Enabling virtual assembly training in and beyond the automotive industry
Virtual assembly training systems show a high potential to complement or even replace physical setups for training of assembly processes in and beyond the automotive industry. The precondition for the breakthrough of virtual training is that it overcomes the problems of former approaches. The paper presents the design approach taken during the development of a game-based, virtual training system for procedural assembly knowledge in the EU-FP7 project VISTRA. One key challenge to address when developing virtual assembly training is the extensive authoring effort for setting up virtual environments. Although knowledge from the product and manufacturing design is available and could be used for virtual training, a concept for integration of this data is still missing. This paper presents the design of a platform which transfers available enterprise data into a unified model for virtual training and thus enables virtual training of workers at the assembly line before the physical prototypes exist. The data requirements and constraints stemming from industrial partners involved in the project will be discussed. A second hurdle for virtual training is the insufficient user integration and acceptance. In this context, the paper introduces an innovative hardware set-up for game-based user interaction, which has been chosen to enhance user involvement and acceptance of virtual training.