The IoT Show S1Ep5
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:00:28] Hello and welcome to another edition of the IoT Show. The IoT show is designed to bring you the audience, particularly manufacturers, into contact with experts on topics of the IoT see that provide insights are interesting and valuable to those getting started or embarking on new ventures using technologies on the IoT. Today we’re going to be talking about computer generated and augmented realities and their place in the Internet of Things and the industrial internet of Things. I am absolutely delighted to have a great cast of guests with me today. I’ve got Stuart Thurlby from Theorem Solutions. Hello, Stuart.
STUART THURLBY [00:01:18] Hi there.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:01:20] I’ve got Enrique Andaluz from Microsoft. Hello, Enrique.
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:01:26] Hello, everybody.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:01:28] Martin Wassmann from PTC.
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:01:32] Hello.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:01:34] And Nick Putman from Rockwell.
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:01:37] Hi Allan, thanks for having me. Thanks for having me.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:01:40] Great. So welcome, everybody. I know that the technology for this particular edition is being stretched. We have for guests all online from different parts of the world. I just want to hand over to each of our guests and ask them to give a little bit of background on themselves. They’re their companies. Just two minutes. And their interest in computer generated and augmented realities. Stuart, why don’t you start and just give us your your two minutes worth?
STUART THURLBY [00:02:13] Yes, sure. It’s still on. The CEO and founder of Theorem Solutions Forum has been providing software solutions to engineering manufacturing space for just over 25 years both in data sharing and visualisation as well as data sharing. As a result of the ground and the products we’ve developed, we’ve decided to get involved and look at the new technologies a number of years ago. I’m really impressed with what you saw. One way of devices, things like hololens as well as as htc vive, etc and various tablets and mobiles. So we use the existing software that we have to develop a range of inventive and reality applications to address the market. Primary areas in terms of geography. So both the Americas and Europe and parts of Asia are not our major customer base in automotive, aerospace, defence and heavy industry equipment.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:03:18] Great. Thanks very much. Enrique, how about yourself?
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:03:24] Yes. Thank you. And thank you for having me over here. I’ve been all my life in their manufacturing arena. I spent the initial years of my career out on the shop floor, actually doing a lot of assembly. It returned in manufacturing kind of improvements, trying to avoid technology to make sure that the processes were working well. They may jump into some of the consult field doing supply chain type of work, helping companies revamp their supply chains. And later, I came to Microsoft. I’ve been in Microsoft for 12 years, driving strategy in the manufacturing sector in the past eight years of Microsoft. I was globally responsible for this tricky direction of industrial IoT solutions. And in the past two months I’ve moved into a role which is mostly dedicated to a digital advisory services and helping companies adopt technology and really drive business transformation and and figuring out how technology can improve that innovation and that strategy for the business.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:04:35] Thanks, Enrique. Martin, how about yourself?
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:04:40] Yes, hello. Martin Wassmann is my name. I’m working for PTC. PTC is known as a cat vendor from the 80s and has evolved to an IoT and AI vender. I am also the augmented reality lead for EMEA region and that comes from my background as I was working several years in the aircraft manufacturing industry. On augmented reality, those solutions are mainly quality inspection and installation guidance. And that’s what I can tell about me in a short sentence.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:05:14] Thank you. Thank you. And Nick?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:05:15] Yeah. Hey, Nick Putman. I am a senior commercial engineer with Rockwell Automation. My background was working in the process industries on the DCS kind of as more. System integration expert, and I’m working now in a visualisation role with our thin manager platform, so it’s a content management platform, if you will, and you’ll kind of get to hear how we how we’re really excited about a lot of the different computer generated realities that we’re gonna talk about today. So thank you.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:05:48] Excellent. So I suppose the first question I’ve got and I think many of the people watching will ask is what are the difference in terminologies between AR, VR and MR? I mean, you know, they’re just acronyms, are they or I mean, do they actually mean something valuable? So, Stuart, I mean, I’ve spoken to you about this in the past. What’s your your feeling as to the difference in the terminology?
