From avoiding costly errors to faster design processes and a stronger customer relationship: How the Augmented Reality Engineering Space ARES plays a big role for globally operating machine builder Tipteh during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How can Augmented Reality (AR) improve business operations? Does it pay off for a small to mid-sized company? In times of a global pandemic machine builder and system integrator Tipteh out of Belgrade, Serbia, started thinking about how immersive technologies can help collaboration between its engineers and connect with customers while still honoring social distancing. “We have studied ways to implement Mixed Reality tools to upgrade our designing and production processes and we have seen that there are lots of software solutions for collaboration but only few for engineering purposes,” recounts Mileta Vracar, Development Manager Engineering at Tipteh.
A New Way of Engineering
For the industrial automation specialist with about 90 employees and worldwide more than 4.000 customers it is a constant challenge to make effective and efficient solutions in fast time. The road from scratch design to a real machine that will fulfill customer needs and requests is very complex and often has lots of iterations.
In order to meet Tipteh´s high standards for its engineering process, the solution also needed to be able to visualize as many details as possible to help engineers collaborate on the 3D model with no errors or misunderstandings. It was essential to fulfill all ergonomic requirements during the designing phase. “Especially in times of a global pandemic we were reliant on an innovative solution to collaborate without traveling, while saving time and resources. We liked the Augmented Reality Engineering Space ARES instantly when we tried it,” Vracar further comments.
Faster Design Times with AR
The AR Engineering Software ARES now enhances collaboration and synchronization within Tipteh´s industrial designer team. When designing complex machines in 3D CAD tools on a computer screen, engineers sometimes struggle to picture the design in their mind and understand the real dimensions and positions. With robot-based solution these challenges are getting even harder. Perfect designs with zero errors or problems become a necessity to keep the engineering process efficient. Engineers need to see how all the parts are fitted in a real 3D environment.
“To avoid extra costs and save time we needed a tool that would give our designers a complete insight into the machine design through a real 3D view. Using ARES during the design process was a game changer.” - Mileta Vracar, Development Manager Engineering at Tipteh
With ARES the engineers are looking how designed parts are fitted together and if there are potential problems. Understanding all aspects of the 3D model helps to recognize any mistake or problem early on and prevents costly errors in production or machine failures. Checking safety requirements and ergonomic issues during the designing process by experts in the field is also very important. Same as preparing the installation team, so they can build the machine in the fastest and most efficient way.
Incorporating Clients and Business Partners
Tipteh also uses ARES to show customers and partners design concepts in progress. Engineers and customers jointly sketch, discuss and further develop designs or ideas in Augmented Reality.
The customer can give feedback on whether the design meets his requirements and also see – using a HoloLens 2 for example – the digital twin in the real production environment. In turn, Tipteh´s engineers can plan and develop in a more targeted manner. “With this approach we are saving costs in the right place and make our customers more satisfied,” says Vracar.
Augmented Reality as a Key Technology
Now all of Tipteh´s engineering teams have used ARES to exchange ideas and show their work to see how it interconnects to other parts of the design. “Our employees find ARES very intuitive and easy to use. Holo-Light also responded super-urgent to any request for training and support,” Vracar notes. “The implementation of Mixed Reality on Hololens 2 with ARES was new for our company and now is becoming an integral part of our designing process.” Thus, for the future Tipteh also plans to use the technology in integration and retrofitting of existing machines.
“ARES helps collaboration and coordination in our design team and we avoid costly errors before production. We also needed to incorporate our partners in the designing process to actively present stages during specific machine designs. I implore everyone to try it with their own eyes and see how Augmented Reality and especially the ARES Software is a total game changer.” - Mileta Vracar, Development Manager Engineering at Tipteh