Immersive reality: A new driver for manufacturers

By Mike Rouman

Lucas Romain, manufacturing business consultant at Siemens Digital Industries Software, demonstrates how to use virtual reality to collaborate on robotic cell definition and perform ergonomic studies.

Collaborative robotic cell definition

For the first use case, Lucas is immersed in an automotive assembly hall. His objective is to interactively review the new implementation prepared by the manufacturing engineering team. He can easily take measurements or navigate the factory. He can also play different simulations to review the process that will be executed on the shopfloor.

This example is for a body-in-white welding station. Colleagues can join him remotely to collaborate in the virtual session. When he identifies a situation that will need attention or rework later, he can take notes and capture information in a snapshot for easy access in future sessions.

Ergonomics studies

For the second use case, Lucas is preparing the process to assemble an electric bike. This type of production is mainly manual, but it was decided to introduce a collaborative robot to support the lifting activity of the bike frames, the heaviest part of the assembly. Here he can guide the cobot to make some feasibility tests before recording expected targets.

Using additional hardware, like trackers, Lucas can control and register a manikin’s movement by motion capture. This is very useful when analyzing a manual workstation. Now he can navigate through the different steps of the virtual training to execute the process in the correct order.

Now that the recording is done, he can replay this motion in Process Simulate to perform deeper ergonomics assessment and edit reports based on the simulation. Lucas can easily change the size of the simulated human to test different populations, making sure the manufacturing process is safe for everyone.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at