Page 46 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
P. 46

ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION | | March-April 2021
 AR underpins the new normal... and the new future
 The rapid uptake of AR has highlighted how essential it can be across all stages of a project lifecycle, not least for the level of insight, problem solving and cost savings that it delivers.
“The pandemic has led to global difficulties in location-based train- ing and, as this was a brand new machine for the customer, they asked us to look at how we could help speed up line operation by helping it get to know how to use the machine quicker,” adds Monguzzi.
“The customer recognised that AR was ideal for training – even before receiving the machine – and wanted to start experimenting with the tech- nology in order to get more confident in operations and procedures.
“We were able to deliver a virtual version of the customer’s precise machine thanks to highly detailed CAD data. Using this platform, there were no surprises when the machine was delivered.”
AR offers much added value throughout a machine’s entire life- cycle, delivering value at every pri- mary stage, including tender, design, testing, installation, commissioning, operation, changeover, maintenance, support and modification.
From the design and prototyping stage, customers can get a clearer appreciation of the machine and fully understand its capabilities. Operation can also be fine-tuned thanks to simulations based on accu- rate product models, and this is before any metal has even been cut.
Installation, commissioning and FAT are also helped with representative
MULTIPLE contemporary studies support the fact that compa- nies that have exploited the digital capabilities of their assets – either as part of a transformation or a general move to a more data-capable infrastructure – are weather-
ing the effects of COVID-19 more effectively and more robustly.
Although many of the technologies being exploited are seen as being fruits of “the new normal”, many find their roots in more established prac- tices that are finally getting the air- play they deserve, though as a short- term necessity, instead of a long-term technological plan.
Arguably, from an engineering sense, one of the most powerful tools at our disposal is AR.
By giving engineers and operators an immersive, intimate and highly interactive appreciation of a machine – sometimes before it has even been built – AR could very well be the foundation of Industry 4.1, thanks to its ability to deliver incredible levels of information and presentation, based on the data delivered by Industry 4.0.
From an end user’s perspective, AR does not rely on an installed, digi- tally transformed base of operations. Using CAD data, OEM suppliers can deliver this immersive technology far more easily than many think.
“AR has always been part of our roadmap, as has virtual commission- ing and testing, but the global pan- demic has pushed the need for these technologies right to the forefront,” explains Matteo Roncaglioni, software engineering manager at Cama Group.
“From our perspective, having a digitally capable platform already in place, in the form of our BTG range of machines, has made the transition for us and our customers a lot simpler.
“Like many companies, we have the in-depth CAD data that forms the foundation for our AR offering, but our exploitation of fully interconnected, digitally capable hardware and soft- ware means that our solutions can be used for full simulation, as opposed to just for creating pretty 3D images.”
According to Massimo Monguzzi, R&D manager at Cama, a case in point would be a recent application they developed for a well-known house- hold brand.
ABOVE: An immersive and highly interactive presentation
of a machine, before it’s even been built.
RIGHT: Can AR technology be the foundation of Industry 4.1?

   44   45   46   47   48