Instant information makes you at one with your factory
In a factory, warehouse, mineral processing facility, or refinery, the physical objects (machines, crates, valves, sensors) are physically separated from the central SCADA computer system. The problem with industry today is that the data is in one place (control room), whereas the objects are in another.
Using ‘augmented reality’ we bring the data down to the factory floor, so that the real time data is now instantly available at the physical site. Now an engineer can conveniently access all the information about a machine, crate, pipe, etc just by looking through their tablet or smart phone.
No more long walks or phone calls to the control room!
An operator, manager, or engineer is now intimately connected to the factory as they walk around. Now what’s happening in the control system is now easily seen right in the facility. With the tablets/phone app they can get instant answers and interact with the machines if something seem amiss. With the optional wearable technology (eg. Google Glass), issues can be brought to your attention as you carry out your other tasks.
Augmented Reality Interface
The user looks at their tablet, phone, or wearable display and sees live video from the device’s outward facing camera with ‘augmented’ overlaid graphics. Overlaid bubbles attached to the factory objects convey either a basic summary or specific detailed information such as status, temperature, pressure, production rate, or even past history. Summary information in a small bubble appears first, and expands into a larger display as you focus on it.
Typical Use Case
You are walking around your mineral processing facility wearing the Google Glass display on your hardhat, visible slightly above your right field of view. Your display is mostly clear with the occasional green circle above each machine. However, one that is blinking yellow and red catches your attention. You turn your head and look at it, the overlay bubble grows larger and shows you more information. You realize the problem and pull out your iPhone and aim the machine bringing up a similar overlay but with control buttons. You turn down the speed of your machine averting a problem, then you click on the full screen icon and now your iPhone is in a conventional web browser interface to your system.
We provide two ways to access your control room data. FactoryAR is one method, see our other product ‘Remote ViewAR’ for the other method. Use FactoryAR when you are able to connect to the SCADA system, such as Modbus TCP, an OPC server, etc. You select and configure the graphic overlay style and connection information. For example, you might select the simple blue rounded glass theme with the label “Subsystem A pressure A5″ and connect it to a Modbus TCP IP address of 192.168.0.185 with a unit and base address of 1 and 0205. Using our simple visual association tool in the ‘Switchboard’ of our product you assign that graphic to a given machine.