STUART THURLBY [00:06:14] They are significantly different in VR, obviously. It has been around a long time and is really a fully immersive. Anybody tell you that everything, virtual realities, virtual reality is a fully immersive environment. Everything the user sees is digital data. So if he’s in a factory, the factory is digital and if he’s looking at a product in the factory, the product digital, everything the user sees is his digital and hense virtual reality, whereas augmented reality is taking digital content, whether it’s 3D or 2D or doesn’t matter and displaying that in the real world. You’re sitting your level of actual factory or your office or whatever. Obviously Pokémon go has got a lot of not a lot of people aware of Pokemon go, Pokemon go is an example of augmented reality and then mix reality really is somewhat similar. Analogies to augmented reality and the digital data is being displayed inside the environment. You’re not using the actual physical environment you’re in, whether it’s your office or your factory. But in the case of holiday from Microsoft, it’s a holographic representation, which obviously means that you can walk around the actual display in your office. So it’s a spatially aware environment rather than looking to a conventional 2D display. So hololens in some respects mixed reality in some respects is very similar to augmented reality. But the difference is when you’re looking at the holographic representation, it’s it’s much more analogous to actual physical product being a distance. You can walk around it, getting inside, etc. whilst you’re still in your environment, whether that’s an office or a factory.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:08:09] Anybody else got any other different views or wants to add to what Stuart mentioned?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:08:16] No, I think Stuart really nailed it there. I mean. So I think Stuart really hit it on the head there. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind when you’re talking about VR virtual reality is that you’re typically blind to the world around you. And so I think that’s one of the biggest differences between talking about virtual reality compared to both mixed and augmented reality is that you’re usually totally blind to the world around you. As Stuart said, you’re in a totally virtual inverse environment. And I think that’s kind of the biggest key difference between those different technologies.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:08:52] Enrique, can you add to that?
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:08:54] Yeah. Yeah, I was I was going to emphasise that I agree with them both. And I was just gonna emphasise one of the bigger part of the mix reality side is that it starts to get us more into the immersive part of a combination of having a real object and augmenting that object. And at the same time, fragmenting it with something that Nick was saying is blind. But then he also offers these immersive experience, which you can start thinking about collaborating with the real iconography, how parts that you see.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:09:29] Right. Right. And and. Martin.
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:09:33] Yeah. Yeah. So everyone has nailed it to the point, I would say mixed reality is a term that often has interchanged with augmented reality, but as already has been told, you have anchored digital objects inside mixed reality and you can interact with them. So this creates really like a virtual augmented reality in brackets, which we call the next reality.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:10:02] Okay, super. So how is how all these technologies relevant to the industrial internet and industrial Internet of Things? Martin, what are you what are your thoughts on that?
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:10:19] Well, you need to think about how humans process information. If your digital information and on the other hand, your physical world and in between those who have the cognitive distance, which means the higher those cognitive distance is and the less you are able to work on other tasks. So you need to reduce this cognitive distance and reduce this disconnect between the digital data and the physical world. And that’s where IoT and IIoT came into this game. And AR of course, because then you have the information at your fingertips, right. For example, from smart connected products machine status. KPI’s like OEE or equipment efficiencies, instructions, etc..
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:11:09] Okay. Enrique.
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:11:14] Yes, some. If you start thinking about specifically for the manufacturing world, when you start thinking about the industrial IoT team and its relation with Industry 4.0, I believe these two technologies combined really offers the opportunity to make real the dream of the dual principal that was stragety of industry 4.0. If you think about their three pillars for industry 4.0, they are about vertical integration or horizontal integration and end to end engineering of the of the parts or components that you have. So mix reality brings a net new value added type of component to the picture, because when you think about integrating either vertically or horizontally, you can offer spaces as equal to work space and you can whether you are core located with the parts, the robots, the different processes, you can actually expand this kind of integration across different businesses, across the entire value chain. And more importantly, when you think about the dream of end to end engineering, it’s about really tracking the life cycle of a product. A good example of the. So if you can see if you have that robot manufacturer, you can provide services to the robot user, say an auto maker. And that’s the ultimate of end to end engineering for the industry, 4.0. Now, we’re we’re going to talk about these later, mixed with another two type of technology, I’ll mention later. You can really bring to life a a whole new dimension of a new new class of detail. So that’s one angle. And the other angle is the fact of really taking to a different level industry 4.0, you can start thinking about the next year or two.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:13:19] Excellent Stewart.
