Digital step-by-step table

Leading German automotive group improves service quality with tablets

Thursday, 06/01/2017
Automotive

How to display EDM data on a tablet?


Digitization opens new opportunities for the automotive industry to shorten planning and commissioning cycles while raising the product quality. One of the digitization trends is the digital twin: a virtual effigy of the real car to simulate all product features from its geometrically correct look to its behaviour. Ideally, the digital effigy grows along from the initial concept. Benefit: Everyone dealing with the vehicle may access the accumulated vehicle data, from the designer in the prototype department to the worker at the assembly line up to the workshop staff in the after sales service. They do no longer need to struggle with paper plans and tables but work faster and much less susceptible to errors.

Initial situation/problem: How to display EDM data on a tablet?

Digitization opens new opportunities for the automotive industry to shorten planning and commissioning cycles while raising the product quality. One of the digitization trends is the digital twin: a virtual effigy of the real car to simulate all product features from its geometrically correct look to its behaviour. Ideally, the digital effigy grows along from the initial concept. Benefit: Everyone dealing with the vehicle may access the accumulated vehicle data, from the designer in the prototype department to the worker at the assembly line up to the workshop staff in the after sales service. They do no longer need to struggle with paper plans and tables but work faster and much less susceptible to errors.

One question, however, was bothering a leading German car group in 2016: Was it possible to display the data of the digital twin in such a way that every user might see and customize it in a 3D viewer on a tablet? Might service staff get concise step-by-step repair instructions, for example? The car maker assigned this task to PITERION. This PLM service company, based in Böblingen, Germany, had been known to the car maker for many years as a key player in this technology and was competent enough to implement complex PLM solutions. Thus PITERION has been commissioned to develop an adaptable display for tablets.

Solution/success story: A game engine providing for adaptable display

The car maker had a module in their EDM system, storing all processes and data from product development throughout the entire life cycle, that provided PLM XML and CAD data. PITERION experts have developed software for importing and displaying product structures including CAD data in Unity 3D. This software enables the programming of scalable 3D graphics applications that can be used on mobile terminals or desktop applications yet need high graphics performance.

PITERION has converted data from the EDM system for this virtual reality. The result of this development, based on software primarily used in gaming, is a prototype called digital step-by-step table.

The customer's benefit: faster workflows less susceptible to errors

PITERION has transferred digital step-by-step table to a Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet as a stand-alone product. It facilitates displaying a virtual model of a vehicle. A 3D viewer helps users examine the model thoroughly, including changing the viewpoint, increasing the level of detail, enlarging selected prefabricated parts or popping up working steps, help text and required tools. They get an individual overview and follow step-by-step instructions on, for example, how to remove the front left suspension strut or how to dismantle the front cover to access the fog lamp. The benefit of this visual support: The users will work not only faster but also more reliably. There is less risk for errors and more service quality. Better still: the virtual display on the tablet also opens new training options for processes relevant for servicing.

The  digital step-by-step table is a prototype developed by PITERION in a feasibility study. If it proves itself, further developments will be possible such as smartphone integration by app. The universal use of all product data on all available media would further improve the service quality and engineering processes. Also, global networking comes within reach. Then service employees might upload required data of any desired product or subject on the tablet any time. The workflow efficiency would further benefit that way.

Leading German automotive group improves service quality with tablets
share this article

About PITERION

PITERION is an international PLM service provider headquartered in Germany with branches in the USA, India, Tunisia, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland. Our highly qualified staff offers solutions and services independent of system manufacturers. We always follow the provisions of the EN 9100 (aerospace), ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality management standards. We have set up internal standards and processes that enable us to maintain a consistently high quality of service across our sites throughout the world.

We constitute a competent and independent partner of our customers providing tailor-made solutions and services. Jointly with our technology providers we may therefore support the PLM strategy of our customers in the best way possible.