted to bring context to the instruction or to identify assembly sequences that should already have been completed. Using the spatial benefits of MR, operators can identify access, movement or reach issues.

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However, today’s products are rarely developed with the luxury of collocated teams. The reality often involves collaboration across international borders. Globally distributed engineering is practically unavoidable, and this will increasingly place a challenge on effective collaboration between engineering teams. Exceeding the capabilities of significantly more expensive commercial VR solutions, the Production Build Experience has been developed with the goal of bringing globally distributed teams closer together. With the built-in collaboration functionality, the spatial context can be applied to the demonstration of a new idea to a colleague, or it can enable complete teams to come together to address a problem that would be tough to explain out-of-context.

With VR and MR, teams in the same room will see each other through their devices. However, using any XR technology, distributed team members can also be ‘present’ in the room, represented by a virtual avatar that moves as they do, and mimics their gestures – it’s as close as currently possible to having colleagues physically present in the room.

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