Current design-to-manufacture methods do not allow enough manufacturing agility when introducing or modifying products, particularly in times of crisis. Key bottlenecks exist around process documentation and upskilling the workforce to adapt to new processes, while maintaining high levels of quality assurance.
The MTC’s digital engineering team identified an opportunity to integrate a number of state of the art technologies to address this challenge. The internal project, Optimising Human Led Manufacturing Assembly and Inspection (OPTUMASSI), was set up to create a proof of concept, highlighting several benefits to overall process time and quality control, for application in sectors where the human workforce plays a key role in the delivery of products.
The OPTUMASSI project created a demonstrator that brought together a series of cutting edge, digital manufacturing technologies.
The functions of the system include:
Model Based Definition (MBD) for a box assembly was created and the assembly-specific requirements were digitally marked. The model was consumed by an MTC developed tool to assess the assembly sequence, extracting and interpreting the requirements, and turning them into work instructions. The work instructions were fed into a HoloLens MR environment, where they were displayed for the operator along with augmented visualisation of the relevant parts of the assembly. Instant feedback was provided in the form of smart tool inspection results, and each assembly stage was automatically verified.
A second phase of this project has been planned, focusing on industrial use cases, to align the system with applications that deliver maximum benefit.
This proof of concept demonstrates the potential of such a system for industry, providing easy to follow instructions to operators, dramatically reducing the time to manufacture and integrating with the Digital Thread.