Manufacturing has two critical phases – planning how to manufacture a product, and then executing that plan. Leading manufacturers are applying immersive virtuality (iV) technologies at both points.
“Beyond product design, the second area where automotive and aerospace companies have used their CAVEs is in designing the processes for the factory and the workshop,” said David Nahon, director of Immersive Virtuality at 3DEXPERIENCE Lab at Dassault Systèmes (publisher of Compassmis). “iV is even more critical to manufacturing because you must know at the design stage how easy it is to manufacture a product, or if it is even possible. By discovering this early in the design process you eliminate a lot of expensive takes.”
Companies that use 3D design software and product lifecycle management (PLM) design the tooling, assembly line and other processes for manufacturing in parallel with designing the product. While this is efficient, any errors in design can be replicated in the manufacturing process, where they may not be discovered until production begins.
“Imagine if you make a mistake in your design that is copied in your manufacturing and you cannot fit the seats into the car,” Nahon said. “This is the most expensive time to discover it. You may need to redesign the manufacturing or you may need to redesign the product by building the seat in two pieces. All the time you are resolving this problem you are losing production, which drives up your costs, and your product is not on the market, which drives down your revenues.”
COLLABORATING FOR QUALITY
Because iV allows 3D models to be examined at life-size scale, problems in the product design and its related manufacturing processes can be spotted more readily. That’s why Brazil-based Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer for the commercial, defense and security, and executive jet markets, subjects it manufacturing plans to the same immersive reviews as its product designs.
“We have applied virtual reality (VR) in the development of our digital factory for the planning and simulation of all production processes,” said Paulo Pires, managing director at Embraer Engineering & Technology Center in Florida.
Embraer’s new mixed reality (MR) process allows up to a dozen people to view and comment on models simultaneously, making it easier for manufacturing experts to join their design and engineering colleagues to review models, identify issues and agree on fixes long before production begins.
Continue reading the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine