Developing extended reality systems for manufacturing industry
Doctoral thesis, 2021

In the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, computer-mediated reality, also known as extended technology reality (XR) technology is believed to be the foundation for realising the Industry 4.0 vision. XR technology, with its three representative forms, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) have created new ways for users and computer systems to interact. Although previous studies and pilot industrial projects have highlighted potential applications of XR technologies in manufacturing activities, it remains largely unadopted in current manufacturing.

The goals of this thesis are to contribute to knowledge about integrating XR technology into manufacturing and helping the manufacturing industry benefit from the latest advancements in XR technologies. Thus, this thesis aims to bridge the knowledge gap and facilitate the process of integrating the latest XR technologies into manufacturing.

In addressing the above purpose and aims, this research effort adopted a pragmatic approach to eleven empirical studies (based on real-world manufacturing problems within five companies) and two testbeds. Eleven XR systems, ranging from AR to VR, were developed and tested for applications covering all four phases of production: design, learning, operational and disruptive. Accordingly, this thesis has identified critical factors and reported the effects of integrating XR technologies into a manufacturing context. Furthermore, the framework dealing with the necessary steps to integrate XR technology into manufacturing activities was developed, explained and validated through internal as well as external cases. This has proved effective in guiding the process of integrating XR into manufacturing and assuring the quality of that integration.

extended reality

manufacturing

augmented reality

virtual reality

mixed reality

Virtual Development Lab (VDL), Hörsalsvägen 7A, Gothenburg
Opponent: Associate Professor Peter Törlind, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

Author

Liang Gong

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Development of virtual reality support to factory layout planning

International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing,; (2019)

Journal article

A Framework for Extended Reality System Development in Manufacturing

IEEE Access,; Vol. 9(2021)p. 24796-24813

Journal article

Interaction design for multi-user virtual reality systems: An automotive case study

Procedia CIRP,; Vol. 93(2020)p. 1259-1264

Paper in proceeding

In the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, computer-mediated reality, also known as extended technology reality (XR) technology is believed to be the key element for realising the Industry 4.0 vision. XR technology, with its three representative forms, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) have created new ways for users to interact with computer systems.

The goals of this thesis are to contribute to knowledge about integrating XR technology into manufacturing and helping the manufacturing industry benefit from the latest advancements in XR technologies. Thus, this thesis aims to bridge the knowledge gap and facilitate the process of integrating
the latest XR technologies into manufacturing.

This thesis highlighted the advantages of XR solutions compared with conventional approaches in terms of the flexibility, realistic visualisation and nature interaction. This may save time, help with design cost issues and facilitate involvement and communication across all stakeholders. Moreover, this thesis
proposed the general framework of user-centred extended reality system development. This provides clear guidelines on the steps and methods needed for integrating XR systems into manufacturing. The framework was validated via internal and external cases and was shown to be effective in guiding the XR integration process in manufacturing and in ensuring the quality of integration.

Manufacturing companies that plan to adopt XR technologies as part of their Industry 4.0 vision may benefit from the knowledge generated in this thesis. Such knowledge might help kick-start the integration of XR whilst avoiding common mistakes. This thesis also pointed out future research directions for the XR technology integration within the manufacturing industry.

Stena Industry Innovation Lab at Chalmers - SII-Lab

Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture - Stena Foundation, 2018-01-01 -- 2020-12-30.

Demonstrating and testing smart digitalisation for sustainable human-centred automation in production

VINNOVA, 2017-05-15 -- 2020-03-09.

SUstainability, sMart Maintenance and factory design Testbed (SUMMIT)

VINNOVA, 2017-11-01 -- 2021-04-30.

Innovative continuous upgrades of high investment product-services (USE-IT-WISELY)

European Commission (EC), 2013-09-01 -- 2016-11-30.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Production

ISBN

978-91-7905-410-6

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4877

Publisher

Chalmers University of Technology

Virtual Development Lab (VDL), Hörsalsvägen 7A, Gothenburg

Online

Opponent: Associate Professor Peter Törlind, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

More information

Latest update

5/11/2021