PTC’s Vuforia Instruct streamlines product inspections

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If you are a manufacturer and you have built a product, then before it leaves the factory you have to inspect it thoroughly. This is to make sure that the whole thing is put together properly and also works well. According to data from PTC, 67 percent of manufacturers still use paper for this purpose. That is, someone walks around with a checklist in his hand to check everything manually. The company wants to change that with Vuforia Instruct.

Vuforia is the branch of PTC that deals with Augmented Reality and its applications in factory environments, among others. These AR capabilities are part of the Vuforia Enterprise Augmented Reality Suite. As a customer, you can use that to make AR possible for your organization. We wrote three years ago (in Dutch, so you may have to translate first) about what you can do with this. In the meantime, the suite obviously has expanded, and the possibilities have only increased.

Out-of-the-box products

As already mentioned, you can turn to the Vuforia Enterprise AR Suite if you would like to add AR to your processes. With that, you can set everything up exactly the way you like it on your shop floor. However, PTC is also busy (pre-)building more and more SaaS services, aimed at specific applications. Just recently we reported on the introduction of Vuforia Expert Capture and Creo Generative Design Extension. The first of these makes it relatively easy according to PTC to add AR to the shop floor. Think about guiding workers step-by-step through operations via a Hololens. The Creo products are part of PTC’s CAD offering, the area of the company’s 1980s roots.

Both of the recently announced services are SaaS services that run on PTC’s Atlas platform. This is also the case with Vuforia Instruct. You can also think of these products as part of more vertical specialization in PTC’s offerings. In the case of Vuforia Instruct, PTC has taken a very common process among its customers, which is to inspect products before they leave the factory, and built something for it. In principle, of course, customers can work with the Vuforia Suite themselves to use AR for this, but practice has shown that this is apparently still a bit too big a step. PTC has therefore taken it upon itself to offer this as an out-of-the-box product.

What does Vuforia Instruct do?

If you look at it from the perspective of processes within factories, PTC ensures with Vuforia Instruct that not only the development of the product uses digital technologies. You extend this to the front-line employees who do the final inspection. Instead of walking around a finished product with a paper in hand, they can now use a tablet. By pointing that tablet at the product, they see which parts need to be inspected. Not only that, they also see there what the parts must meet to be approved.

Vuforia Instruct uses the 3D CAD data that you already have available as an organization anyway. At least, if you are an OEM and develop the products yourself, or at least have access to this data. According to PTC, the application of Vuforia Instruct is not limited to quality control in factories. You can also use it to improve and accelerate Field Maintenance on site. The new SaaS offering will be available to customers from the time of the announcement.