SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Designing A Robust Industrial Augmented Reality Solution

Authors: Jay Gorajia, Nir Sagi, Eran Nadel, Shai Newman
Company: Siemens Industry Software and Compedia
Date Published: 9/22/2019   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: As Pokemon GO™ and Ikea Place app continue to drive awareness for AR, technology companies continue to develop solutions to solve key productivity, quality and efficiency challenges using AR. Manufacturers are looking for innovative ways to solve todays problems, and AR may be the key. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 20 percent of large enterprises will evaluate and adopt augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality solutions as part of their digital transformation strategy.

One of the key challenges to a scalable, robust AR solution is an accurate and reliable visual experience which requires accurate positioning/tracking and visual processing. Tracking is how the augmented reality algorithm can recognize real-world objects in the camera feed, so it can accurately overlay virtual objects onto it. Most of the common commercial solutions that perform tracking today such as ARCore by Google and ARKit by Apple, utilize vision algorithms that inspect visual features in the camera feed to determine the exact position of the camera in space enabling, in turn, the algorithm to place the correlated 3D model. These solutions allow flexibility and simplicity but are sensitive to environmental factors such as light, line of sight, and require the existence of clear enough visual features in the physical environment, to achieve accuracy.

This paper describes the design and implementation of a robust industrial augmented reality assembly instruction and validation solution in which various choices of tracking methodology is reviewed to address challenges of environmental factors such as light, and the prerequisite of having fixed visual features in an environment. The resulting solution is being tested in an actual production line at the Siemens gas and power factory, gas-insulated switchgear manufacturing line in Berlin, Germany.

Key Words: 

Augmented reality, manufacturing, industry 4.0, shop floor, production line, work instructions

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