The design of complex manufacturing systems (CMSs) is challenging, because of the requirements of efficiency, safety, and ergonomics, and the need of optimizing resources, i.e., space, machines, operators, and data. Virtual reality (VR) – one of the promising technologies at the base of Industry 4.0 – is able to address the design issues of CMSs, and even decrease costs and time when employed from the initial conception to the final validation of production lines, since it facilitates their virtual commissioning, i.e., it enables the full verification of systems and related components by virtual inspection and tests. Despite the above advantages, VR is still rarely used in the design of CMSs, and there is no standard VR approach in industry yet. In addition, the related scientific literature is scarce and often limited to small or simplified cases. To fill this gap, this work presents a novel VR-based approach for designing CMSs, composed of four phases: Three-dimensional CAD Export, Model Import, Scene Creation, and VR Review. The proposed approach is applied to a real industrial use case related to the virtual commissioning of an electric axles production line and it is evaluated through a questionnaire from industry professionals. The case study shows that using the VR technology enhanced the technical communication between experts in the teamwork, and it was particularly effective in finding ergonomics flaws like issues in visibility, reach, and posture using a virtual golden zone. In addition, all users found the VR interaction enjoyable and easy to learn, and beginner users perceived a comparable workload as advanced users.

Designing complex manufacturing systems by virtual reality: A novel approach and its application to the virtual commissioning of a production line

Dammacco L.;Carli R.;Fiorentino M.;Dotoli M.
2022

Abstract

The design of complex manufacturing systems (CMSs) is challenging, because of the requirements of efficiency, safety, and ergonomics, and the need of optimizing resources, i.e., space, machines, operators, and data. Virtual reality (VR) – one of the promising technologies at the base of Industry 4.0 – is able to address the design issues of CMSs, and even decrease costs and time when employed from the initial conception to the final validation of production lines, since it facilitates their virtual commissioning, i.e., it enables the full verification of systems and related components by virtual inspection and tests. Despite the above advantages, VR is still rarely used in the design of CMSs, and there is no standard VR approach in industry yet. In addition, the related scientific literature is scarce and often limited to small or simplified cases. To fill this gap, this work presents a novel VR-based approach for designing CMSs, composed of four phases: Three-dimensional CAD Export, Model Import, Scene Creation, and VR Review. The proposed approach is applied to a real industrial use case related to the virtual commissioning of an electric axles production line and it is evaluated through a questionnaire from industry professionals. The case study shows that using the VR technology enhanced the technical communication between experts in the teamwork, and it was particularly effective in finding ergonomics flaws like issues in visibility, reach, and posture using a virtual golden zone. In addition, all users found the VR interaction enjoyable and easy to learn, and beginner users perceived a comparable workload as advanced users.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11589/242400
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