A factory in your pocket

Expensive systems used to be required to display large machines and factories in 3D. With mobile apps and an iPhone® or Android™ device, this is now a thing of the past.

Limited use of 3D design data

Whether it is the sales department selling a machine, the designer planning its layout in a factory, or the project manager installing it precisely on site, they can all benefit from the use of 3D design data. Unfortunately, access to 3D data often remains solely within the design department. This is due to the high computer performance required to display such large and complex data. The processing speed, graphics performance, and memory capacity of a typical office computer are simply inadequate for this task.

A factory in your pocket
A factory in your pocket
3D models on a smartphone for sales
3D models on a smartphone for sales

A paradigm shift has begun

Consequently, the sales department and project manager are unable to access the 3D design data, and often have to rely on basic 2D layouts and screenshots of the 3D design. Based on this limited information, the project manager must then ensure that the site installation goes to plan. Their job has just become much easier through direct access to the latest 3D project data – at any time, anywhere. The paradigm is shifting thanks to new AR & VR technologies and intelligent data processing.

The CAD origin of the 3D data

Before they can be displayed in a virtual world, the machine must be designed and the factory must be planned. This requires the use of professional CAD software. With modern factory layout packages, very large and complex factories can be quickly designed. These systems are equipped with libraries of standard parts to speed the layout process, and can also import existing 3D models from other CAD systems through the use of industry standard interfaces. CAD Schroer’s MPDS4 system is a prime example of such a system and offers a complete solution for all types of factory layout.

Problem: The 3D CAD models are too big

Unfortunately, some 3D CAD models are simply too large to be visualized on a tablet or smartphone because they contain far too much detail. To overcome this problem, many companies will resort to remodelling their designs in a simpler form. This is a very expensive, time-consuming step that requires unnecessary resources because this data is already available in 3D in their CAD system.

Virtual Reality on the construction site
Virtual Reality on the construction site

Solution: Automated Compression

CAD Schroer is at home in the CAD world and uses specially designed software tools to process complex 3D data from a wide variety of CAD systems, ready for mobile use. After processing, the data can be used efficiently on mobile devices such as iPhones, iPad® and Android devices. Individual machines and even entire factories can be visualized on a smartphone without sacrificing detail.

How to put a factory in your pocket

CAD Schroer uses compressed CAD data to create Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications for mobile devices and computers. If the project manager has a CAD Schroer app on his smartphone, he can literally take his factory design data in his pocket to the construction site and present it to his customers. The apps can also provide a virtual walkthrough experience simply by inserting the smartphone into a VR headset.

3D AR applications for sales

With the help of AR apps, large machines can be virtually displayed at their intended location in the real-world factory. This enables the project manager to quickly determine whether unforeseen problems will be encountered during construction. For sales presentations, large machines can be virtually displayed in the meeting room and explained in detail via the use of animations.

A factory in your pocket

Motion sequences can be simulated, which enables the customer to virtually observe the movements of individual parts within the machine. The project manager can also walk through the factory using the apps on their Apple® or Android device to inspect machines and see them in action. All this with a device that fits in your pocket.

AR and VR Consulting and Applications from CAD Schroer

In addition to application development, CAD Schroer also offers a wide range of options to help companies get started and benefit from these new technologies. CAD Schroer’s consultants analyse customer requirements and supervise the development of individual apps. In the end, each customer receives an application tailored to his specific requirements, enabling him to take his factory in his pocket to his customer or to the construction site.

If the project manager has this app on his smartphone, he can visualize the design data for his entire factory without loss of detail.