From the NGRAIN team

In Part 1 we discussed four capabilities of Producer Pro enabled by our voxel engine. In part 2, let’s discuss some examples of how our design philosophies provide some very interesting capabilities.

Simple and Obvious to Use

The ability to easily create, animate and visualize fluid flows in real-time, as showed by the colored arrows in Figure 3.  Such a capability is rarely seen in MRO software, but available in 3D modelling software (such as MAYA and MAX).  However, it is so fast and straightforward to create in Producer Pro that it saved our production team many, many hours having this easy-to-use capability.

Producer Figure 3

Figure 1. Fluid flows, as seen by the red arrows.

The ability to easily create, animate and visualize physical constraints, such as hinge or bolt constraints.  This capability allows the part to move correctly, in a hinge or bolt like fashion.  Such a capability usually requires extreme precision in the geometry, so that it can be physically simulated.  However, our design philosophy does not require extremely detailed geometry, but can easily emulate the behavior with very few simple steps taken by the user.

Speed of Production

Change management and associated QA tools: it is very rare that a production of the MRO deployment occurs sequentially as defined by the exact workflow.  It is common that once you finished with the 3D model content, and then close to being finished with the MRO procedures, there will inevitably be required changes in the 3D model (either due to some user error, or change of manufacturing supplier, etc.).  In most software, this means that the MRO procedures need to be recreated from scratch.  Under many circumstances, the NGRAIN tools (which we affectionately name as LAMA) allow you to preserve the MRO procedures, while only needing to modify small aspects.  This capability saves a significant amount of production time.  As well, our software also contains QA tools to validate where changes might have occurred, to ensure that the user only focuses on the areas of change.

Configurations: as expected, the largest portion of the data for the MRO procedure would be the 3D model.  With NGRAIN configurations, much of the 3D model can be shared amongst slightly different variations (for example, we can apply it for the F35, where there are many common components, but there are variants F35A, F35B, F35C).  Done in this way, if any changes are needed to the common components, it is usually only updated once and propagated automatically to the variants.  And the configurations work such that only the necessary components would be loaded for the current configuration, thus deployment is very efficient.   This configuration setup also allows many different languages to be added (and loaded as needed) and applied to the same 3D model – again, saving memory, filesize, and maintenance work in the future.

Ease of Deployment

Augmented reality: NGRAIN has become a leader in 3D augmented reality for industrial applications, including MRO needs as integrated within Producer Pro.  The interesting implications for AR in this domain are:

  • Our content creation process leading up to the point of deployment, can be entirely repurposed for both VR (standard usage) and AR applications.
  • In a project where only AR is required, the content creation can be shortened due to the equipment in-context does not need to be digitally created, and the level of detail of the 3D models do not necessarily need to be as high quality – these two factors can significantly shorten content creation times.
  • Though adoption of real projects towards AR has been less than VR, many acknowledge that AR is the way of the future, so this NGRAIN capability will be ready!

VTT (Virtual Task Trainer) capabilities:

  • VTT builder: can create IETMs, integrated with NGRAIN MRO and training materials, all ready for web deployment. See example VTT in Figure 1.
  • 2D-3D associations: mechanics are usually presented with 2D schematics of equipment components, of which cannot be easily mapped into what the components look like or where they reside in 3D. It is possible to associate a component in 2D with the model in 3D, and those components highlighted using context view in 3D.
  • Parts familiarization: the TASK concept within the NGRAIN MRO software can be adopted to allow users to do parts familiarization operations.