STUART THURLBY [00:13:22] I mean, obviously, one of the obvious uses of AR or MR in the Internet of Things is to facilitate the digital twin, i.e. to provide and operate on the shop floor, or wherever, for that matter, the ability to see a digital representation overlaid on the physical part of the talking to and obviously combined with that you can have feeds of data from IoT sensors on the machine tool or whatever. Which that data also, once it’s been analysed and prepared can be overlaid as well as the geometric representation to enable the operator to carry out his tasks far more efficiently, or in fact to walk in through a set of talks with things. An operator who isn’t not familiar with a particular product. So it can put a lot of time out of manufacturing or assembly service activity, et cetera, particularly when you combine that reality data from other sources which are being collected directly from the shop floor and analysed and then combined with the graphical representation.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:14:30] Okay. And Nick, how about from your side?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:14:37] Sure. Yeah, I think it’s really the concept of just being able to, you know, interact in ways that were not previously possible. Right. So we’re now able to interact with with the machines, with devices, with our environment in ways that we were not able to do so before. And I think that that’s really the power for IoT to an IIoT. Right. There’s a lot of different ways that we can interact with that regarding different tasks that we may do in our daily lives. Whether that’s a maintenance task, an operations task, maybe it’s a supervisory role. One of the other key ones would be safety. Right. So now I can interact with something in a way that may not per, you know, pose such a harm to the operator when we’re going through something like learning. So if we’re talking about, you know, and training or, you know, other activities, we’re really able to interact with with machines and with devices and ways that we were not able to previously. So that’s just kind of what I’ll what I’ll add to the conversation here.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:15:34] What about some use cases? I mean, I think, Nick, you’ve I’ve actually seen one of your use cases. Just give us some ideas as to where one might see the intersect between the AR, VR, MR world and the industrial Internet. Nick? Sorry.
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:15:57] So we have really. Yep. I think we some of the ones that we’ve really seen customers get interested in are particularly are maintenance. They are troubleshooting roles, supervisory roles and training roles. So this would kind of be the main topics where we’ve seen people, you know, have generated interest when it comes to a maintenance role. You could see somebody using a wearable. Right. They’re using this wearable to be able to project information in front of them in a mixed reality space, where that information is then pinned or fixed to a specific location. And we’re able to really have that content delivered to us where it’s meaningful. We’re freeing up our hands. We’re able to have other people visualise the content that we’re seeing as well. And I can get some assistance with that training, for example. So, you know, in a maintenance role, I think that that is one place where we really see that a lot of power. Another one would be in a supervisory role. Many times you’ve walked through a manufacturing plant and you see the OEE boards overhead. You see, you know, information that’s being displayed. But maybe we don’t want all that. But that information always visible to everybody or visible to somebody that might be in the facility that shouldn’t have access to that content. That’s another place where in a supervisory role we can have information that’s relevant, relevant to us at a location that it’s relevant without just publicly displaying that content. And then obviously a training role. Right. We’re able to much more safely train somebody on how to perform an operation or walk somebody through a much more complex operation, a complex, you know, assembly procedure. We can give step by step instructions, you know, for an operator. So I think that those are, you know, kind of training roles, the maintenance roles. And then that supervisory kind of the tertiary is is really where we see a lot of customers very interested in these technologies.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:17:43] All right, Stuart. Anything to add to that?
STUART THURLBY [00:17:47] Really supportive of what’s been said so far, I mean, certainly assembly bill is an area we work with a number of users on where they want to use wearable devices to help walk an operate to through the process. So, you know, maybe routine cables through a complex shapely chassis form provided not just with a graphical representation of what he asked to do, but also the actual operating instructions on the stage by stage basis. And obviously with these technologies, you can also have a checklist capability where the operator having completed parts of the process of his the checklist which verifies that that’s taken place. So it also, as well as providing help to the operator to carry out his job. It enables an audit process as well, because you can record what’s being done and also how the checklist process where things are forced to follow a particular sequence so we can have big benefits in helping relatively unskilled people carry out relatively complex tasks from also provide an audit capability to support it as well. OK.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:18:56] Martin, can you add to that? Yes.
