OCT 2018


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OCTOBER 2018 62 CompositesWorld FEATURE / Virtual Reality production, and VisinMaint for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). "Future efforts will apply AR to assembly operations as well as training," Karl adds. e AR tablet builds on non-AR tablet technology. In addition to defect type, position and dimensions, the AR tablet is capable of guiding the operator to the defect position and then displaying production data and repair instructions on the real part surface at the defect position. "Making virtual data available directly at the place of origin on the part surface" is the primary benefit of AR, says Karl. Compared to manual inspection and repair, inline inspection combined with AR-assisted rework and repair is expected to cut inspection time by 95%, rework time by 73% and total production time by 48%. Karl anticipates implementation of AR tablets in a production environ- ment toward the end of this year. Of course, the AR tablet is not a hands-free technology. is is where AR glasses come in. VisinBox AR glasses — currently, Micro- soft HoloLens — display virtual data directly into an operator's three-dimensional work space. (Karl mentions that the company regularly evaluates other AR glasses as it considers different customer needs.) Looking through the glasses in VisinPro, the worker sees the defect location, production data, such as the course and sequence of the defect, the nature of the defect (splice, twist, fuzzball, etc.), followed by repair instructions, repair status and the like. VisinMaint also displays vital information about structures and parts near the repair site. For example, an operator might be made visually aware of critical electronic components situated directly behind a delamination that is to be repaired. One key technology aspect of AR applications is the correct overlay of virtual and production visual elements: e technology must be able to determine and track the position of the AR tablet or glasses relative to the part surface. To create and maintain this "common coordinate system," the VisinBox tablet uses its onboard camera to detect an optical marker positioned on the part surface. A set of AR glasses uses infrared and camera sensors to determine its position within the work cell, and the server coordinates this information with the known positions of tooling, part surfaces and so on. "In the future," Karl says, "the AR device's position may be determined relative to a feature of the component." is advance- ment would give the operator additional freedom of movement. e application of AR devices to manufacturing operations demands software development specific to the application. Software development is required to track the device's position, communicate manufacturing and inspection data to the device, enable the device to produce the visualization images, and enable the operator to interact with the visualized data (e.g., advance from one defect to the next). Furthermore, both hardware and software must be adapted to the particular production environment, compensating for surface reflection, lighting and other conditions. InFactory and others are hard at work on such programming, as are some AR device providers. In the future, Karl envisions AR appli- cations beyond part production to other aircraft manufacturing environments. For example, in aircraft painting, a physical stencil is typically used, and correctly positioning a stencil is a tedious and time- consuming operation. Karl believes that AR technology could easily assist stencil placement, and also assist quality workers in identifying targeted areas of the paint- work requiring touch-up. Read this article online | Read online about Applied Composite Engineering's use of PlyMatch to guide manufacture of a heated inlet for a helicopter anti-icing system |, Read more online about the Airbus- qualified InFactory sensor system for inline inspection on MTorres AFP equipment | Read more online about implementation of SART at Spirit AeroSystems facilities | short.

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