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Toshiba Digital Solutions Starts Offering the Meister AR Suite, Which Supports On-site Equipment Maintenance Work Using Augmented Reality

- Supports the Streamlining of On-site Work and the Transfer of Skills and Expertise Using the Toshiba Group’s Abundant Experience in AR Technology -

May 17, 2018
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation

KAWASAKI, Japan—Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (TDSL ) will today begin offering the on-site work digitalization solution Meister AR Suite. It uses augmented reality (AR) to support the streamlining of work as well as the transfer of the skills and expertise possessed by craftsmen, which are both issues in the equipment operation and maintenance field.

The aging of veteran workers and the decrease in their numbers are making it necessary to secure and train new personnel to handle the operation and maintenance of equipment, whether at a factory or for social infrastructure, such as energy. The content and frequency of the work varies, and the transfer of skills requires time. Inexperienced workers face many challenges, such as difficulty in finding the target machinery from those scattered around a facility, or in understanding inspection methods and inspection spots. What’s more, to prevent the occurrence of problems arising from operational errors, the work needs to be carried out while confirming each inspection points and judgement criteria through manuals and other materials, rather than depending on the worker's memory. Manuals have not always been prepared, or sometimes they have not been updated swiftly enough to match the changes that have occurred in the work environment. Circumstances like these make the streamlining of operations and the transfer of skills even more difficult.

TDSL is now offering the Meister AR Suite – a new lineup in the Manufacturing IoT Solutions Meister Series – that deals with just such challenges.

With the Meister AR Suite, an AR Manual*1 displays work points and procedures as AR images, accompanied by guidance with voice and video as well when a work tablet recognizes the target piece of equipment. This makes it possible for even inexperienced workers to smoothly and correctly carry out the work on site. It eliminates the need for workers to carry hard copies of the manual around with them. AR Navigation*2 can safely and surely guide the worker to the target piece of equipment.

Furthermore, the AR content can be easily created and edited*3 on a user’s personal computer without specialized AR knowledge using the AR Content Generator*4.. It requires no programming and utilizes an intuitive graphic user interface (GUI).

Figure 1: Overall conceptual image of the Meister AR Suite

Figure 2: Conceptual image of an AR Content Generator Screen

The AR technology at the core of the Meister AR Suite was developed by Toshiba I.S. Corporation (Japan), which serves as the Toshiba Group’s backbone for information and communications technology (ICT). Recognition accuracy and usability were enhanced through repeated demonstration tests at Toshiba Group plants and other locations. The Meister AR Suite’s AR technology has a variety of uses outside of the operation and maintenance of equipment, such as in designing, manufacturing, sales and training.

Going forward TDSL will promote the integration of the Meister AR Suite and the data collection, storage and utilization functions provided by the Manufacturing IoT Solutions Meister Series and aim to solve customers’ business-related challenges through innovative digital technology.

Notes:

  • *1,*2 The supported OS for the AR Manual and AR Navigation are iOS 10 or later, and the supported tablet model is the 9.7-inch iPad. Support for Android and Windows is scheduled by the end of FY2018.
  • *3 TDSL can also take on content production on behalf of the customer.
  • *4 The supported OS for the AR Content Generator are Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Manufacturing IoT Solutions Meister Series

https://www.toshiba-sol.co.jp/en/industry/meister_next/

  • * Other company names and product names in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
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