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Additive Manufacturing

Virtual reality – visualizing the future

Machines automatically initiate production and learn from their mistakes: This could be the future of Industry 4.0. Several companies are already using 3D visualization as a tool to reach this goal.

01 Apr. 2015
3-D Visualisierung

A picture says more than 1,000 words, so it’s no wonder 3-D visualization is continuing to grow in importance. Viewing a technical animation gives a person a much better, fasting grasp of what an end product actually needs to look like. Put differently: Moving images make a deeper imprint on the human mind than text.

To ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from Industry 4.0 (U.S.: Advanced Manufacturing) without needing to make an enormous investment, the tarakos company has developed special software which creates a three-dimensional representation of intralogistics and production scenarios. The user can assemble different images from production locations and share them, thus facilitating the interaction of equipment, machines and production plants. This provides for the fast and efficient checking of various planning alternatives. The solution also promotes improved intralogistics processes in the digital factory, as the routes followed by staff members can be easily identified, as can the position of assembly lines – in short, it is easy to recognize and develop potential improvements. The greatest advantage of the software is that the user can wear virtual reality glasses to immerse himself in the planning scenario, thus grasping the spatial depth of the virtual factory.

When machines produce by themselves

The iTAC and Limtronik companies go even a step further: Using a series of 3-D models of machines and equipment, they can create visualizations of an entire smart electronic factory . The goal is to have machines learn from their mistakes, all the while optimizing their operation until they become autonomous production units. A 3-D model of the intelligent factory is ultimately created on the basis of a blueprint of the factory, all the 3-D models of machines and equipment and the relevant production parameters. To acquire this data the specialists at iTAC and Limtronik import CAD data using standard formats and integrate existing data sources as well as sensors via adapter interfaces. Plant managers can now take "virtual tours" to understand production situations better and react accordingly.

Lean file format for 3-D data

To keep such visualizations from producing mountains of data, Siemens developed the ISO-certified JT file format for lean 3-D visualization, This file format lets the user view and share digital 3-D product data over the entire product lifecycle in real time; it provides for seamless and instantaneous data sharing between CAD and product lifecycle management applications.

Find out the latest developments involving 3-D models, visualization and numerical simulation at the Additive Manufacturing Plaza .

Interactive infographic: Integrated Industry

The factory of the future is intelligent and fully networked. Conventional mechanical engineering meets innovative IT, creating entirely new business models. Discover solutions of the future.

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