The Business Challenge:
mld digits’ client LEWA, known for the world’s most advanced diaphragm pumps, asked for their help in presenting their LDZ3 Pump at the ACHEMA trade fair. Like many other manufacturers, LEWA had problems showing a static product in action and explaining the advantages to their customers.
Create an Augmented Reality (AR) application, to demonstrate the workings of the pump which could be projected onto the static pump at the trade fair. At a workshop with the client, mld digits defined which features and functions of the pump had to be demonstrated through the AR application. Using CAD data of the pump, which the client provided, mld digits created a real time 3D model.
mld digits’ key challenges lay in re-creating the complex technical setup of the pump and ensuring the realistic looking process and fluid movements in real time. Throughout projects, mld digits used their real time production workflow, which enables them to handle client feedback and change requests quickly and efficiently. Through online sessions with the responsible client technical support, they could show and discuss the model, its movements and animations on the fly. This process is an easy and fast solution, helping their clients see what the end product will look like. There is no need for long renderings and several feedback loops of approval rounds.
The AR application is designed to run on Apple iPad Pro and is very easy to use: all that needs to be done is to start mld digits’ AR application and aim the iPad Pro at the real pump. The application recognizes the complex parts and starts the augmentation – projecting additional content, animations and insights onto the real pump. Due to the large size of the pump, they defined three entry-points to access within the app for convenient user experience. On the “Remote Head” you can see oscillating liquid with heat exchange. Look into the “M8 pump head” with a distance based transparency. The closer you look at the pump head the more transparent it gets.
The most complex entry point is the “M9 pump head” were mld digits showed different scenarios. What happens if the suction and pressure line is blocked or a foreign object destroys the membrane? All these scenarios and their effect on the mechanism and movements on the pump can be explored. And to make it easier to explain these scenarios to customers, a slow-motion button helps.
A very important step in producing an AR application based on shape recognition is the testing on the real product. mld digits tested the tracking on-site at the client assembly hall during production. They had to ensure, that the CAD data that they received at the beginning of the project, matched the real pump, to ensure a smooth and stable tracking of the application. During the on-site visit they realised that the real pump differed in several areas from the CAD data, however, they were prepared and adjusted the 3D data live on-site in our 3D software.
The positive feedback mld digits received during their visit from those employees passing by in the assembly hall was amazing. They were very excited about their company’s innovative use of marketing. Also, when the LEWA training manager saw the app he ordered a version for internal training purposes. Demonstrating and teaching the mechanism of a pump is much easier through AR (3D) than using traditional 2D images, diagrams, linear videos or text.
The Trade Fair:
The AR application was a huge success at the “Achema 2018” in Frankfurt! The real LDZ3 pump was the main attraction at LEWA’s stand. Every LEWA sales representative was happy and constantly busy presenting the AR application to interested visitors via their iPads. Passing visitors were drawn to the exhibit and the stand was packed with those wanting to explore the pump through mld digits’ AR application. Their client received a lot of amazing feedback from visitors to its stand – and in turn they received complimentary and positive feedback from the client.
Following the trade fair mld digits’ client ordered updates and adaptations of the application. As the real pump was disassembled after the show, they advanced the application to ground plane detection instead of shape recognition.
The ground plane detection augments the pump onto every surface that has a bit of a structure like a floor or a wooden table.
Now a sales representative can show the pump in every meeting to a prospective client, as it can easily be augmented onto a desk and be used to explain the pump with all its movements, just like at the trade fair. The pump is now scalable in size and can be shifted and turned in the recognized area. In addition, a 1:1 version of the pump can be projected into the room.
This AR application is also now available as public app in the iOS AppStore. Just search for “LEWA orange showroom” and there you go.
STUDIO: mld digits