Reach it, load it, and install it. Turn it, use it, or remove it.

Validating human interaction with future products for assembly, maintenance, or operation tasks

by Eric Kam
ICIDO dancing manequins

If you joined our June 2022 XR event, after presentations from Varjo and General Motors, a Live Demo of the XR-3, and the panel discussion with our IC.IDO EMEA community steering team, you might have been surprised (pleasantly?) with a screenful of dancing VR avatars and an MC with “no flow” with a chorus of background voices repeating, “Reach it, Load it, and install it. Turn it, use it, or remove it.” Inspired or tired? That is for you to decide; either way, we hope it was thought-provoking and brought us all closer to understanding what these ESI folks mean when they keep on saying, or writing, things like “Human Centric Process Validation and Product Integration”.

Let’s take a closer look at human-centric process validation and product integration

When describing the value of IC.IDO and its contributions to validating human-centric processes and immersive reviews of product integration, we find ourselves having to differentiate our value from a crowded field of virtual and extended reality applications or solutions that mostly just “make Virtual Reality happen” or “Augment or Extend reality”. However, our subscribers will attest that the valuable work begins AFTER their product and process environments are virtualized and available for exploration in VR or XR; just having things in VR is relatively trivial compared to the work that is done within the Virtual Reality scenes. For most of our users and their internal customers, the job is to validate the safe and sustainable performance of human-operated tasks, or processes, while interacting with proposed future products.

  • What challenges does a new car design bring to bear in planning general assembly and final trim?
  • Will maintaining a novel flying e-Mobility solution be practical?
  • Is a proposed autonomous excavator field serviceable?
  • Can we reach it? Can we load it? Does it install? Whether “IT” floats, flies, or ferries you down the road, before we can bring it to market, we need to prove people can build it, use it, and maintain it. 

These and other questions are at the forefront of the challenges addressed when our customers experience their products and human-performed processes within IC.IDO.

Not simply a VR authoring tool, but a Virtual Reality Pilot Process Hall or Hangar

It is very tempting to gravitate to the features, functions, and technology that enable virtual or extended realities as the goal line or “end” rather than a means to an end.

Recently in a discussion with Steve Horton of Volvo Group Trucks Technology, he reminded me and the other participants that before digitalization, most of the process planning for assembling new products came from previous models or from a “Master Build” when experienced production laborers would conduct a physical build, or pilot assembly, of proposed products as part of the product development process of proposed products as part of the product development process.

During GTC and Digital Engineering 24/7 Webcast Steve shared four of the many different configuration options that complicate physical Master Build.

However, he also told us that relying on a physical build is increasingly difficult if we are to bring innovation to market on time and on budget - and not least in a more environmentally-friendly way. There simply isn’t enough time to build up all the variants and expect to make design decisions based on physical build, and that previous experience when launching first-of-their-kind extended-range electric trucks. He also pointed out the shortcomings of the intermediate digital transformation steps of conducting on-screen reviews of digital or virtual data; that it lacks the element of personal experience that informs many of the decisions that would come from a physical master build.

Experiencing human interactions long before production

Once a product and context of human-performed tasks exist as a virtual reality experience, teams of engineers, tradespeople, plant leadership, service managers, and other enterprise stakeholders can participate in an immersive engineering review. Collaboratively or as a single user they can perform virtual build, virtual service process reviews, as well as immersive product explorations- more involved than merely visualizing or exploring in VR or XR. Subscribers to IC.IDO commonly applies the solution to experience assembly processes from a firsthand view and experience the work cell and tooling proposals in context with the virtual product. Allowing them to conduct very similar workshops as the Master Build but doing so long before anyone needs to construct or order pre-production parts or prototypes.  

IC.IDO is not just a collection of features that deliver VR/XR but rather a working environment that can be used to replicate many workflows that have previously relied on physical mock-ups, prototype parts, or early access to production intent tooling/environments. During a physical master build, tradespeople build vehicles from the ground up. While building, they experience challenges in lifting, loading, reaching, and installing things. They discover better ways to work with, turn, and use the tooling or components. Many times, discovering things that engineers looking at screens might not anticipate but in physical experience become very obvious. Enabling a Virtual Reality experience that offers true-to-life physical interactions, while reducing the enterprise “friction” of making VR or XR happen, brings the value of Physical Master builds to Virtual Engineering Reviews.

Eventually, after enough time describing or socializing the value, it became a mantra “Can you reach it, can you load or install it? Will others be able to “Turn it to use it or remove it?”. Repeat a mantra like that enough times, and eventually, a rhythm forms and someone (DJ Majid for example) puts it to music and a drum beat. And that is how a marketing music video becomes a valuable communication tool, not just a novelty dance.

Don’t forget to watch our latest Webinar Series on "Human Centric Process Validation & Immersive Product Integration" On Demand for a deeper dive on how to “Reach it, load it, and install it. Turn it, use it, or remove it” – and much more!

Sing along! 

Reach it, load it, and install it

Turn it, use it, or remove it

(repeat)

Can the motor be installed?

Will the cables be too small?

Is Chinmay a bit too tall?

Can I see and do it all?

IC.IDO need to use it

Can a human really do it?

(repeat)

Is the airplane safe to build?

Are the spaces overfilled?

Will my back required a pill?

Does assembly fit the bill?

See it, grab it, and I do it?

Want a product, have to prove it?

(repeat)

 Will the tooling fit the Line?

Can we do this job in time?

Replace, remove, all-in-time?

Ergonomics; hard to rhyme!

See it, grab it, and I do it?

Want a product, have to prove it?

IC.IDO need to use it

Can a human really do it?

Reach it, Load it, and Install it

Turn it, use it, or remove it


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