Assisting manufacturers with augmented reality

Published
April 11, 2018 - 01:00pm

Manufacturers are continually looking to improve workflows. To assist them in reducing the time to assemble products and worker errors, Cemtrex, Inc. offers Workbench XR, an augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) software application developed for the manufacturing industry. The Farmingdale, N.Y., company plans to release a beta version this summer.

“An assembly worker wears an AR headset, which provides instruction created by a production manager about how to assemble a product,” said Saagar Govil, CEO and chairman of Cemtrex. “It’ll take you through all the steps of the actual assembly.”

Photo courtesy of Cemtrex

While AR is employed at the worker level, the headset enables data to be sent to someone with the QC department, for example, Govil noted. “The QC team member can go back and look at the footage in virtual reality with a VR headset in the same application and possibly see where assembly went wrong and what corrective actions are needed to be implemented into the process to ensure the process is done in a better way moving forward.”

He added that the application enables manufacturers to track the amount of time a worker takes to complete each step in the assembly process. “You can get analytics on a worker-by-worker basis in real time just using the headset with our application,” Govil said. “We are going to continue to build out the analytics platform, which will be very valuable to organizations to find out where and why certain things are either leading to errors or delays in manufacturing. We can give them a whole host of data across the entire manufacturing operation.”

Workbench XR can connect to “smart tools,” such as Bluetooth-enabled torque wrenches and screwdrivers, and track the data generated from those hand tools and send it back to the headset or a server. “A lot of these connected tools are expensive and they are few and far between,” Govil said, “but we are seeing the price go down and will be able to implement more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices.”

Cemtrex is offering the initial AR/VR application for assembly operations, but Govil expects the number of manufacturing operations that are suitable for the technology to expand as headset visibility continues to improve and any potential safety issue are overcome. “There is no question that augmented reality can help machinists,” he said.

To participate in the beta launch, companies should visit www.cemtrexvr.com.

Author

Editor-at-large

Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Including his 20 years at CTE, Alan has more than 30 years of trade journalism experience.

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