The coronavirus makes it difficult to maintain production chains that require personal presence in groups. Augmented Reality could greatly advance virtual work in the next few years. But is remote work conceivable in engineering?
While video conferencing with distant colleagues is now almost part of everyday life, there are still many analog workflows in engineering. In particular, applications in which large amounts of data have to be processed are often not yet suitable for display in virtual meetings. Here augmented reality software creates a new solution environment.
Working together, regardless of location, on CAD models in AR
The augmented reality engineering space enables highly specialized engineers to use their sought-after knowledge much more efficiently.
In the process industry, for example, chemists and engineers work together very early on in process development. Together, they consider whether something that works on a small scale can also work in a process plant. The machine builder assembles the individual components and the plant builder ensures that everything fits together. Often separate and also very time-consuming processes.
At this point, the AR Workspace offers a collaborative environment to bring stakeholders together. Regardless of geographical distances, you can use AR glasses such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 for a virtual work session on an identical 3D object (for example a visualized system) and edit it together. All adjustments discussed in the working session or marked on the digital 3D model can then be seamlessly integrated into the corresponding tools of the other workflows.
New ways of visualization and collaboration
The AR Workspace thus serves as a meeting, work, and presentation platform. The automotive industry is already working on design reviews in this way. A design review in the form of an augmented reality session has the additional advantage that inconsistent details or easily overlooked construction errors of the model become more clearly visible and can be modified. Companies conserve their resources and make the production process more efficient.
Especially in times of social distancing, it is an absolute advantage to rely on a collaboration platform that enables your employees to continue working on important programs and projects in a risk-free manner and also across large geographical distances.
These benefits will not lose their effectiveness even after the current virus crisis has been overcome. What acutely helps to avoid productivity gaps can in the long term create the basis for more efficient collaboration and teamwork in the entire engineering workflow.
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