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:18:59] So first of all, I’m fully aligned with what has been said. Those are the main use cases also that we see at our customers. And additionally, of course, you have the possibility to have life status of the machines that you are working on as a service technician, for example, and also life data coming from other systems. So IoT is not the only machine connection, but also connection to business systems like ERP systems or PLM. And you have the possibility to lay back all what you have done into work. Or I said maybe start an appeal and ERP system so that you have performed a service already or is that you are not allowed to do that. So let’s talk about that task right now at this, for example, oil and gas pipeline because of safety. So you could have a warning inside your head mounted display or smart glass that says, OK, is this pipeline is not safe to work on right now. Because that’s under pressure.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:19:58] Enrique, how about yourself?
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:20:04] So there are some I agree with use cases that we have mentioned. One thing that we need to start thinking about as Nick was saying what are the things that we couldn’t do before and now we can do because of technology. If you think a lot of mixed reality in that moment, they have virtual reality and people that are not co-located at the moment that problems arise. If you think about additional technologies like artificial intelligence playing the mix and and then they IoT that we have talked about, we start seeing its true manifestation or matching matching to people type of integration. And this brings to light things like new dimensions of what a twin can be. If you think about, for instance, there are other things that air have existed for years. They can always focus on their product lifecycle. Right. There are a lot like if you would for. Now when you mix all these things, there are three things. I’ll give you three examples of things that you couldn’t do before that now you can do when you’re simulating a piece of equipment. You always have to be big whether you want to work in the real part or that virtual part to be a real model or the virtual model. You could not do that before. You could not work simultaneously onboard models before. Now you can because of mix reality. And then on top of that, I mention artificial intelligence. If you think about now working simultaneously in that virtual environment, a real environment, different environment with with artificial intelligence. Now you can start reasoning with a machine at the moment that problems occur and that offers these level of neo collaboration that you couldn’t have before. So before a product type of twin, we’ll be able to create a lightweight model that you can exchange. But now you can even start thinking about the optimisation of the entire process. If you think about this angle, you can think about that process. And if you take it to an extreme, you can even have a twin system for aspiration.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:22:47] So thanks very much for that. What about? How would a customer determine what it is they’re trying to achieve and how they develop some return on investment by by linking together these technologies of a AR, VR, MR and the industrial Internet of Things? What are your thoughts? Stuart?
STUART THURLBY [00:23:12] I mean, the top level. You know, there’s there’s a number of obvious use cases in terms of manufacturing and I design reviews, digital twin, et cetera. And the whole thing is the users have obviously got to first of all, there’s a learning curve. You’ve got to understand what the technology offer, because the different technologies clearly have different strengths and weaknesses. And so the users need to gain some degree of knowledge of the base technologies. So that will help influence them. And what technologies are most appropriate to particular use case they might have? Clearly, with things like digital twin, then really you’re down to an AR, MR solution because VR is not really a technology from this raises. It’s fully immersive, which is which is relevant to things like the digital twin. So I think the users have got to get some level of understanding of the technologies so that they can inform their own thought processes on which technology would be most appropriate for a particular use case. But, you know, there’s already quite a lot of of the issues cases we’ve already mentioned, some of them in terms of service, training, assembly, build, you know, things like design review activity, manufacturing assembly, job floor layout. So there’s a lot of obvious areas. But what will give the most payback for a particular company obviously is very specific to them and their requirement, but they’ve got a learning curve to go through. That’s the important thing. They need to recognise that so that they can define the best use case to tackle. And then from that, you know, there’s no start to go to work out where the benefits will be, where the time reductions will be, et cetera, or fault reductions, whatever. Which will obviously be the basis of creating a good return on investment for themselves.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:25:06] Martin, how about yourself.
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:25:07] Yes. So so Stuart nailed it again to the point. So whenever you have digital information that is disconnected from its origin, I suppose you need an AR strategy, which means, for example, if you think about manufacturing, if you have 2D drawings and you have a 3D cap model in the origin, why not using 3-D as a AR as an AR instruction? for the shop floor worker, same for plant managing use cases as we have told a few minutes ago. Those kind of things need to the conclusions that you need in our strategy. We are in and in manner as well a good solution for training, for example. It could be as well on AR if you have a machine ready and you just need some parts of it. And in a digital version to to maintain this machine you can AR.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:26:05] Okay. Enrique.
