in Vol. 13 - July Issue - Year 2012
A Mass Vibratory Finisher Made Of Glass
A view at the Empire State Building with the Google data glasses
Roundtub vibrator VA145 via a possible Google data glasses perspective
Separation flap without markings of invisible decisive screws
Separation flap with markings of invisible decisive screws
QR-Code for the Finishing Project Glass-Trailer
The new trends of actual mobile device technology are spreading quickly. In nearly every area of today’s lifestyles mobile devices are more and more present. Especially in the business world, smartphones and even tablet devices have become a matter of course. The first tablet product launch of Apple’s famous iPad happened two years ago. Within the shortest time, it conquered the world. Many thousands of Apps for a broad variety of very different fields of application are available in online stores.
Apart from communication apps, many new apps in business fields are often not very mature. On the other hand, they are very promising. In this context, also the project glass of the company Google is very interesting and promising. Designed and promoted for the consumer sector, it may surely have also a great potential for engineering companies, which handle huge amounts of information in highly complex technical environments.
The project glass of Google researches the potential of a new revolutionary product, the data glasses. This vision has existed in the literature for quite a long time. It was first mentioned in the nineteen-sixties. However, today, the necessary basic technologies, the web 2.0 and the accelerating micro-hardware development are all on a technological level, which might not be far away from a possible realization of a sound product concept. These Google data glasses can supply the user with actual information about things in his field of view. If the user is looking out the window at a landscape scene, the glasses can "fade-in" today’s weather information of the actual place. Furthermore, the glasses could recognize certain buildings on a sightseeing tour. Or could overlay a route of Google maps into the viewing field of the user and much more. It is planned to connect the glasses to Android Smartphones and their ability to gather location-dependent information. You can find a short presentation of that project on Youtube with the keyword: "Project Glass: One day..."
Two very interesting questions would be, if and how an industrial company in the field of vibratory mass finishing could profit from such an edge-breaking technology. A student of the Westfälische Hochschule, Karim Omar, tried to take a closer look on that subject. As an example, he chose a round tub vibrator of Spaleck Oberflächentechnik, a manufacturer of surface finishing equipment.
In an intense discussion with the chief of construction and the leader of the trial department, the pros and cons of such a technology were been worked out. It was commonsense that the quick and easy access of much information during the whole life period of a complex machine is an enormous advantage. It can help the mechanic to assemble the machine and later on to maintain service functions of the machine. It can also help an inexperienced user operate a complex machine without the help of written documentation. Even the most experienced mechanic is not able to know every exact clearance or hinge moment of the maintenance of a machine. The glasses are able to fade-in these data. Certain markings on the machine would indicate to the data glasses the targeted view of certain parts of the machine.
A problem would surely be the reconditioning of the necessary information amounts. Small- and medium-sized engineering enterprises have normally very rare resources, and even the documentation of a machine sometimes has lack of decisive informational. On the other side, the possibilities of 3D –CAD systems are also rising steadily, and it seems possible to interlink these systems with augmented reality systems like the Google data glasses.
Karim Omar tried to visualize these possibilities in a short multimedia trailer. That trailer is supporting the idea of using data glasses in an engineering context and shows impressive opportunities. In his research, he considers a typical maintenance situation: The separation flap removal of a roundtub vibrator. The pictures show the possible view via Google data glasses on the roundtub vibrator, providing additional 3D-CAD information for maintenance purposes.
The leader of the trial department was very impressed by these ideas, and is convinced that these technologies, once mature enough, will definitely influence the manufacturing and maintenance procedures of vibratory mass finishing machines. If you are interested in this trailer, you will find it on Youtube with the title: "Project Glass — Ernstzunehmende Technologie oder Spielerei mit virtueller Realität?!"
by Mathieu Geuting
Spaleck Oberflächentechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
Tel. +49.2871.9500 14
Fax +49.2871.9500 95