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CeBIT 2017: VR in Industrie 4.0 – Complex 3D data on all devices

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’instant3DHub’ software enables engineers to inspect industrial plants in real time
Daimler, Porsche and BMW already use instant3DHub at over 1,000 workstations

A new web-based software platform is swiftly bringing the visualization of 3D data to every device, optimizing the use of, for example, virtual reality and augmented reality in industry. In this way, Fraunhofer researchers have brought the ideal of  “any data on any device” a good deal closer.

 

If you want to be sure that the person you are sending documents and pictures to will be able to open them on their computer, then you send them in PDF and JPG format. But what do you do with 3D content? “A standardized option hasn’t existed before now,” says Dr. Johannes Behr, head of the Visual Computing System Technologies department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD. In particular, industry lacks a means of taking the very large, increasingly complex volumes of 3D data that arise and rendering them useful – and of being able to use the data on every device, from smartphones to VR goggles. “The data volume is growing faster than the means of visualizing it,” reports Behr. Fraunhofer IGD is presenting a solution to this problem in the form of its “instant3DHub” software, which allows engineers, technicians and assemblers to use spatial design and assembly plans without any difficulty on their own devices. “This will enable them to inspect industrial plants or digital buildings, etc. in real time and find out what’s going on there,” explains Behr.

instant3DHub

“instant3Dhub” software platform visualizes the ship’s 3D data in the browser. (instant3DHub)

Software calculates only visible components
On account of the gigantic volumes of data that have to be processed, such an undertaking has thus far been either impossible or possible only with a tremendous amount of effort. After all, users had to manually choose in advance which data should be processed for the visualization, a task then executed by expensive special software. Not exactly a cost-effective method, and a time-consuming one as well. With the webbased Fraunhofer solution, every company can adapt the visualization tool to its requirements. The software autonomously selects the data to be prepared, by intelligently calculating, for example, that only views of visible parts are transmitted to the user’s device. Citing the example of a power plant, Behr explains: “Out of some 3.5 million components, only the approximately 3,000 visible parts are calculated on the server and transmitted to the device.”

Such visibility calculations are especially useful for VR and AR applications, as the objects being viewed at any given moment appear in the display in real time. At CeBIT, researchers will be showing how well this works, using the example of car maintenance. In a VR application, it is necessary to load up to 120 images per second onto data goggles. In this way, several thousand points of 3D data can be transmitted from a central database for a vehicle model to a device in just one second. The process is so fast because the complete data does not have to be loaded to the device, as used to be the case, but is streamed over the web. A huge variety of 3D web applications are delivered on the fly, without permanent storage, so that even mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones can make optimal use of them. One key feature of this process is that for every access to instant3DHub, the data is assigned to, prepared and visualized for the specific applications. “As a result, the system fulfills user- and devicespecific requirements, and above all is secure,” says Behr. BMW, Daimler and Porsche already use instant3DHub at over 1,000 workstations. Even medium-sized companies such as SimScale and thinkproject have successfully implemented “instantreality” and instant3Dhub and are developing their own individual software solutions on that basis.

Augmented reality is a key technology for Industrie 4.0

Technologies that create a link between CAD data and the real production environment are also relevant for the domain of augmented reality. “Augmented reality is a key technology for Industrie 4.0, because it constantly compares the digital target situation in real time against the actual situation as captured by cameras and sensors,” adds Dr. Ulrich Bockholt, head of the Virtual and Augmented Reality department at Fraunhofer IGD. Ultimately, however, the solution is of interest to many sectors, he explains, even in the construction and architecture field, where it can be used to help visualize building information models on smartphones, tablet computers or data goggles.

hordon kim / hordon@icnweb.co.kr

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Universal Robots Rings the NYSE Closing Bell

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A UR5e cobot gets ready to ring the closing bell at the NYSE

The ringing of the closing bell on October 17 at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was highly unusual as the prestigious task was performed not by a human, but by a robot arm. The bell ringer, Universal Robots’ UR5e with a two-fingered gripper from Robotiq, is a collaborative robot – or cobot – able to work alongside people with no safety guarding, giving watchers worldwide the opportunity to see just how easily cobots interact with humans.

Cobots are now the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, expected to jump ten-fold to 34% of all industrial robot sales by 2025, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Universal Robots (UR) pioneered the market by selling the first commercially viable cobot in 2008 and has kept its early frontrunner position with a 60% global share of the cobot market, selling more cobots than all competitors combined. This fall, the company announced the sale of its 25,000th cobot.

