Putting Ideas into Operation Faster with Digital Engineering

Research and Development in Virtual Engineering

Process Engineering Assistance System

VAKOMA GmbH provides solutions for heavy gear units for cement mills. It additionally restores worn gears. Such reconditioning requires precise instrumentation in dusty and loud environments. The type and extent of gear unit wear varies greatly. The know-how and experience required for these operations changes constantly.

Process Engineering Assistance System

The assistance system developed in collaboration with VAKOMA-GmbH helps workers prepare for and recondition gears. It consists of authoring and application software (Fig. 1). Experts can compile project files with the authoring system. Descriptions that teach and assist in reconditioning can be authored and supplemented by media (images, videos and VR). Using existing CAD data and drawing on its own expertise in engineering, modeling and animation, the Fraunhofer IFF created VR animations for relevant processes (Fig. 2).

Procedures in the assistance system can be causally related so that jobs have to be completed before other unrelated jobs can be started. If measurements are taken during a job, for instance, they can be retrieved by the assistance system and validated for expected values and correlations against already specified measures values. An automatic record is compiled, which is the basis for optimizing the methods and technical systems for future jobs. On site users can additionally annotate (images, videos and texts) a job description in the assistance system.

Mixed Reality Contents for Marketing and Sales Support

The media employed in the assistance system can additionally be used for sales. Favorites related to customer acquisition can be preselected from the media of the assistance system and presented separately from detailed information about company know-how. The virtual contents can be used not only as interactive VR but also in augmented reality representations (Fig. 3). Virtual contents are displayed synchronously positioned with VAKOMA GmbH’s marketing material in the camera image of mobile devices (laptops and tablets). This supplements product material with interactive contents and simultaneously serves as an interface to interact with the virtual model.