Audi, Germany

Due to the need for shorter product life cycles and the rising complexity in automotive construction and design, ease of comparison between actual prototypes and CAD 3-D models is key to reducing time and cost.

During development phase of new vehicles, prototypes are traditionally assembled manually by operators. Two of the main challenges for workers are to position flexible parts (such as brake tubes, cables and wiring,…) at exactly the right position and to verify if all parts are present (at the right place) during the assembly. To complete this process, operators are currently using drawings to compare the real prototype with the virtual CAD Data. One issue is that no measurement tools can verify exactly the position of flexible parts within a reasonable time frame.

    So the challenges hereby are mostly:

    • Reducing construction errors on prototypes
    • Placing flexible parts at the right place
    • Check if design plans match exactly with the prototype

    A very accurate and robust tracking was required and could be fulfilled by ART tracking systems.
    
    The longstanding partnership between ART and Metaio made the project and cooperation very smooth and effective. 

    The tracking solution

    In response to these challenges Audi AG implemented “Window To The World” an Augmented Reality System by Metaio that combines the physical and the virtual world in a very precise manner. The system consists of a movable Augmented Reality screen between the user and the prototype. Design variants can be shown or not-yet produced virtual parts can be added to the physical prototype.

    To achieve very accurate and robust tracking, the system is based on the Infrared Tracking System from ART, within flexible and high-volume working spaces. A precisely calibrated camera is placed behind a monitor in such a way that the user literally looks through the monitor into the real world, but with the added value of virtual information overlaid.

    The system is fully integrated with the PLM environment from Audi. The solution allows people to overlay data from the Product lifecycle management Software (e.g. Teamcenter from Siemens) directly on the real product without any prior preparation.

    • Hi-Accuracy overlay of Virtual 3D Data
    • Full scale analyses with a High-quality rendering
    • Data in existing PLM environments can be used without additional preparation

    Setup

    • 8 x ARTTRACK5 cameras
    • 1 x precisely calibrated camera behind the screen
    • Moving augmented reality screen
    • Software Metaio Engineer