Augmented reality application to support the assembly of highly customized products and to adapt to production re-scheduling

Abstract

Despite the high automatization that characterizes modern production, human operators still hold a vital position in manufacturing, which should be reinforced in the transition to the era of Industry 4.0. As human operators may support increased flexibility and adaptability to their tasks, they gain an advantage in highly customized productions, where products’ configuration and tasks allocated per workstation may be dynamically changed. In order to support dynamic knowledge transfer to the human operators in a way that is perceivable and does not limit operators’ capabilities, it is important to exploit novel visualization technologies introduced by Industry 4.0. This paper presents an automated approach for remotely supporting assembly workstations, with human operators using augmented reality technology. The system retrieves the workstation’s schedule and automatically generates assembly instructions, utilizing information from the product’s design, enriched with order-specific annotations based on product customization. Then, the generated augmented reality instructions are transmitted through a cloud environment to the assembly station operator, aiming to support dynamic production re-scheduling. The developed system is validated in a real-life case study provided by the automotive industry.

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Correspondence to Dimitris Mourtzis.

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Mourtzis, D., Zogopoulos, V. & Xanthi, F. Augmented reality application to support the assembly of highly customized products and to adapt to production re-scheduling. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 105, 3899–3910 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-019-03941-6

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Keywords

  • Assembly
  • Augmented reality
  • Mass customization
  • Re-scheduling