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How it Works: Hands Free Visualization of Shop Floor Information

In The Factory of the Future: A Day in the Life of a Plant Manager in 2020 readers explored several tangible, factory floor benefits that William and the team at Stuart Sprockets were able to achieve by embracing Smart Operations concepts and the Digital Twin. As part of an ongoing series, we will now provide details into how the technology works to make these benefits a reality today.


Previously, William used augmented reality smart safety glasses with a Manager Vision heads up display to scan the shop floor and identify a nonconforming piece of equipment.

How Does it Work?

A multitude of sensors within individual pieces of equipment track performance parameters such as vibration, temperature, speed, or pressure. This data is streamed in real time to an IoT platform (such as PTC Thingworx), and is compared to equipment threshold data (e.g. the maximum safe operating temperature of a gearbox assembly) that exists within other enterprise systems such as MES. The collected data then passes from the IoT platform through an augmented reality software (such as PTC Vuforia) which uses the data to augment a visualization of real-time metrics onto the shop floor.

The user puts on a wearable technology (such as the RealWear HMT-1, a voice activated head mounted tablet specifically built for industrial applications), which augments the shop performance data and visuals from the augmented reality software on top of the user’s real world field of view. They can scan the floor and look for anomalies, investigate them, and even take action. For example, a maintenance manager can identify a piece of equipment that is running in the red through her smart augmented reality headset, and turn the speed down instantly using voice commands.


Stay tuned to discover how the various digital technologies behind William's smart, connected factory floor work to help the Stuart Sprocket team Succeed.

1. Hands Free Visualization of Shop Floor Information

2. Instant Notification of Design Changes to the Shop Floor

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