Manual work support throughout the system life cycle by exploiting Virtual and Augmented Reality (ManuVAR) Boris Krassi
ManuVAR is an EU research and development project [1, 2]. It focuses on the high value of high-knowledge manual work that cannot be offshored or automated because it constitutes the core of the business operation. It has to be made locally and manually with highly experienced and knowledgeable personnel. The success of the business relies on the knowledge and skills of the personnel rather than on minimizing labour costs. The project aims to develop new technology and methods to improve manual work across five industry domains: terrestrial satellite assembly, design of assembly lines in small enterprises, maintenance in the railway sector, training in non-destructive techniques in power plant maintenance, and heavy machinery productization and maintenance.
ManuVAR has identified seven key problem areas regarding high knowledge, high-value manual work that is common to all five industry areas : 1. problems with communication throughout the life cycle 2. poor interfaces to complex information systems 3. an inflexible design process in terms of adaptation to system customization and changes 4. inefficient knowledge management 5. low productivity 6. lack of technology acceptance of VR/AR technology 7. physical and cognitive stress.
Methods ManuVAR combines several disciplines: • Product life cycle management (PLM) • Virtual and augmented reality technologies (VR/AR) • Ergonomics methods and knowledge management. The project workflow includes the following stages: • identify the most common problem areas regarding manual work across industries • design and implement a set of tools and methods to address these problem areas • test the tools and methods in the laboratory and on the factory floor.
To respond to these problem areas, the following three groups of results have been developed: 1. Technological: the platform of modular reconfigurable VR/AR tools; system architecture based on the ‘virtual model’; and tested technical prototypes [5, 11]. 2. Methodological: the key problem areas regarding manual work; the ManuVAR PLM model and its application methodology; the framework of ergonomics methods to support manual work throughout the system life cycle; training and implementation support methodology; and the knowledge management concept [4, 10]. 3. Policy: recommendations and evidence for policymakers (industry, community, political) that high knowledge, high-value
Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)