A UR5e cobot gets ready to ring the closing bell at the NYSE

A UR5e cobot gets ready to ring the closing bell at the NYSE on October 17, 2018. (image. Universal Robots)

This NYSE bell ringing celebrates the five-year anniversary of ROBO Global, the first-ever robotics, automation and AI index. Launched in October 2013, ROBO invests in more than 80 of the most innovative companies across the globe, spanning 12 subsectors from manufacturing to healthcare to sensing.

“We have long admired UR as a pioneer and global leader in the collaborative robotics market,” said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global U.S. “Since acquiring UR in 2015, Teradyne has been a key growth driver in the ROBO Global Index. We are thrilled that Teradyne generously agreed to join the ROBO Global team for this one-of-a-kind NYSE bell ringing.”

Representing UR and Teradyne was Stuart Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of UR’s Americas Division. “With this event, we celebrate not just the success of robotics in empowering customers and investors, but also the successes of our customers in innovating and changing their workplace with cobots,” he said. “The bell ringing reflects our continued commitment towards making cobots an easy-to-integrate piece of a company’s operations platform.” [www.universal-robots.com ]

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Connectivity initiative leads to first applications

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umati logo

VDW launches umati brand for standard interface

VDW Chairman Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop unveiled the new umati brand at AMB Stuttgart. This should give greater visibility to the industry initiative Connectivity for Industry 4.0 which was launched exactly one year ago during EMO Hannover 2017. The initiative is also presenting the first applications for the future standard interface. “These applications show that the connectivity initiative is now on a stable footing,” says Prokop. And that’s why it was high time we gave the child a name.”

umati logo

umati logo

Standard taking on concrete form

The name umati stands for universal machine tool interface. “As a brand, it is open, future-oriented and internationally connectable,” said the VDW Chairman. Project progress can now be tracked at www.umati.info on the Internet.

The demo applications which are on display at the AMB Stuttgart were developed by a core team of eight renowned machine tool suppliers together with the major German control manufacturers. Within one year they have established more than 100 parameters which serve as the basis for developing the common interface. The working group was also able to define 21 use cases for the new standard interface for machine tools based on the open OPC UA communication protocol.

The companies involved in the initiative integrated an appropriately configured OPC server into their respective machine control system and were “able to connect to the respective communication partner and exchange data in a very short time,” Prokop was pleased to report. Up to now it has been very time-consuming and costly to get machines from different manufacturers to communicate with each other on a single production line.

The first connections to various controls – for example for vertical lathes, rotary transfer machines, gear milling and grinding machines and for a complete turning/milling machining centre – will be on display in Stuttgart. “Our purpose with these applications is to demonstrate that our solution can be used to implement robust systems in which data can reliably be exchanged with machine tools,” explained the VDW Chairman. “We ourselves are also keen to gain practical experience as early as possible and learn from the challenges which emerge.”

Internationalization making good progress

Launched as a purely German working group, international cooperation has, however, always been the goal of the industry initiative. The initiative is attracting a great deal of attention worldwide. For example, talks are underway with the US sister association AMT, especially with regard to its open interface MTConnect. The extent to which parts of this can be used in umati or whether both standards can be aligned in the long term is currently being assessed. Japan, China and South Korea have also expressed interest in the new standard. “We regularly report on the project progress at meetings of the European Machine Tool Association Cecimo, and are keen to include other interested companies in the initiative,” said Prokop.

Significantly, the VDW joined the OPC Foundation (the OPC UA sponsor) in June. “At the turn of the year, we will set up a Joint Working Group with the OPC Foundation,” Prokop announced. “The international machine tool community will then be able to participate in revising and disseminating the standard. This feedback on customer needs from all over the world will bring us a further important step closer to our goal of creating a uniform, globally accepted connectivity standard.”

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IOTSWC18 will portray an industrial future marked by IoT, IA and Blockchain

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IOTSWC 2018

The fourth edition of the IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) –international reference event on the innovations of the industrial internet of things–, will bring together, between 16 and 18 October in the Gran Via venue of Fira de Barcelona, 341 exhibitors and 316 speakers from all over the world with the aim of showing the transforming capacity of the IoT in different industrial and business environments, and also show its alignment with artificial intelligence and the blockchain.

IOTSWC 2018

The Leading IoT Industry  Event Barcelona 16-18 October 2018 (image. IoTSWC)

Organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), IoTSWC has registered a new growth in the number of participating companies, from 240 in 2017 to 341 in 2018, and expects 14,000 attendees from 114 countries. An evolution in line with the widespread deployment of IoT in various industries due to the potential for improvement in efficiency, automation and results.

