ART implements “Window To The World” at AUDI

Together with software partner Metaio, ART realizes an innovative visualization concept with real-time interaction

©Metaio

General information

Due to the need for shorter product life cycles and the rising complexity in automotive construction and design, ease of comparison between actual prototypes and CAD 3-D models is key to reducing time and cost.

During development phase of new vehicles, prototypes are traditionally assembled manually by operators. Two of the main challenges for workers are to position flexible parts (such as brake tubes, cables and wiring,…) at exactly the right position and to verify if all parts are present (at the right place) during the assembly. To complete this process, operators are currently using drawings to compare the real prototype with the virtual CAD Data. One issue is that no measurement tools can verify exactly the position of flexible parts within a reasonable time frame.

So the challenges hereby are mostly:

  • Reducing construction errors on prototypes
  • Placing flexible parts at the right place
  • Check if design plans match exactly with the prototype

ART tracking solution

In response to these challenges Audi AG implemented “Window To The World” an Augmented Reality System by Metaio that combines the physical and the virtual world in a very precise manner. The system consists of a movable Augmented Reality screen between the user and the prototype. Design variants can be shown or not-yet produced virtual parts can be added to the physical prototype.

To achieve very accurate and robust tracking, the system is based on the Infrared Tracking System from ART, within flexible and high-volume working spaces. A precisely calibrated camera is placed behind a monitor in such a way that the user literally looks through the monitor into the real world, but with the added value of virtual information overlaid.

The system is fully integrated with the PLM environment from Audi. The solution allows people to overlay data from the Product lifecycle management Software (e.g. Teamcenter from Siemens) directly on the real product without any prior preparation.

  • Hi-Accuracy overlay of Virtual 3D Data
  • Full scale analyses with a High-quality rendering
  • Data in existing PLM environments can be used without additional preparation

Results - Benefits

Through of his advanced integration with the Product Lifecycle Management System from AUDI AG and through of his short time preparation, the solution Window To The World allows AUDI AG to check and to detect construction errors in less than 15 min. As soon as one operator has some doubts about the construction process, he can bring the vehicle into the verification place and verify the construction status. With this system AUDI AG can avoid many construction errors.

By overlaying 3D Virtual Data with a high accuracy on the real prototype, AUDI AG has also the possibility to measure discrepancies impossible to determine with standards measurement devices. The benefits for AUDI AG are considerable because operators can check discrepancies before assembling the next parts. This solution allows causal studies in the case of undesirable collisions, e.g. between hoses, allows package checks and routing checks for tubes and high voltage cables, allows to check the positions of welding studs and much more. In general it helps to avoid manipulation errors.

The system Window To The World allows to overlay 3D Virtual components on the prototype. This allows AUDI AG to visualize several variants and provide a collision check without the need to produce the components or to have the part on site. This allows reducing construction costs and accelerating the prototype construction.

Through overlaying Virtual Data directly on a real product, the system is simplifying the communication between all stakeholders (Designer, Engineer, …) by having designed parts exactly at the right place at the right scale. The Augmented Reality System is giving them the real look & feel feedback.

  • Early & Fast detection of construction errors < 15 min
  • Reduction in the amount of prototypes created
  • Saving Time & Money
  • Qualitative improvement of prototyping parts (e.g. vendor parts)
  • Easy and interactive way for optimization of communication
  • Simple communication between all stakeholders

Why ART

  • A very accurate and robust tracking was required and could be fulfilled by ART tracking systems
  • The longstanding partnership between ART and Metaio made the project and cooperation very smooth and effective

Set up (shown at the InsideAR 2014 in Munich):

  • 8 x ARTTRACK5 cameras
  • 1 x precisely calibrated camera behind the screen
  • Moving augmented reality screen
  • Software Metaio Engineer

Watch video!

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