Use Cases

RICAIP aims to

To develop research excellence through a set of comprehensive use case studies serving as role models and demonstrators for future applications of the RICAIP principles of multi-site & distributed advanced manufacturing in the most relevant industrial sectors (aircraft, automotive, and production technologies).

And to advance the possibilities and benefits of Industry 4.0 and digitization in pilot use case studies and demonstrators. These use cases and demonstrators will prove the feasibility and enable a test and transfer environment for the industry.

Following use cases will be developed

Distributed production sites
with various levels of mutual integration

Production as a Service (PaaS) 

RICAIP Demonstrators

Flexible Production

The scenario will rely on connecting the customer’s choice directly into the production process. In such a way, the production will adapt itself to the product to be produced. The following key features are important:

The customer’s choice is analysed automatically

Production planning is done based on the customer’s choice and available resources

The production resources are commanded according to the result of the production planning

The production planning algorithm can also be used to plan the disassembly of the product. Traditional and collaborative robots are used to perform assembly and disassembly operations. A customer portal linked to an ERP and MES systems is used to receive the production orders and to track the status of the production.

Even though the assembly and disassembly operations are executed in one place, the system architecture is prepared for the distributed environment to be extended in the future. As an extension, a remote production site at CEITEC will be connected. This site will receive commands based on orders processed by the customer portal running in the ERP system.

Multi-site dimension based on combination of Augmented and Virtual Reality

As another example of connecting remote sites an AR/VR system – Fata Morgana will be presented. The technology is being developed in cooperation with the Pocket Virtuality company, a partner of the National Centre for Industry 4.0. It allows connecting a remote site operated by an operator with Microsoft HoloLens AR headset, and a supervisor site equipped with a virtual reality system. Using the cameras and sensors in HoloLens, the technology combines the captured shots of the real physical environment that – after being digitalized – are projected into the supervisor’s HoloLens.

With built-in memory and computing power, the information is transferred to a server or cloud with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Both operators share the environment scanned by the AR headset, whereas the supervising operator may navigate and command the in-field operator through his/her virtual reality environment.

Augmented-Reality based interaction with a remote production line

The demonstrator shows multi-modal interaction with a 3D model of a production line (projected into the room by a Microsoft HoloLens). The modalities used include spoken language with natural dialogue, gaze, and gestures related to the projected 3D model.

The goal is to show remote access–based on an integrated semantic representation of all relevant data–to a production line.  Possible applications range from design, manufacturing engineering, monitoring and control to maintenance use cases.

The demonstrator is built on a single common data representation in OSF (Open Semantic Framework) including 3D data and the dialogue system.

It shows how remote and distributed data can be brought to life in an interactive framework. The system has been built in cooperation with Siemens USA and is based on DFKI’s dialogue platform Siam-dp.

Currently, the system setup does not allow copying the image from the HoloLens screen to a regular monitor for a bigger audience. However, this video shows the audience what is going on.

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