Voormi | June 02, 2022
The next horizon in the future of CORE CONSTRUCTION® Technology has been announced by VOORMI®, the world's most innovative technical apparel manufacturer. The company's affiliate technology supplier (SWNR Technologies) is now delivering its first view into the future of textiles with improved functional cores, following a multi-year investment in advanced machinery.
When we launched the first generation of CORE CONSTRUCTION® Technology, there was so much excitement and speculation about where the technology could go. From Outside Magazine's vision for membranes in everything we wear, to Wired magazine deeming it thebiggest advancement in outerwear in the last 40 years, the opportunities out there felt boundless. What followed was a multi-year development project aimed at realizing the full potential ofcore-knitted textiles."
Timm Smith, CTO at VOORMI
While the first CORE CONSTRUCTION® products were made to improve the performance and weather protection of fleece and other thermal layers, Smith says the long-term goal has always been to make it possible to use even more complex functional substrates in the wider knitwear market and to look into the vast world of opportunities outside of clothing.
"From the beginning, fine-gauge knits, technical yarns, and the insertion of advanced substrates have all been key areas of focus for us," said Smith. "As is the case with most new 'methods of make' – it ultimately came down to equipment limitations. This Gen2 machinery truly opens up the world for us in terms of capability. With brand new patterning and multi-core insertion capabilities, there's no reason why every yard of knitted fabric in the world shouldn't contain a multi-functional core."
A lot of new VOORMI products are coming out this year, and the company has also started a number of pilot projects outside of the clothing industry. These projects aim to improve the functionality of things like automotive applications and e-textiles.
KUKA | May 27, 2020
With its sensitive capabilities, the LBR iiwa from KUKA measures gap dimensions and flushness of body components such as between the tailgate and side wall or between the headlights and hood. At the same time, the worker carries out further quality tests on the car body. Automation in final assembly is a fairly new field. The fact that humans and robots share the workplace along the flow assembly line has been a rarity up to now.
The measurements are relative to the component. This enables the robot to carry out its measuring task completely autonomously in flow operation. In contrast to conventional robot-supported measurement, this is a real added value - Otmar Honsberg, Head of Application Engineering at KUKA
In combination with optical detection and its haptic sensor technology, the sensitive KUKA LBR iiwa automatically adapts to new situations in the event of belt vibrations or stops, and continues to carry out its work seamlessly. “The “Assembly in Motion” solution makes the robot an intelligent positioning unit for the measuring device”, adds Honsberg.
Engineering Report | May 19, 2020
Covid-19 will accelerate the business world’s move to Augmented Reality and other IoT solutions, as companies across the UK look to adapt to a new working normal.
It enables them to capture every step of the process/build/assembly and create an interactive step-by-step guide for other people to follow.
This is where the use of AR technology for collaboration and remote support of frontline workers has soared.
The way frontline workers have seamlessly adapted to the benefits of AR to continue to perform their roles during the pandemic has paved the way for greater adoption and a desire to tap into huge cost savings and greater productivity.
Whilst Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become a norm for office workers, physical specialists have embraced digital transformation to build ventilators, deliver crucial training to apprentices and solve production bottlenecks on automotive lines.
This has been achieved by allowing remote experts to see the physical world in video and annotate physical objects during the call, using a smart phone, tablet or wearable tech, such as Microsoft HoloLens glasses.
It enables them to capture every step of the process/build/assembly and create an interactive step-by-step guide for other people to follow, whether that is in a factory thousands of miles away or in a sister company in a neighbouring city.
Read more: Made Smarter, Enginuity Launch 'ENGAGE' Platform to Enhance Digital Engineering Skills
Traditionally, this would involve engineers travelling to the factory, but suddenly Covid-19 meant that was not possible. So, how do you facilitate collaboration between two frontline workers where one is a veteran technician who needs to explain a laboratory process to a new technician? This used to involve mentoring or ‘job shadowing’, but social distancing makes that difficult.
This is where the use of AR technology for collaboration and remote support of frontline workers has soared, enabling experts to be much more productive in helping to debug problems and resolve production issues remotely.
Covid-19 has meant industry has been forced to adapt quicker than it probably would have done under normal economic circumstances, but now they’ve had a taste of the operational and financial benefits it can deliver, I can see a major rise in adoption.
This will be through knowledge exchange and it can also be through knowledge retention when AR can leverage and store the experience and expertise of an ageing workforce so it can be passed down to the next generation. I genuinely believe Augmented Reality will become the Zoom of the physical world.
A good example of the power of Augmented Reality in work capture and exchange has been seen recently in the urgent production of ventilators for the NHS.
Smiths Medical, a medical device manufacturer participating in the Ventilator Challenge UK, needed to ramp up production and tapped into the capabilities of PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture and Microsoft HoloLens to capture the crucial assembly steps and processes involved in building one of its Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems (RMVS).
This was uploaded and edited to create a virtual assembly guide and relayed, through wearable equipment or smart devices, to the factories of consortium partners that haven’t made ventilators previously.
Read more: This U.S. construction firm is raising buildings via drone
Protecting all the workers involved in the project was of paramount importance to the consortium and this is where AR proved ideal for removing a lot of the dangers, by virtually placing a ventilator expert into a partner factory – thus reducing the risk of the virus spreading.
Whilst Augmented Reality has a lot to offer it has to be implemented carefully and companies need to consider three main things:
Prioritisation in how AR can be used across your business and where will you gain the most operational and financial benefits Could it be sales and marketing, could it be on the shop floor or in the field?
Secondly, make sure the solution is designed with a device type in mind to ensure a good user experience and this covers whether it is head-mounted or hand-held. Don’t be swayed into going with the latest technology, make sure you choose the right application.
And finally, AR is only as good as the quality of the content and the data that companies use.