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:26:08] Yes. So I will take it in two different angles. When I release the fact that I really believe technology today has advanced at a much faster pace than the evolution of business processes. And what I mean with that is that right now we can think about the customer. We can be customer centric and we can think about what is the outcome that I want to have for servicing better customer or for giving that customer a better product. And in that context, then I can go back and find out what is what is the data that I can use in order to create that that new value to the customer. Right. And here’s that. Here’s the thing. When you start thinking about all these technologies playing together. If you start thinking about a new business model that will benefit you. What services better your customer? The outside world will be completely disrupted in the sense that the new business models will give you a lot of exponential growth on their margins or on revenue. And this is a way to start not being too concerned about ROI because the other side of the equation is reducing cost. So here’s the deal. If you start thinking about things like what are the things that humans do today that are not too safe doing that platform or things that I need a lot of for mindset and and computational that I cannot do immediately. One of those things that I can create as extra capacity for people? So if you think about that level of artificial intelligence a combined with a mix reality environment. Now you’re bringing a completely new or different way of doing processes so you can really reconsider your entire process and take advantage of this technology that way. So that’s where you you’ll find out areas of improvement in your business and at the same time, the Arrow icons. Very quickly, to not be a concert, I’ll give you one example. For instance, a heat treatment facility, you can simulate it. But then as I mentioned before, now you can operate into the simulation and take action and think through even at the moment the part is heating almost inside the oven. Right. That’s a place where you cannot be as a human, but with artificial intelligence the mixed reality environment and artificial intelligence. I mean, sure, you have to be intelligent, but their level of connectivity that you mentioned would IoT. And now you can have these level of capabilities that you couldn’t do before. So I will I would go and tackle that angle in terms of whether I need it or not. And then I will tackle the angle of our way in terms of a huge innovation that you can bring internally for cost reduction or for new business model.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:29:05] I mean, Nick, do you see it? I mean, disrupting ROI models. I mean, is this something radically different?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:29:12] I do. And I think this kind of goes back to what something that Enrique talked about a little bit earlier is that, you know, you’re taking all of this new technology. And I think the first reaction is to say, what have we always done in the past? And now how can I do that instead of on a P.C. or how can I do that instead of on a tablet, do that through some sort of wearable or one of these other technologies. But I think it really disrupts the ROI and it kind of disrupts everything is starting to think about what could not have been done in the past. Right. And so trying to see where your return is on using VR, AR any of these other computational realities onto a topic or onto something that we had been able to do in the past. You know, that’s something that’s understandable. And kind of the first reaction, the first step, but where it’s really going to disrupt our lives when we start talking about something that you could have never done before. I think that that’s really what Enrique was just getting at as it’s kind of extending what we’ve been able to do, and he kind of talked about that earlier. So I just wanted to highlight that again, because I think that that’s what’s really powerful about these technologies, is that it’s not just a new way of doing something old. It’s a new way of doing something that we’ve never done before.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:30:26] Very interesting. Martin, what about when people are thinking about getting going? What are some of the decision making factors and and choices they need to consider and areas of preparation? How would you suggest people go about looking at the getting going phase of of these technologies?
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:30:45] Yeah, that’s a good question. So in generals, Belkin depends a bit on how far everyone has gone with it and with his digitisation strategy. Are they already using a AR VR technologies? VR is pretty old and pretty known in many companies. Are going from scratch. Do they want to make it on their own or do they want to buy something from an agency? You know, it all depends on those kind of factors. And you need to consider that hiring skilled resources is really problematic. You need to have programmers, for example, you have to have time. It’s time consuming that you create this content for AR or MR And you can easily overwhelm yourself with with such kind of things. So you need to know the market and all the solutions that are out there that might help you on those kind of struggles. So maybe there is a solution. That way, it don’t need programmers in the first place. And maybe you need also to connect with ERP, PLM or as IoT platforms. And you need to find a good way, a good strategy because there’s a lot of vendors, a lot of agencies doing those kind of things. So you need to have a defined scope and goals for this kind of project that you’re planning. And my advice, just broadly, my advice is to go agile, right? Don’t go with the old old fashioned waterfall project mode and fail in the end, go agile. Fail fast, but stand up again fast.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:32:19] All right. Good advice, Stuart. Can you add to that?
