The HoloLens glasses provide technicians with information by projecting holograms into their field of vision and allow them to share what they are seeing with colleagues in real time, simplifying maintenance and reducing errors.
Augmented reality, like other innovative technologies, is an integral part of the future of mobility. This holds just as true for production processes as it does for products. To prove the point, ŠKODA is testing HoloLens glasses to assist with production line maintenance.
Manuals, maintenance checklists and other documents can be projected as holographic images into the user’s field of vision. The view through the augmented reality glasses can also be shared during video conferences and training. “As part of our current pilot project, we are relying on augmented reality to optimise the maintenance and repair of our machines and to minimise the error rate,” explains Miroslav Kroupa, Head of Brand Management at ŠKODA.
The HoloLens glasses
With the HoloLens glasses, technicians have all the relevant information available at a glance, whenever they need it. This allows them to concentrate fully on their work, further increasing safety. “These glasses make it possible to exchange information flexibly anywhere and at any time, even with colleagues at other locations or in different time zones. This speeds up maintenance processes significantly and is an enormous advantage, especially during the pandemic. Furthermore, the glasses add gamification elements to everyday work and inspire younger employees to choose the technical professions,” adds Kroupa.
The ŠKODA FabLab
Currently, the ŠKODA FabLab and ŠKODA’s central technical service department are testing the use of augmented reality in production line maintenance as part of a pilot project. During video calls, technicians can use the HoloLens glasses to show what they see on the line and consult with off-site colleagues.
The glasses can also be used to share technical files and other documents, and can also display holograms of manuals, checklists and operating instructions. Staff simply have to scan a QR code on the relevant piece of equipment to access specific instructions that guide them through the maintenance work step by step, also with photos and videos.
Fast maintenance with augmented reality
Another advantage of this technology is that technicians are hands-free at all times. Once a task has been completed, the technician ticks it off with a hand movement in the hologram; any remaining service requirements are recorded on the internal system via the Wi-Fi connection.
This AR technology also reduces the likelihood of making a mistake and enables maintenance to be carried out on a more flexible and faster basis. HoloLens glasses also make repair work much easier with video instructions, therefore bulky technical manuals are no longer needed.
The HoloLens consists of the actual glasses, which make holograms visible, and a camera-projector unit. The lenses allow for excellent peripheral vision, with virtual displays complementing the real surroundings. Naturally, the visor can be flipped up at any time to leave the mixed reality environment.