Implementing augmented reality technology

Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science

Client: Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science

Client challenge

  • How to support and promote the digitalisation of maintenance and operating instructions globally
  • How to effectively instruct and visually guide engineers in the service procedure of complex instruments

Stereoscape solution

  • Proof of concept to promote digitalisation of work instructions within the organisation globally
  • Easy to follow step-by-step instructions for service procedure projected directly onto real-world equipment

End users

Client’s global maintenance and operations personnel across corporate units

Solution type

REFLEKT ONE Work Augmentation Platform

Content and interactivity

Step-by-step animated maintenance instructions in augmented reality (AR)

The instructions are based on STEP-files provided by the client, and consist of 3D animation, images, text and PDF-document

Precise object recognition and tracking; zooming in and viewing of content from different angles

Distribution and display

Flexible cross-platform solution:

  •   works on tablets, mobile devices and HoloLens headset
  •   iOS, Android and Windows compatible

Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science specialises in high-tech analysis solutions for the industrial sector, serving thousands of businesses around the world. Their in-field testing instruments deliver essential materials and coatings analysis that adds value throughout the production lifecycle and their customised testing methodologies have been developed for hundreds of industrial applications.

Opportunity

Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science was looking for ways in which augmented reality technologies could support and promote the digitalisation of their service and maintenance operations globally. As proof-of-concept project, they wanted to find a way to visually instruct their service engineers in the maintenance of complex instruments that may be serviced as rarely as once a year.

 

Solution

Stereoscape worked with Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science team to create detailed step-by-step AR maintenance instructions to be projected directly onto their XRF Analyzer. A design sprint was conducted to create a shared understanding of the business objectives and key requirements for the solution. Hitachi’s existing digital assets, including STEP-files and PDF-documents, were repurposed for the solution. In addition to the PoC, Stereoscape provided training so that Hitachi could author similar instructions themselves in the future.

The solution features animated step-by-step maintenance instructions for the Analyzer, together with further instructions in text and PDF formats. The solution includes tracking features, which allow looking at the Analyzer and the instructions from various angles during the maintenance procedure and zooming into details. The solution works on tablets and other mobile devices, as well as the HoloLens headset.

 

Seamless transition between augmented reality, animated and hands-free modes

In augmented reality mode, the step-by-step instructions are projected from the user’s tablet or other mobile device onto the physical analysing equipment. By operating the mobile device, the user can rotate the digital representation of the equipment to examine it from different angles, and also inspect elements in close-up. With just one click, the user can also disable the AR mode which switches off the device’s camera and brings the animated 3D instructions onto the mobile screen. Hands-free use is also possible by wearing a HoloLens headset, which gives a semi-transparent view of the instructions overlaid on the real-world Analyzer, leaving the user free to use both hands for e.g. maintenance tasks.

 

Outcome

  • The step-by-step AR maintenance instructions are projected directly onto the XRF Analyzer, making them visually intuitive and easier for the engineers to comprehend.
  • Each service step has multiple actions, which are presented in chronological sequence within the animation.
  • The users can view the “virtual version” of the Analyzer from multiple angles, and view details in close-up.
  • In addition to animated, visual instructions and written text, a traditional PDF-manual is also included for reference.
  • Fast content creation is possible without required specialist knowledge.
  • The solution is easy to use on tablets and mobile devices as well as HoloLens headset.
  • The solution is presented to the client’s organisation globally as proof of concept on digitalisation of maintenance and other work instructions.

Did you find what you were looking for?

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