Report — How to manage your facility in the time of pandemics

Thursday, 09. April 2020
SARIO organized its first webinar within its Innovation services on 'Digitalization of industrial processes and the use of virtual and augmented reality How to manage a facility, maintain your machines and train your employees in the time of pandemics'.
 
The aim of the webinar was to share the opinions and insights of 4 innovative Slovak technology companies in the field of Industry 4.0, with the general as well as professional audience. The invited companies, thus also the topic of the webinar, focused mainly on virtual/augmented/mixed reality and digitalization of industrial processes.

The speakers of the online discussion, moderated by Oto Pisoň (Deputy head of department & Innovation manager, SARIO), were Mačuš (CEIT), Miroslav Dilský (Edgecom), Dušan Okleštek (Dorps) Slavomír Hazucha (Ixworx). The webinar was attended by an additional 40 registered guests, mainly local major industrial players and industry 4.0 solution providers.
 
At its beginning, the webinar was dedicated to the current situation and how it influences the day to day business of the participating companies as well as the Slovak Industry 4.0 market. All speakers agreed that this unprecedented situation brings many challenges it can help facilitate the development of VR/AR platforms used mainly for employee training and maintenance. As different companies are (and will be) forced to travel and meet less, services enabling distant access, digitization of content or virtualization of physical objects will be on the rise.
 
This was followed by a more detailed presentations of technological solutions developed by the companies that can be used to mitigate the impact of the current exceptional situation. Speakers focused on new approaches for the industry that was based on their learnings from other segments such as medicine, logistics, utilities and the entertainment industry.
 
On this note, Mr. Mačuš from CEIT presented several concrete solutions developed/re-designed by the company in the past weeks as a reaction to rising sanitary needs. One of them is a Real Time Location System that ensures the indoor localization of objects and personnel. This can be used to monitor the movement of co-workers and ensure that they keep a safe distance from each other. Other important new functionalities offered by the company include body temperature measurement solutions on entry, or special disinfection boxes for tools, which clean tools with UV lights between shifts.
 
The products of Edgecom that were pointed out by Mr. Dilský, are related to VR training and importance of different hygienic simulations on how to properly wash hands, adjust protective tools and disinfect after leaving a facility. It is important to mention that the company is gradually making all of their solutions available also on the cloud, with cutting edge interfaces for normal as well as VR use, making VR more accessible for a great pool of users in times of limited mobility.
 
Slavomír Hazucha from Ixworx presented the benefits of their highly realistic and high-definition VR content that they partially also deliver for the entertainment industry. For industrial use Mr. Hazucha pointed out precise scanning of existing facilities and workplaces as an ideal base layer for VR training, as opposed to being based only on a CAD file. Also, more realistic haptic solutions that simulate physical properties of materials, based on where they are grabbed (available also for 2 hand manipulation) can help employees better understand the quality aspect of production.
 
The area of mixed and augmented reality was covered by Mr. Okleštek from Dorps, who described the benefits and technical solutions in augmented reality when maintaining machinery from a distance. He also highlighted mixed reality as a tool that helps the better placement of machinery within facilities, as it based on visualization directly on the clients shop floor.
 
In the end the speakers answered several questions form the audience, related to the availability of AR/VR technology both from a financial perspective and readiness to combine simulations of future products with testing results.
 
SARIO is planning further webinars on several other topics, related to engineering, electronics, smart data collection and ICT in crisis situations. For more info please refer to our SARIO webpage and other communication channels of our agency.