Visibly thick applied

AR Showcase at Felss Group

Augmented reality user cases explain the key points of an innovation, particularly in nontransparent applications. At the Tube trade fair in Düsseldorf, Felss portrayed the complex processes of pipe thickening in a visually-appealing way via AR, opening up a whole new chapter in cold forming. The AR demonstrator enabled the trade fair visitors to quickly grasp and recognize the potential of the wall thickness increase in the pipe. In addition, the function also offered a clear view inside the pipe as well as its various applications.

The Felss Group acts as a solution provider, understanding how to efficiently apply cold forming technologies such as rotary swaging, axial forming, folding and end machining. At the last Tube in Düsseldorf, a “breakthrough” presentation on the process called Tube+ was held. In order to understand the process, the company utilized an AR trade fair demonstrator as a user case. By doing so, this made it possible to visualize this innovative tube processing and help explain the cold forming process for thickening the wall thickness of pipes. Due to classic, wall-strengthening processes only being available warm to a certain extent, Tube + showed cold forming a thickened area using a demonstrator. The intelligent interaction of several axes and tools forms the basis of the process, which ensures a partial increase in wall thickness at the pipe points without heat supply, where a larger wall thickness and a higher strength are needed.


Digital Journey Companion

While undertaking this digital, future-oriented journey, Felss is able to benefit from Software Factory’s competence in a number of fields, who not only acts as a companion but also as a catalyst in tackling numerous Industry 4.0 issues facing the Felss Group. If you consider the areas Software Factory is engaged in as well as Felss’ aforementioned activities, then it is evident that the virtual product design of Tube+’s processes and products offers an array of new opportunities. On the product side, the AR application can be used to access the machine data, making the production processes inherently more transparent. In the instance with Felss, it can replace the traditional and often complex Graphic User Interfaces while also prepare the cloud connection for diagnosis and maintenance. On the development side, virtual models allow for more creativity and control over real products or parts. By superimposing the two models, colors, materials or entire components can be adapted and changed with minimal effort, whilst reproducing the real-size, three-dimensional objects in the actual environment. In terms of the logistics, Software Factory is able to show Felss how to recognize geometries that ensure the identification and consignment of parts, positively affecting the stock overall. In turn, the advantages in field-service and after-sales are also improved; technicians have on-site support that, for example, makes repair and its process flows clear. This connection to the ThingWorx platform could especially be used in component production, as it opens up untouched potential for its production and service world.

Business Expansion with AR

Coming back to the user case, the core of collective development is processed data from various systems such as CAD, PLM or SLM, all of which are based on the IoT platform ThingWorx. PTC’s Vuforia is the most widely used platform for AR development. Depending on the application and its utility value, the software service provider ensures strategic digitization for implementing the visualization. Overall, it is important to build the right system infrastructure, to generate the labeling of the digital twins and to define corresponding applications of digital content for Felss. Based on experience, Software Factory has an abundance of knowledge on the diverse fields of application for VR and AR methods. Manuals, maintenance lists, trainings and workshops are just several potential applications. Even if new technologies are compelling, the benefits of digitization for the respective company is the only factor which counts. The Felss user case illustrates the value of a digital transformation as a way to develop new business areas whilst being able react in an agile manner across a number of industries.