We at Dormer Pramet like to tell the world that we innovate with the newest technologies to stay at the forefront of industrial production. Recently at our Šumperk production unit, one of our engineers took a step beyond the norm to embrace a new technology to solve an unforeseen problem.
The Šumperk production unit recently acquired a unique multi-axis press from Kobayashi. This press is an important investment to the facility which will improve production capabilities by creating new shapes of inserts that our current technologies cannot. The Kobayashi multi-axis press is an incredibly complex piece of equipment and requires very specific training to operate safely and effectively. A misstep in the initiation process can cause damages that would be very costly to repair. The engineers at Šumperk did not want to make any missteps in the commission process.
However, due to COVID travel restrictions, official training from Kobayashi representatives was not possible. Initially, Ondrej Šebesta, a member of the Dormer Pramet Research and Development team at Šumperk, planned on doing online training and attempting to complete the initial operation of the new press using static cameras while communicating with the Kobayashi dealer in Germany through remote video call.
Instead, the IT department offered a different solution, the HoloLens 2. The HoloLens 2, or HL 2, is a device that can combine physical reality with elements of virtual reality to make an augmented reality experience. The lenses can project elements into the user’s field of vision and even tag those elements to real-world points to create a digital overlay. The user can access manuals, 3D models, schematic drawings, and marking objects such as arrows and lines to place in the virtual landscape connecting them to objects that exist in the physical reality. What’s more, the Hololens’ feed can be broadcast through remote meeting programs to allow others to interact with the user’s virtual reality display.
Ondrej Šebesta first had to learn how to use the HL2. This was a totally new technology for Ondrej, so he began with an hour-long device description from the local supplier Autocont, but most of his learning came from his own testing and later other users posting tips and tricks on the internet.
Ondrej took it upon himself to learn the HL 2 technology to master it. He practiced in his off hours to familiarize himself with the multi-reality technology, working his way through learning the capabilities and limits of the technology. He used to fly FPV drone to lower the Hololens 2 side effects like headache, discomfort, disorientation, dizziness or fatigue that are limiting the user operating time. Symptoms tend to decrease when using mixed or virtual reality regularly.
Before initializing the Kobayashi press, Ondrej first had to familiarize himself with the machine. Over the course of a few training sessions using the HoloLens2 while communicating with the supplier, he checked all the manuals and equipment that supports the press. In their first Mixed Reality session, he and the supplier went through all equipment to check the condition and clarified purposes and useability of the tools.
During the next session, they built a distance remote PC, that the supplier was able to connect directly into the MAP machine, to see all technical parameters in real time and overtake a control if necessary. During this process, they found some back up supplies failed and had to fix them. Unfortunatelly there was still a tool in the machine, so Ondrej had to remove it, check the tool’s status, condition and clean it. This task had never been done by Ondrej before and with the direct machine connection, distance supervision and HL2 comunication the tool was successfully extracted, and he proceeded to complete all maintenance tasks and check the machine‘s geometry and alignment.
At this point it was possible to start to safely operate the machine. During the following training sessions, Ondrej was able to get the press operational and the HoloLens is being used to create future training materials for operators to learn about the press. “At first I was shocked,” he said, “I was looking for limits to the uses of this technology, and can’t find them.”
While there is no replacement for in-person training, the use of the HL allowed Dormer Pramet staff to overcome an obstacle that could have set us back weeks or months. Thanks to the ingenuity and the efforts of the IT department, and the representatives from Kobayashi, the initiation process for the new machinery can continue.
For more information regarding all the latest products launched by Dormer Pramet please visit www.dormerpramet.com or contact your local sales office. Follow all the social posts regarding the new assortments by searching for #SimplyReliable
Pictured: Ondrej Šebesta works at the user interface of the press while utilizing the HoloLens to incorporate virtual reality into the production space.