STUART THURLBY [00:32:22] Yeah, well, I’d certainly support everything Martin said. You know, certainly what you must do in terms of the use case is not the overly ambitious choosing use case, which is, you know, doable in a reasonable timeframe. Because if you don’t do that, you won’t get management buy in to work on the project, etc. because obviously probably the biggest cost for companies to go about this is is to is the actual allocation of their people. Time to do the work needed, whatever technology or vendor they choose to go with. So don’t be overambitious at the same time use a use case which will give the business a return on its investment. Ultimately, whether it’s something radical I can recall you said which you know is not doable with traditional technologies or methods, but whichever way you choose to jump, you’ve got to get something which you can achieve in a reasonable timeframe. So you can prove the benefits to the organisation. Otherwise, people just it is looking at all of you for technology’s sake. And so, you know, you’ve got to do a proof of concept. I mean, the basic principle I think everybody has to buy into is that there are so many new things here, both in terms of, you know, different systems and the new technologies with both the location itself that you’re going to have to deploy and go with a proof of concept in order to prove what technologies are best, what the return on investment is, and that for that therefore this can be achieved in a reasonable time frame needs to be a realistic proof of concept. Know there’s lots of YouTube videos which, if you watch them on some of this stuff, would suggest, you know, it takes five minutes to do everything. The dangers are that, you know, people are realistic in what they’re trying to achieve and aren’t realistic in their assessment of the technologies and what could what can be achieved today.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:34:18] All right. Enrique?
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:34:23] Yes. So here’s an interesting perspective of IoT getting going. I think our businesses and partnerships and people really need to be, number one, honest about their maturity level. That varies in that place where you’re working on the place that you want to change. It’s really important to understand, for instance, if you think about the level of intelligence that you have in equipment versus the level of connectivity that you’re having equipment, and then that the outcomes that you are pursuing us, it is like we said before, you need to focus on their customers and what can you bring new information for that, when you don’t have the data. To actually sustain annual business model or a new way of doing things. As Nick was saying, then it’s gonna be very difficult to be well-connected, but not as having anything to worry about or having a loosely coupled mall of mixed reality that aren’t well-connected to a lower kind of elegance. You won’t prevent you from getting your going. So first and foremost, I think it’s an assessment of the maturity level that you have in the business or in the process or in the niche is that you want to pursue is number one. Number 2 as Nick, where it has been hammering on all day long, is you’re gonna be able to do things that you couldn’t do before. And on top of that, you’re going to do them faster than ever before. Think about their flow of data, not more volume, a lot more variety and a lot more of a loss. So innovation is the part that you need to be very proficient about. So that’s where you need to really come with ideas of transformation first into a process and then on a business level.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:36:15] Right. Nick, what about yourself?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:36:18] Just just want to echo that. I think it really takes an understanding of of what you do you currently have available to you when you embark on a journey like this. By far, your greatest expense will be your engineering time and your man time. So understanding what you have available to you is probably your most critical decision that you need to make. Do I have those 3D models that I can use if that’s what I need for for my journey? What do I have available to me and how can I take advantage of that? But with that said, I think that looking at, you know, what is the risk that a particular process poses to my my production environment? If this is a process that is likely to have errors, but is repeated tens, maybe hundreds of times a day, then you can still justify the return on an investment in something that you’re going to be able to reduce process errors. Right. If you’re looking at embarking on a journey down, something that is done once or twice a week, once or twice a day, and it’s going to have a large capital expense when it comes to your engineering time, then that’s probably to be avoided. So it’s really, in my mind, looking at, you know, how often are we repeating this task? How, you know, prone is that task to having errors in that, as well as what do I have available to me that, you know, there’s various different technologies which we’ve been talking about and there’s obviously different levels that it takes to get those integrated. So simply, you know, superimposing an image in space using something like our augmented reality may be much simpler to get up and running than a full scale, you know, virtual reality environment. But it doesn’t mean that that’s necessarily the right answer. It’s just looking at, you know, how often am I going to do this? What is the risk that that current action poses to my environment? And then what do I have available to me in order to implement that?
