ARTC Model Factory AR Tour
A model of a factory of the future, Model Factory @ ARTC is part of A*STAR’s Model Factories Initiative to support the industry in their digital transformation journey. The Model Factory @ ARTC focuses on disruptive technologies, primarily Industry 4.0 technologies, that can transform factories and industrial operations to be more efficient and competitive. A customized Augmented Reality application, the ARTC Model Factory AR app allows users to explore the smart manufacturing processes and interact with individual machines in the ARTC model factory right from their smartphones.
The conventional way of conducting physical guided tours at ARTC Model factory has its limitations. It requires constant manpower from ARTC to be dedicated for group visits. Meanwhile, a verbal explanation may not be the most effective and impactful way of conveying message. Moreover, after the visit, users have limited assets to take away from the tour. To deliver a more impactful factory tour to the visitors, ARTC decided to develop an AR app.
Working with ARTC, we developed a smartphone-based AR app which consists of several parts. The first part is a factory process 3D overview. Visitors can take home with them a map of the factory, download the ARTC app on their own smartphones to scan the map and visualize the information flow between individual machines and the Manufacturing Intelligent Control Room in 3D. The second part is a station-based 3D machine visualization and interaction experiences. During the physical tour itself, as visitors approach each machine, they can scan individual testbeds to reveal additional information, or even interact with the photo-realistic 3D models of the machine to understand more about the machine. Navigation functions are also made available in the app to facilitate self-guided tours.
The ARTC Smart Factory AR app enhanced the factory visits with interactive experiences, and gives the team at ARTC more flexibility to arrange the tours. Furthermore, this AR app is a way to test the concept of Digital Twin, the digital copies of the physical machines. After the machines are sensorized, the virtual counterparts of the real manufacturing equipment will be bi-directionally connected to the real ones, so the digital version can adjust the operation of its physical twin in real-time, instantly reacting to the information it receives.
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