Therefore, the director the IoTSWC, Roger Bou, is convinced that the 2018 edition will prove that this technology is here to stay, with its rapidly growing presence in industry: “We can see that no longer is IoT a technological revolution waiting just over the horizon; it is a reality that is being implemented ever more often and has an enormous potential to transform all types of businesses and our day-to-day lives”.

In fact, the Gartner consulting firm has predicted there will be 11.2 billion connected things in the world by the end of 2018 –4.159 billion in industry and specific industries alone. In other words, an upsurge of 32% in these areas with respect to 2017. On the other hand, experts also predict 2018 to be the year in which IoT makes a real impact in the market, spurring new business and service models.

New applications and testbeds

The exhibition area will bring together the leading companies in areas such as information technology, software platform developers, hardware manufacturers, security companies, telecommunications and service operators, or industrial automation firms that will show attendees their latest solutions and applications. The following, among others will be among the 341 companies attending: ABB, Cryptoquantique, Dassault Systems, Deloitte, Fiware, Google Cloud, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, Kaspersky, Libelium, Microsoft, PTC, Relayr, Rigado, SAS, Software AG, Telefonica, Telit, Thinstream, Uptake, Verizon, Vodafone and Wipro.

Among the new applications, the connected winery developed by Vodafone and Bodegas Emilio Moro stands out which, through a Narrowband IoT platform,sensors in the field, Big Data and satellite technology allow to maximise the performance of the winery and minimise the environmental impact of wine production. In addition, the event will have an area dedicated to testbeds, where live demonstrations of innovative industrial internet applications will be carried out. In total 10 examples will be given, among them an intelligent platform to control water quality in Alaska and save beluga whales; an intelligent entrance gate that can be opened when the owner arrives or transform his/her garage into a giant mailbox for the delivery of online purchases; a 3D printing solution to analyse the client’s foot in real time and design and produce custom-made shoes within a couple of hours; and a fully connected and sensorized fire truck.

The 2018 IoTSWC will also be paying tribute to the year’s most ground-breaking and influential projects with their IoT Solutions Awards, which are open to companies and entities all over the world.

Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and more

On its side, the Conference will bring together the best global experts in IoT technology and representatives of various industrial industries to address the impact of IoT solutions in different environments. Nine core themes have been established for the 2018 edition, as touchstones for the more than 204 scheduled seminars: connected transport, product manufacturing, healthcare, energy and utilities, construction and infrastructure, open industry, enabling technologies, blockchain and artificial intelligence, with these last two having their very own forums.

The following stand out among the 316 speakers: Jonathan Ballon, VP of Intel; Hajime Sugiyama, Overseas Strategic Planning at Mitsubishi Electric; Seb Chakraborty, CTO of British Gas; Alexander Botsor, innovation Project Manager of BMW; Tomi Teikko, Director of Empathic Building of Tieto; Fabian Simmer, Technology Officer at Seat; Cristopher Bailey, director of Innovation and Architecture at Matson; Francisco Torres, Production manager at Pernod Ricard; and John Denning, CTO of Universal Medical, among others.

The technological gender gap and how to overcome it will also be analysed at the congress. IoTSWC will address the leadership role of women in the IoT ecosystem in a session that will have six women leaders in industrial IoT: Jennifer Bennett, Technical Director, Office of the CTO of Google Cloud; Leila Dillon, VP of Global Marketing & NA Distribution at Big Belly; Helena Lisachuk, Director and IoT Global Leader at Deloitte; Beverly Rider, executive vice-president and commercial director of Hitachi; Eva Schönleitner, vice-president of digital societies at ABB; and Adriana Estévez, Executive Director of Transformation and Digital Innovation at Microsoft.

The content and scope of the event was defined in large part thanks to the involvement of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a worldwide organization of over 250 companies and entities related to IoT whose aim is to collectively make strides in the industrial Internet. The executive director of IIC, Richard Soley, emphasizes the standard of the attendees and demonstrations of the live systems at the IoTSWC: “IoT Solutions World Congress remains the main industrial IoT event of the year. It gives attendees the chance to meet the leaders who have been working in the field of the IoT for some time; to listen to the experts, for specific companies and industries to share success stories, and also to provide the opportunity to see the benefits of the industrial internet in action with our focus on fully functional test benches”.

Barcelona Industry Week

The IoT Solutions World Congress forms part of Barcelona Industry Week, a brand which also encompasses two other trade shows, In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions, dedicated to additive manufacturing, and Healthio, specializing in health and healthcare technologies. All three events, which create synergies and provide a platform for commerce and knowledge in a wide range of industrial sectors, will take place from 16-18 October at Fira de Barcelona.

 

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