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:38:10] All right. Very interesting, I suppose. What are the things that, you know, really useful from your experience, gentlemen, is to try and share some of the key learnings that you’ve had from your clients engagements? Martin, I mean, what are some of this sort of key learnings, you know, some surprising situations or results or hurdles that you’ve seen out in the field?
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:38:36] Well, first of all, you need to not be overambitious with yourself and stick to smaller steps and with those smaller steps you grow, if you want to scale an enterprise, you need to think about how do I deploy solutions and how do I maintain the solution and all those kind of things. So you also need to think about how ready is hardware currently. And if you think about, for example, AR or mixed reality or VR, you need to think about that hardware will change. So if you are not satisfied with with hardware, we often see that people are not satisfied with the current smart glasses that are on the market. So you still can start with AR or MR and wait for the don’t wait for the hardware that is upgrading itself and sooner or later. So you do not need to stop on working with AR because hardware is not ready yet. So we we have seen it at a lot of customers that they tend to say AR again. But in the end it’s the technology and hardware will evolve itself.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:39:45] Right. All right. Enrique, can you add your thoughts, to, to what people are finding interesting, what they are finding difficult.
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:39:54] Things, things that I have learned. If you think about key elements like the IoT have existed for many years, probably 20, 30 years, people have been doing remote monitoring. Right. In some areas, predictive analytics has been used for many years in different industries. I think that has changed significantly. That changes the game plan or altogether is the ability to have these systems now in a very inexpensive way, easy to do and fast to actually build together. Because of that, I believe industry has been able to learn how the patterns are bringing together new value to their business. And from that perspective, I think one of their biggest learnings that I have is that customers are still thinking that this is costly and that it will take months and you will have to have a multimillion dollar investment approval before getting going. And quite frankly, these days you can best assist within two days you can be running an internal connectivity and actually bringing all these libraries into a mix reality world. And it’s really easy and really liking a warship to to set up a BOC and I think that’s what customers and and the industry in general needs to start learning faster than it is an easy, inexpensive and very fast to do with the technology that we have today. So really like the faster we get into the innovation realm, the faster we’re going to see progressing these kind of technologies and environments working together.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:41:40] Right. Nick, how about you?
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:41:44] So I heard one word in there earlier that I think was the biggest challenge that a lot of people face, and that is support. When I think a lot of customers start to embark on these journeys, what they see is they they said, OK, this is my start. This is my end. And then, you know, we’ve now implemented that. But there’s that support model that needs to come around this as well as we change our processes, as we’ve changed the way that we are going about doing, you know, or our training. We need to continuously update these models as well. So that’s been one of the challenges for customers, is that there isn’t an end date. It’s not that we can stamp it down and say that we’ve completed the journey. However, I think that the flip side of that is one thing that a lot of customers of founders and Enrique was was alluding to this with the ease of implementation is nowhere near as difficult as a lot of people had thought it was going to be. So, you know, well, you do need to continually support your models and to continue to support your environments. People are finding that it’s much easier to implement than they had originally thought.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:42:44] Right. Thank you very much, Stuart.
STUART THURLBY [00:42:49] We agree with all the things they’ve been saying. I think obviously the cost point, as Enrique said, has changed dramatically compared to, say, the traditional VR world of caves and power waves. And also obviously the other benefit is that the devices are portable and easily moved and usable in any location. So that obviously facilitates different use cases, administrators as well. I think the other thing is enough to recognise that because the technologies are still relatively new in terms of how you apply a particular technology, we use case needs to be thought through. When you start a proof of concept, you need to accept that there will be iterations within there. You know, Martin talked about the agile approach and what that it’s a symbol implies is that you’re going to have to be agile both in terms of iterating and changing during the project, because something you thought might have been a good way of utilising something or doing something very often can be found to be not that relevant. Once you actually dig deeper in so being flexible also in the proof of concepts important as well.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:43:57] Okay. Thank you. So there’s two final questions. The first one is there’s obviously a lot of companies that are looking at these types of technologies. Not quite sure if it quite fits into their comfort zone needs or requirements, etc. Maybe sitting on the fence and what’s a short piece of advice that you’d give them to either move them one way or the other. Enrique.
