Illumination

Insights and trends on augmented reality and advanced manufacturing technology
20July2017

The Evolution of Enterprise Augmented Reality at Light Guide Systems

Here at OPS Solutions, innovation is the foundation of everything we do. Since 2005, we’ve been at the forefront of the enterprise augmented reality (AR) movement, developing state-of-the-art solutions for companies around the world.

Our patented Light Guide Systems (LGS) technology has delivered a series of breakthrough applications that have fundamentally transformed the standard operating procedures of world-class manufacturing facilities and innovation centers around the globe.

First there was Light Guide Systems Classic

Designed to help companies better visualize complex manufacturing and assembly processes, including inspection, training, part kitting and sequencing operations, our software has been proven to reduce cycle times and improve quality.

Using advanced projection technology and industrial cameras, our software works in concert with existing manufacturing tools and equipment, such as torque wrenches and collaborative robots, to overlay a digital operating canvas directly onto any work surface and provide operators with real-time guidance through audio and visual cues. The result is a dynamic, interactive and adaptive mechanism for driving manual processes with speed and precision, ensuring each task is executed perfectly every time.

Next came Light Guide Systems PRO

In an ever-changing enterprise landscape, we’re constantly seeking out ways to make our technology even better – which is why we partnered with global computing giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) to launch Light Guide Systems Pro. This tool packs the power of our augmented reality software into the compact and portable Sprout PRO PC platform to deliver a portable, flexible and affordable solution with innumerable applications in education, design and commercial fields.

Announcing our newest advancement in enterprise augmented reality technology

As we look to the future, we continue to make significant investments in new technology. The same spirit of innovation has led directly to another exciting breakthrough.

Our latest patent covers technology we have developed that allows augmented reality platforms like LGS to integrate with an external data source. The result is that users can modify training and production processes dynamically in real time, based on instructions delivered remotely to/through on-site servers.

At a time when products are becoming more customized and processes more variable, this patented new technology represents an extraordinary leap forward. The remote functionality–which allows, say, an international OEM to make changes to assembly line processes at facilities around the world directly from its U.S. headquarters–adds an invaluable level of adaptive and efficient flexibility for companies competing in an increasingly global marketplace.

How it works

On a very basic level, this new patented technology would allow augmented reality systems to swiftly and seamlessly change the order of parts on a sequencing rack, and adjust similar processes in a dynamic fashion.

It quickly became clear, however, that this flexibility was just the beginning, and that the benefits of the new technology described in our new patent extend far beyond mere convenience.

Essentially any customized process­–from manufacturing floors to surgical centers–becomes more adaptive and efficient. A technology that allows for unmatched precision and utility can now be supercharged: providing customized AR for every variation.

Since the remote connectivity embodied in this technology is a two-way street, it also enables users to take advantage of the next generation of what we call a “digital birth certificate”: as each step in the process is completed, confirmation and detailed data goes back up to the cloud.

Why it’s important

LGS made it possible for users to process and follow work instructions in a way that was uniquely efficient and effective. Instead of simply telling a user what part to use or what action to take, augmented reality shows that user a picture of the part–and the orientation of its correct assembly.

It minimizes the learning curve and lets users learn while keeping their eyes on the task at hand, making them significantly more productive in the process. It not only streamlines operations, it simplifies processes.

Now that elegant simplicity extends to the creation of the instructions themselves. The applications are virtually unlimited. Consider a simple wiring harness where connections and wiring specifics can vary dramatically; not just from one user to the next, but from one product model to the next. With this new patented technology, those changes can be made fluidly and instantaneously, without an engineer spending additional time on the instructions.

It all boils down to this: Power. Flexibility. Adaptability. Utility.

Saving time and reducing errors. Now all of that functionality is untethered and can be orchestrated remotely. In a world where customization and flexibility are increasingly valuable, the remote connectivity and flexibility of this exciting new patent is the very definition of a game-changer.

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Brian Close

Brian Close

Brian Close is the Executive Director of Sales for OPS Solutions. Brian has over 10 years of experience managing sales, manufacturing and engineering operations including managing implementation of new manufacturing equipment and processes with processes and managing $20M+ portfolio of contract engineering projects. Brian holds a BS, Materials Science & Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a MBA from the University of Michigan.
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