BB9: Operator Guidance Recommender [FM]

Generation of digital work instructions 

The generation of work instructions which exploit digital content is already available in manufacturing, such as CAD files. The assembly sequence instructions are generated using a tool for automatically generating digital work instructions. The tool analyses the parts in the assembly and supports the user to automatically generate the assembly sequence, adding additional information such as assembly direction and text instructions. This information is used to generate animations. This way the instructions become clearer, while also dictating the appropriate way of assembling. The digital work instructions consist of two parts: (1) an animated image, in .gif format, that shows an animation of the assembly motion the operator should follow and (2) text instructions that explain the task and provide quantifiable technical details of the task, such as bolt torque. As the instructions are projected on a screen, it is important that the selected perspective of the animated image does not lead to ambiguity for the operator.

Figure 1: An operator using AR instruction to complete the task  (Credits: J Zegers, V Zogopoulos, D Verhees; Recommender systems for Personalized Work Instructions; Procedia CIRP, 2022) 

The AR instructions are visualized using a dedicated headset that supports see-through projection of holograms (Microsoft HoloLens 2). This headset also supports user and environment-detecting technologies, such as hand tracking and spatial mapping, which are used to enrich the instructions with information on the part-picking position, which further supports the operator in picking the correct part, especially useful for inexperienced users.”

Guidance recommender system 

Flanders Make has developed a guidance recommender system (RS), which selects the optimal work instructions for a given task and operator in real-time. There are many ways to represent instructional support: on-screen digital work instructions (DWI), Augmented Reality (AR)-based instructions, textual instruction, etc. To assist an operator with the appropriate instructional medium and level of detail, the recommender system matches an operator’s proficiency, and a task’s requirement, with a level of instruction. The latter has the advantage that the recommended level of instruction is directly relatable to a skill-based operator proficiency metric.

The transition from paper-based to digital instructions that exploit the available content (e.g. 3D models of parts) allows fast and tailored operator instructions. Augmented Reality (AR) has arisen as a technology that may deliver instructions on the shopfloor in a fast and perceivable way, that maximizes the utilization of the existing digital content. The instructions are visualized in a 3D way, in the operators’ field of view, making it easier to understand the task. As different ways to support the operator emerge, a choice must be made on what support instruction to use. This is an adaptive process, where the amount of support an operator receives, reduces as the operator’s proficiency grows.

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Posted on

January 31, 2023