ENRIQUE ANDALUZ [00:44:23] Yeah, I think a specially for those people sitting on the fence, I think understanding the maturity level I will ease is some that is something really relevant for them in the sense of really finding out how fast they can understand the data. Discover maybe if you start getting data and by just connecting things, you start discovering things that you couldn’t see before. And then by. By using traditional insights kind of tools like business intelligence type of tools, you can immediately understand their past and that and that fear of the present. And then the next step is really how we see that I can apply advanced analytics or even better artificial intelligence to these models. So people that are in defence, I will say get going and start trying. Start getting your feet wet because your competitors are actually moving fast or if not faster than you are. Right. We have been seeing a lot of small companies really taking the first place in the race very quickly in a couple of years. People are creating companies that are highly or much more evaluated than previous ones and examples like retailing, manufacturing, environment, all these kind of new technology use because they are fast to use and implement. I would say stop being concerned about AI there’s a lot of potential out there. Stop being concerned about the technology being difficult and slow. I believe it’s the time to start really experimenting and really trying to think about piloting things rather than just trying to do to have a lab science project in your facility.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:46:14] Thank you. Nick.
NICHOLAS PUTMAN [00:46:16] Yeah, that kind of answer, a little bit different question there, but I think it’s kind of a first step to to piggyback onto what a Enrique was saying. Maybe start with a, you know, a small project, start with something and maybe a supervisory role or something that’s non process critical, something that’s not a critical function to your facility. I think that that will kind of kerb some of the concern that you have. Right. If you’re really just looking to start this and you’re on the fence, there might be concern that I’m gonna give too much control or not enough control, or is this going to slow down something that we could be doing in the past or, you know, what are the adverse side effects? So I would suggest starting with a non critical role in the facility or non-critical role in the process, look towards something supervisory. See if you can get some more insight to your your operational management team, for example. There’s a lot of different ways that you can start without directly interacting with your process, where you can start to then see the benefit and really start to understand the technology. Once you have a more, you know, a higher level understanding of that technology, you can then start to think about how we can really introduce this truly into the IoT and truly to benefit us in the manufacturing space, whether that be from, you know, the ability to drive data to a new location, the ability to do some of these different processes, the maintenance that the training that we had been talking about. So that would be my suggestion is just start start in a much simple place. You know, I heard the you know, the agile process mentioned, too. So I think to start simple start with something non-critical to get build up that comfort level. So you really get comfortable with the technology, you know, kind of crawl before you can walk. Just jumping into a large project can could really turn you away from such a great technology.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:47:58] Martin, how about yourself?
MARTIN WASSMANN [00:48:00] Yeah, I completely agree with what has been said. So you need to become used to the new situation of new business models that are evolving with IoT and AR. And what you also need to be sure about is that, you know, the solutions and the market that is pretty big. A lot of vendors and a lot of things are going on in hardware and software side. So you can start with trials. So many vendors are offering free trials. All you go was a proof of concept and pay for a solution if you are sure to use that or for quite slow and quite charged moment, for example, and then go with a pilot before going into production. In order to not riskanything in your factory? Right.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:48:47] To thank you. And Steve is.
STUART THURLBY [00:48:52] I’d support all of those comments, certainly, I think. You know, keep it simple. Don’t get hung up on the technology, as Martin said earlier, the headsets, the different devices will evolve over the next few years. Don’t panic and worry about that now. Just accept that’s what’s going to happen and select a use case which is relatively straightforward and simple to implement. That way you’ll be able to expose the organisation. I think that’s thing you have to do is exposure to the department or group. So it’s relevant to buying it from within the company. It’s very difficult at these early stages to justify on an ROI basis. But if you get some momentum and some management backing in the company to support the project, because they can see the long term benefits of the business, it’s more likely to happen quickly and achieve the result.
ALLAN BEHRENS [00:49:47] Great. So I’d like to thank all of our guests, Stuart Thurlby from Theorem. Enrique Andaluz from Microsoft. Martin Wassmann from PTC. And Nick Putman from Rockwell. We’ve had some fantastic insights, I think, to the AR, VR, MR world and its connection to the industrial Internet of Things. Thank you very much to our guests and thank you to the audience for watching. For those of you who are interested, they’ll be a key, key takeaways document that will also be available following the show. And you can select the link on the Web page for that. So thank you very much to our guests and thank you to the audience. Thank you.