Enabling Industrial Mixed Reality Using Digital Continuity: An Experiment Within Remanufacturing

Víctor Igelmo, Anna Syberfeldt, Jörgen Hansson & Tehseen Aslam (2022). Enabling Industrial Mixed Reality Using Digital Continuity: An Experiment Within Remanufacturing. Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering. Volume 21: SPS2022, pp.497-507.

In the digitalisation era, overlaying digital, contextualised information on top of the physical world is essential for an efficient operation. Mixed reality (MR) is a technology designed for this purpose, and it is considered one of the critical drivers of Industry 4.0. This technology has proven to have multiple benefits in the manufacturing area, including improving flexibility, efficacy, and efficiency. Among the challenges that prevent the big-scale implementation of this technology, there is the authoring challenge, which we address by answering the following research questions: (1) “how can we fasten MR authoring in a manufacturing context?” and (2) “how can we reduce the deployment time of industrial MR experiences?”. This paper presents an experiment performed in collaboration with Volvo within the remanufacturing of truck engines. MR seems to be more valuable for remanufacturing than for many other applications in the manufacturing industry, and the authoring challenge appears to be accentuated. In this experiment, product lifecycle management (PLM) tools are used along with internet of things (IoT) platforms and MR devices. This joint system is designed to keep the information up-to-date and ready to be used when needed. Having all the necessary data cascading from the PLM platform to the MR device using IoT prevents information silos and improves the system’s overall reliability. Results from the experiment show how the interconnection of information systems can significantly reduce development and deployment time. Experiment findings include a considerable increment in the complexity of the overall IT system, the need for substantial investment in it, and the necessity of having highly qualified IT staff. The main contribution of this paper is a systematic approach to the design of industrial MR experiences. Access publication.