Shane Williams & Paul Mason from the Manufacturing Tech Australia podcast paid an extended visit to LEAP’s stand at this year’s Australian Manufacturing Week to interact with some of the new technologies that were on display. Here is a record of their conversation captured on their podcast with Paul O’Shaughnessy, PTC Business Manager at LEAP Australia (plus some photos and videos from the booth display with Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub and Monash Nova Rover which help provide you with some further context!) – note: you can listen to the full episode from Day 1 at AMW at this link.
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): We’re here with Paul from LEAP and he’s got some really cool gear on their stand here at Australian Manufacturing Week. What do you have on display?
Paul (LEAP): We’ve got lots of different technologies and incredible hardware on display here at AMW. This year we have a big collaboration with the Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub and Monash Nova Rover student team. The student team has designed this lunar rover robot and they’ve used a lot of LEAP software in that process, including simulation (as you can see on the screen), 3D rendering, and we’ve got a demonstration of an incredible augmented reality experience that the students have also built to help people interact with their rover. For example, they have overlaid a 3D animation of where the battery is located, key components, how you would remove it and similar things like how you would add additional equipment such as the robot arm. So even though the full set of equipment isn’t on display here, a visitor can use the AR to better understand how it operates.
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): Nice. With the Augmented Reality here, we’ve seen it used for things like assembly and servicing. Is that something else so you can use in there – if there’s problems with it, can you use AR to help diagnose and show how to repair it?
Paul (LEAP): Yes, absolutely. So, a lot of the earlier use cases for augmented reality have been in sales and marketing – if the product wasn’t here, we could show it virtually in AR. In fact, if you go to the Monash stand over in the corner, there’s a good example of that as they’ve got a fully virtual version of the rover there that you can have a look at using the same Vuforia technology.
Our customers are now working on other use cases, as you say in service & training. So we can use AR to overlay step by step instructions on how to repair this rover. Maybe out in the field, you might not have a frontline worker there, so we can empower people on-site with the equipment to actually complete those tasks without opening the traditional 500-page PDF or relying on a YouTube video. So the AR experience is made unique to the device and we can overlay these useful service, maintenance, training instructions which are becoming some of the most common use cases now for Augmented Reality.
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): You mentioned before you had a digital twin here running and the robot arm over at Monash’s stand is working remotely, can you elaborate on that?
Paul (LEAP): Yes, so over on the Monash stand here at AMW, there’s a physical robot arm. It’s connected using the PTC ThingWorx IoT platform and we’re actually streaming that information across to LEAP’s stand here. We’ve got a live dashboard here that the students at Monash have built as part of their Smart Manufacturing Hub. On their stand they’ve got their robot arm streaming information through, and you can see the video footage here. We’ve also got a virtual model of that arm, with got IoT sensor information coming through as well. So we recommend customers to go and have a look at the physical arm as well at MSMH booth to better see and understand how the two work together.
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): Fantastic! Moving forward, what sort of developments are you seeing for the future of manufacturing?
Paul (LEAP): Certainly a convergence of all of this technology. In the past, Augmented Reality was treated as a standalone technology; IoT was; PLM was; CAD was; simulation was. Now what we’re seeing more and more is that all of these technologies are coming together to form a whole ecosystem. Our customers are increasingly using physics-based simulation and digital twins, driven by a physics-based analytics engine. We’re seeing Augmented Reality hooked into IoT using the same underlying platform, so customers can more easily overlay sensor and real time information back into the real world.
Paul O’Shaughnessy – PTC Business Manager, LEAP Australia
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): I think the PLM side also is really interesting in helping customers to manage their product lifecycle, from design through to manufacture which I see as currently a massive gap here in the Australian manufacturing industry. I think is that something that you’re seeing – a better uptake of that?
Paul (LEAP): Exactly, PLM has now elevated itself to being an enterprise system. There’s definitely a recognition now in most organisations, particularly in design and manufacture, that you need a system in place to have a single version of the truth, to unlock all of that IP and valuable information that’s created amongst your design and engineering teams and a focus to really democratise that across the organisation – into manufacturing, sales and downstream into other systems like ERP and other manufacturing systems. Also PLM is now mature enough to finally close that loop through smart manufacturing, industry 4.0, IoT – where we can help customers to take information from the shop floor back into our PLM system to close the loop.
Shane & Paul (Manufacturing Tech Australia): Fantastic. Thanks so much, Paul.
You can hear the full episodes of Shane and Paul’s Manufacturing Tech Australia podcasts recorded at AMW across all 3 days by clicking this link.