In this demonstration, Marines experienced an immersive VR training scenario, put on a head-mounted display for VR application and used hand-held devices for training scenarios.
The immersive VR scenario allowed users to walk inside a hangar with a piece of munition positioned for maintenance. The user could look around the hangar, interact with the munition, pull up the technical order in a full-view mode or even watch a video of someone successfully installing that specific item on the munition. Essentially, the user could take apart and reassemble a munition from the barracks.
“In a controlled setting, VR allows for instant immersion into the field to help Marines understand the content better, faster.”
If VR is fully implemented into its training processes, Marines could have virtual hands-on experience much earlier in their careers, which could bridge the training-to-experience gap challenge the Service now faces.
The in-garrison mission may be different from the deployed mission. That gap can become noticeable if a Marine who has a home-station duty on a certain airframe or munition deploys and must work with unfamiliar equipment or in a joint environment. VR could be used as recurrent or just-in-time training to bolster the combat capabilities of users when they are deployed.
Demonstrations like these are designed to combat today’s challenges through innovation and collaboration among top subject matter experts. It’s a way to increase combat capability and solve complex security issues by partnering with experienced organisations to create platforms to house the application.
Virtual copies of support equipment can be evaluated by "performing" maintenance activities with them. Digital Twin Simulation reliability updates could allow technicians to view virtual information panels "superimposed" using augmented reality techniques on the actual equipment.
Virtual Reality can be used to check machine status at a glance, or as a visualisation tool in planning out installations. Perhaps most intriguing of all, VR can be used for remote expert support, giving the engineers at HQ the ability to “see” through the eyes of workers in remote locations.
The advantages of VR have been demonstrated in the context of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul MRO applications. For example, the ability to enter information via voice input in place of pen-and-paper checklists can streamline inspections and maintenance routines.
Experienced workers equipped with VR devices can narrate routine maintenance and inspection tasks as they perform them, enabling companies to build up libraries of instructional materials over time with relatively little effort.
Eliminating the need to switch back and forth between a task and a checklist for that task could also reduce the risk of error by keeping inspectors and maintenance technicians more focused.
The ability to overlay a worker’s visual field with step-by-step instructions—including animations depicting the proper assembly or disassembly of parts—offers the potential to reduce lead times and error rates in MRO operations.
Remote expert advice is an obvious application for VR in MRO. Field service often requires experts to travel to remote worksites, but the telepresence afforded by VR means a single expert can service multiple sites without ever having to leave the office.
It’s been said that there’s no substitute for a hands-on education, but whoever said that hadn’t see what VR can do. Many of the biggest players in manufacturing have begun to take advantage of what this unique technology can offer.
Simulation for industrial robots is a valuable tool for robotic system integrators and robot programmers, allowing users to design robotic work cells and generate robot programs through offline programming.
However, simulation requires accurate digital models of each piece of tooling and equipment in order to be useful. In most cases, users must export files from legacy tools, then import them into the simulation space. However, as any professional user knows, exporting, importing, and managing different file types and compatibilities can be a headache.
VR plugins are designed to make tasks easier when programming for welding, drilling, machining, setting approach angles, and for importing many parts from legacy systems to simulation more rapidly.
For example, when welding assembly is loaded into the simulation, knowing the exact position of welding joint start and end points can be challenging. Using the plugin, the user selects the surfaces, points and edges surrounding each weld. Next, the assembly automatically appears and the welding program is generated. This generated program can then be edited.
Next, the video illustrates how a common workflow for importing a model into simulation involves saving the part in a different file format before it can be imported. With the plugin, the user can click a button in the toolbar, and the model will automatically load.