Google Glass To Be Used In BMW Production Cycle
|   Monday, December 15, 2014
Currently, BMW is conducting a pilot project in a United States plant whose aim is to determine whether the portable technology from Google can improve and expedite workflow in quality assurance.

To do this, employees use Google Glass to record a series of tests on pre series cars. The tool allows to takes pictures or videos as a means of documenting potential misconduct, offering a better, faster and clearer way to analyze and correct them later.
Currently, BMW Group assesses in what form this innovative pilot project can be transferred to other areas and production facilities.

The project is a part of the current 4.0 Industry campaigns carried out by the BMW Group, established to assess how new technologies can be applied to provide optimal support to employees in production and in its planning.

The objective of the pilot project at its plant in Spartanburg is to improve communication between quality controllers of the pre series analysis production center, on one hand, and the engineering development compartment, on the other hand. The BMW Group achieved a complete check of each pre series car, so as to guarantee premium quality on all vehicles in later series production. Previously, potential problems identified on the pre series cars were documented in writing. Quite often, the problem description was too vague, which in one in four cases raised new questions from the competent specialist department.

Smart glasses make it possible for analysis center employees to add photo or video sequences in their reports. The optical display mounted on the head is equipped with a camera that has three different settings: photos, video recording and video context. In the latter mode, the camera is turned on at all times; every two minutes, videos are temporarily stored and can be subsequently transferred by pressing a button to a factory server of the BMW Group for permanent storage. This is a great advantage especially for cases where damage cannot be accurately reproduced.

Dr. Jörg Schulte, BMW project coordinator, said that "During the term of the pilot project, we are planning to add a video call feature so that a problem can be discussed with the responsible development areas right there and then."

So far, the results of the pilot were so encouraging that it is considered to use the application for the final assembly stage of series cars. In this area, inspections are carried out according to a test plan and then documented on the stationary computers terminals. Depending on vehicle equipment, the number of individual tests that are performed varies between 10 and 25. To document, their controllers must make numerous trips between the car and the terminal.

Schulte also added that "With Google Glass, the testing staff could stay right at the vehicle look at the test plans on the device's integrated display and sign them off via voice control. So both hands would be free to conduct the tests at all times."
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