Development of virtual reality support to factory layout planning
Journal article, 2019
Virtual reality (VR) technology has become ever mature today with affordable and yet powerful hardware. In the manufacturing industry, there is a growing interest of adopting VR to improve existing work procedures. Factory layout planning (FLP) is a long standing area in production engineering that sees great potentials of VR integration. Virtual reality supported layout planning (VLP) is gaining wider attention in research and practice as the virtual environment allows designers to test out “what if” scenarios in relative ease. However, previous research of VLP mostly focus on general layout planning but not the detailed level planning. Also, it is reported that the virtual modeling process is time-consuming and costly. In this study, we propose a point cloud based virtual factory modelling approach for the VLP tasks. It incorporates point cloud representation of physical environment with CAD data to model the virtual factory with the aims of simplifying the modelling process and improving decision-making for the VLP tasks. The proposed approach is exemplified and refined through three industrial cases. The implementations and results of the cases are highlighted and discussed in details. At the end, a general guidance for VLP is extracted and presented for future point cloud based VR support in FLP tasks.
Factory layout planning
3D laser scanning