in Vol. 18 - September Issue - Year 2017
Peening Process Optimization And Control In Industry 4.0 Using Virtual Reality
Figure 1: Immersive CAD technique (VR) for product development in a 3D factory model 
Figure 2: Different steps from the process parameters to the residual stress field in a complex geometry 
Welcome to Industry 4.0. There are new solutions being offered and also more efficient methods and opportunities to change the way we work; however, Industry 4.0 is also a popular term to describe the changes in the industry, production and manufacturing. The term is used in different contexts and lacks an explicit definition. Industry 4.0 mixes past industrial revolutions with today’s latest technologies. It promises to boost manufacturing efficiency by securely collecting data and using that data to produce insights that can influence decisions. Industry 4.0 focuses on the establishment of intelligent products and production processes [1,2].
Manufacturing companies are transforming themselves into integrated networks uniting their core competencies. As a result, virtualization of the process and supply-chain ensures smooth inter-company operations providing real-time access to relevant product and process information for all participating entities. The advanced communication between machines is equivalent to their dialogue with humans, and it allows the digital engineering of products and processes. Modular simulation and modeling techniques allow decentralized units to flexibly alter products and correspondent processes leading to rapid product innovation. Using 3D models of machines and equipment, companies can create visualizations of entire smart factories and their ongoing processes. The simulated machines inside these visualizations can learn from their mistakes and enhance their operations until they become self-sufficient production units [1,2].
The combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology with these advancements will help in the reshaping of the industrial landscape. No longer is VR/AR just about entertainment and industry manufacturers are realizing its potential applications for a wide range of needs. This upcoming industrial revolution is triggered by communication between humans and machines throughout large networks to deal successfully with the need of rapid product development and flexible production in complex environments [2,3].
That’s where VR/AR applications are being used to reduce costs and improve reliability of processes. Companies are turning their factories in 3D data allowing collaborative support in live environments, often called "serious games." These allow the interactive visualization of industrial facilities to gain insight and provide solutions to problems in different areas like product and process development, maintenance and quality without interrupting operations .
Peening process optimization and control
Some recent developments and applications are leading to Industry 4.0 revolution in the peening process.
The product and process 3D information allows the peening process simulation using different techniques like shot dynamics, DEM and FEM at the very start of the product concept.
There are different solutions that predict the residual stresses over the part surface without intensive calculations, allowing these calculations to be done in an industrial environment. These solutions work in CAD environment and analyze the influences of any project modification from product to tooling in the residual stresses field after peening .
For the peening control process, augmented reality (AR) tools may be used to show materials superimposed with their microstructure. Also, for quality control, it is possible to show how deep stresses are produced into the product that needs to be resistant in-service.
The VR technology also allows in some peening processes that need to be performed in non-healthy environments such as nuclear power plants, or difficult-to-reach regions in complex equipment requiring the use of robots to do the job [4,9].
Augmented reality (AR) could also be used for an intensive process monitoring control including shot quality (mix/geometry), turbine efficiency, shot flow and coverage. All these modalities that process information directly communicated through an AR interface would allow high reliability in the process output, turning the known "Almen Test" into secondary information. In addition, maintenance information would be accessible to the workshop. Such kinds of systems are available and can be customized by the user .
In some manual peening processes like flap peening, digital training can be carried out through virtual reality as part of the preparation to the work that needs to be carried out. This reduces the time spent to prepare the operation, and provides an in-loco reminder of activities that need to be accomplished during the process. Virtual reality helps to prepare the field worker, and reduces the likelihood of on-site problems .
There are different technologies ready to the market that can help the peening process overcome the Industrial 4.0 revolution. In different areas, there are core developments that cover Product and Process Development, Process Control, Maintenance and Training individually.
However, these solutions are now not yet integrated and still not capable of automatically improving a peening process without human intervention.
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(2) "Why VR is a Crucial Component of Industry 4.0" <www.renderthat.com> Access 2017.
(3) V. Vyatkin, Z. Salcic, P. S. Roop, and J. Fitzgerald, "Now That’s Smart!," Industrial Electronics Magazine, IEEE, vol. 1, no. 4. pp. 17–29, 2007.
(4) "The future is here," Nuclear Engineering International, May, 2017.
(5) D Gallitelli, V Boyer, M Gelineau, Y Colaitis, "Simulation of shot peening: From process parameters to residual stress fields in a structure," Computational simulation of manufacturing processes, Volume 344, Issues 4–5, April–May 2016, Pages 355-374.
(6) VR Concept <www.vrconcept.net>, 2017.
(7) J.Badreddine, et al. "CAD based model of ultrasonic shot peening for complex industrial parts," Advances in Engineering Software, Volume 76, October 2014, Pages 31-42.
(8) P.J. Withers, et al. "So You Think You Can Design A Jet Engine?! - A Toolkit For Communicating Materials Research," University of Manchester, Prize-Winning, REF2014.
(9) "From engines and new fuels to connectivity, Airbus pushing innovation envelope" <www.engineeringnews.co.za>, 2017
(10) VRmat, PeenSim <www.vrmat.com.br>, 2017.
(11) Augumenta Studio, <www.augumenta.com>, 2017.