Plan production lines more efficiently with VR

VR offers new possibilities for intuitive project planning and realization of major projects

The planning of plants has increasingly changed. Due to the constantly advancing automation of production, customers today demand complete production lines instead of individual machines. Particular attention is paid to the flexibility of the end-of-line and, of course, to adapting the lines precisely to the products and spatial conditions of the customer.

At A+F, the specialist for special machine construction, this challenge is solved in dialogue with the customer and across departments. Timely project clarification and fast reaction times can only be achieved in line planning through the use of modern technical possibilities. In the course of the steadily advancing digitalization, A+F has already developed various tools for process monitoring and control, as well as for maintenance and operating options, and successfully placed them with satisfied customers. Digitalization has found its way into all areas of project implementation, whereby A+F is already working closely with us, vr-on, in the planning phase to use the VR collaboration platform STAGE in customer communication.

An example of this cooperation is the use of VR during the planning of a major project in the dairy industry.

Due to the complex periphery and the limited space of the production facilities, well thought-out layout proposals from A+F are required, which form the basis of the later plant. In the example shown, the machines and packaging lines extend over three floors of the factory. Although the conventional 2D layout drawings offer an initial good overview at each level, these designs require specific prior knowledge on the part of the observer in order to capture the elements depicted.

With the 3D implementation of the planning as a VR model, it is possible to provide the customer with a realistic representation of the systems, whereby any questions or change requests can be discussed immediately. The focus is on those aspects that would require large capacities to be clarified without this technology.

The advantages are obvious:

The functional modes and dependencies of individual machines in the line, their interfaces and not least the ergonomic aspects with regard to the operability, assembly and maintenance of the machines are not only visualized here, but made virtually perceptible.

Any questions or change requests can be discussed immediately in the group. Variants of the material flow can be compared, bottlenecks and collision points can be detected at an early stage, and design details can be clarified. Change requests and decisions that are made can be recorded directly on the object in the VR session.

Weak points can be detected right at the beginning of the project. At this point, modifications can still be implemented without great expense.

A+F uses STAGE not only for the coordination with the customer, but also internally and interdisciplinary.

The entire engineering, both the mechanical and the electrical planning and the development of the software components use this technology for the fast recording of the specific requirements, which serves as a decision basis during the respective project phases.

Last but not least, the VR solution STAGE can be used not only for economic planning and development possibilities, but also for training on the plant. Operators or the responsible project engineer no longer have to stand at the real machine. A powerful PC and standard VR glasses are sufficient.