Understanding the applications of VR technology for your factory

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With AR & VR technology sales forecast to hit $150 billion by 2020, how can you apply this technology to your manufacturing process?

As we consider applications in materials handling, remote maintenance, augmented assembly, inspection & more; we invite Nicholas Yeo, Technical Director, A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) to join us at TECHX Asia 2017 to share how ARTC is is developing new Model Factory  to allow companies to understand and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies like AR & VR to stay current in the competitive environment.

We caught up with Nicholas in a quick interview where he shared with us some of his passions and gives a teaser of what he will be sharing at the event.

1. Could you share something about yourself with our audience?

Nicholas Yeo, Technical Director, A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC)

Nicholas Yeo, Technical Director, A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC)

As the Technical Director of Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), I provides technical leadership to a highly charged group of Research and Technology team. With a proven track record in leading global program teams across diverse industries and functions from R&D to manufacturing. I bring along an extensive portfolio of technical expertise from project management, technology exploration and innovation as well as multi-disciplinary technical functions. Complementary to my technical portfolio will be the strong business acumen and engaging businesses across a broad global network that drives leadership in the innovation and advance technology sector.

Graduating with an MBA from the State University of New York, I started my career as a mechanical design engineer and successfully progressed into senior managerial roles in technical management and project management. Coupled with my strong industry background, I holding various roles in Flextronics, Kodak and Siemens before moving into A*STAR to focus on technology and process innovations between global industry partners and the Singapore government. The effort focus on developing the next generation manufacturing technologies like robotics, additive manufacturing and smart factory solutions.

2. Could you give our audience a quick teaser on what you will be speaking at the show?

With the rapid advancement in electronics and mobile computing, AR /VR is no longer a fantasy. Technology has reach an inflexion point that it has become more viable to develop effective solutions in the manufacturing industry.

AR / VR will potentially disrupt the product life cycle mgt from design to manufacturing by helping companies to elevate it to the next level by cutting down information bottleneck, bring real-time information to the decision makers. It allows new novel methods for manufacturing process by accessing data to solve production problems, cut down maintenance time and enhancing training of new resources.

VR can help an engineer interact in a virtual world for a more hands-on approach to gain clarity for creating a better product design or to detect a manufacturing defect. AR and VR technologies are also able to simulate production lines so a production manager can identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Its plethora of applications make AR and VR technologies a fundamental capability to supplement the progress of future manufacturing technologies.

3. Why is this topic close to your heart?

With the emerging of Millennials generation, the young generation is living in an environment filled with smart technologies. Millennial see existing manufacturing industry as old fashion and ‘dirty’ environment and this poise a challenge for recruiting top talents in the field of manufacturing. While things has move from paper to electronic version through the use of computers, many companies today continue to use paper based ‘work instructions’ to train their operators and many other operational activities.

As an avid user of technology gadgets, existing method in manufacturing will not be sufficient for tomorrow needs. There is motivation to transform the way information is been used and perceive in future manufacturing industry. Today, many parts of the product and process life cycle management are still manually translated with human intervention.

AR and VR have potential huge impact in the way information is processed and presented in the manufacturing environment. Encompass with other disruptive technologies like A.I., Advanced Data Analytics, Cloud computing and IIoT solutions, new solutions can be develop to improve manufacturing activities that gain significant benefits.

4. Could you share your thoughts on what the future of the manufacturing sector might look like and how we should prepare ourselves to be future-ready?

Demand is changing and the future customer is looking for greater variation and more customised products. This required a more integrated and scalable product and process life cycle management. To enable future respond from manufacturing industry, the onset of cyber physical systems and smart factory concept need to be materialise to allow a more rapid reaction by manufacturing operations. These push and pull factors will required information flow to be more real time with decision being made quickly to response to the needs.

Companies that look to remain competitive in future market need to explore and invest in solutions and talent pool to allow them to be compete in the market place. AR / VR technologies present a new opportunity for companies to explore new improvements and even business opportunities.

A*STAR is developing new Model Factory at ARTC and Simtech to allow companies to understand and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies forward and help them stay current in the competitive environment.

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Nicholas will be joining us at this year’s TECHX Asia, taking place 6-7 September 2017 in Singapore. As Asia’s leading event on commercial applications of emerging technologies, TECHX will bring together leading minds, entrepreneurs and innovators across the entire spectrum of emerging technologies: IoT, drones, AI, 3D, robotics, data and blockchain.

Find out more and book your tickets here.

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