How do you look inside a massive 10-ton machine tool that is shrouded by metal guarding?
For Makino, one of the largest machine tool manufacturers in the world, this is a major issue since buyers want to see and understand the internal systems that are hidden from view. The previous method of creating sales display units with the guarding removed is beyond impractical, especially since Makino’s line has grown to 32 products.
The solution was a custom-built augmented reality (AR) application created by Kinetic Vision’s Creative + Visualization and Virtual + Augmented Reality groups that allows users to literally see inside the machines. Running on an iPad, the Makino AR app recognizes a unique identifying target on each product, determines the tablet location and displays photorealistic 3D animations of the internal systems in real time. The result is a “magic window” which allows the buyer to zoom in and out as they move and explore the machine’s operation.
“The application gives an unprecedented view inside the machine. You can see every component from any angle, enlightening your understanding of how the system operates,” said Brian Carovillano, Manager of Digital Design.
This digital experience was delivered via two main platforms: a tablet-based augmented reality (AR) app and standalone information kiosks known as Presentation Stations. The app allows users to walk completely around the machine to examine all the important subsystems not normally visible. The Presentation Stations utilize 80” touch screen monitors and pack 191 images, 158 PowerPoint presentations, 91 videos, and 64 PDF documents into an easy-to-navigate 3D user interface.
The application and Presentation Station debuted at the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) with overwhelming response. IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring over 2,500 exhibitors and set a new attendance record with over 129,000 attendees. The Makino AR application was recognized as one of the “7 Impressions of IMTS 2018” from Modern Machine Shop magazine.
“This is a real breakthrough that will change how large complex systems are displayed and sold to customers,” said Carovillano, adding “the best part is that this new technology creates an unprecedented level of buyer engagement, helping to turbocharge the sales process.”