Assist-by-X: A Modular Plug and play visual assistance system

The demonstrator is part of the system “Assist-by-x” and based on modular engineering. Modular engineering is an industrial design approach that subdivides a large system into smaller versatile parts called modules. These modules are designed to be reused in any other adaptable production system with varying parameters. Each of the modules poses a specific ability and allows interaction with other modules, the product, and the operator. The Assist-By-X system is one such implementation of a modular assistance system for product parts and maintenance assistance. The idea for this system is to create a worker assistance software that provides visual support through a projector. It is expected to decrease processing time and probability of error on the production line and increase worker performance. Connectivity is ensured between all devices using the IoT standard communication protocol MQTT.

For the RICAIP-case, the goal is to use the modularity to place the system to any place for assisting the operator in maintenance activates.

A moving head is used as the projection device. The system has two modes. In the first mode, errors or notifications during production can be automatically displayed to the operator. In the second mode, if an error stage occurs, areas can be highlighted by an associated expert via remote maintenance. The moving head will be moved by a dashboard, programmed with Node-RED. Node-RED is a web-based browser editor for visual programming. The communication between the operator on-site and the connected expert is realized by a video chat with the Microsoft Hololens. This allows the expert to draw instructions directly into the operator’s field of view.

The advantage of the demonstrator is the reduction of complexity and downtimes when eliminating errors or problems through real-time remote maintenance support on the production line. The communication between operator and expert is simplified by more intuitive communication methods.

Use Cases