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Case Study

Achieving up to 10x cost savings using augmented reality

Augmented reality user

Using a client’s engineering model for a proposed railcar washing station, Advisian Digital tested the use of augmented reality to verify the engineering design.

Our client planned to repurpose an existing warehouse rail dock by turning it into a railcar washing station. It had drawn up the engineering plans, though there were concerns about how the equipment items would fit together in the limited space available.

Advisian Digital recommended it use augmented reality to perform a model review of its proposed engineering design.

Visualizing constructability

Augmented reality superimposes virtual objects and data on to the physical world, using handheld devices, such as your mobile phone or tablet, or wearable devices, such as the Microsoft HoloLens.

Our team took the client’s engineering models for the new washing station and adapted it for use in HoloLens. Once at the facility, we used HoloLens to place the proposed engineering model onto the actual installation site and took photos and videos of the virtual installation.

In less than two hours, and all before a single piece of equipment had been ordered, we identified $30,000 worth of design errors.

Here's what we found:

  • The size of the items was more apparent - the team was aware that space would be tight, but seeing the design in situ brought greater understanding and appreciation of the area available

  • Several valves would be best flipped by 180 degrees so that the actuator could be oriented above the valve

Augmented reality what the user sees
  • There was enough room for an egress pathway

  • A filter was too low to the ground to get a bucket underneath to drain - the cost to refabricate the piping would have been $10,000

  • A concern on the mounting of one pump - the cost to rework mounting and piping would have been $5,000

Augmented reality verifying egress
  • The design had two air dryers mirrored, but the piping wasn’t routed correctly for one unit -the cost to refabricate piping would have been $15,000

  • The clearance around the equipment was suitable for maintenance

  • The ergonomics of the valve heights were suitable, but some valves needed to be relocated

Augmented reality view ducting

Increasing on-site safety and reducing capital expenditures

Using augmented reality demonstrated how easy it can be to visualize constructability and begin the thought process for installation. It also showed how the technology can streamline operations, increase on site safety, and ultimately reduce capital expenditures.

"It’s easier to understand things in the actual location since we have reference points.”

– Client Project Engineer

For more information on the application of augmented reality for your next project, contact
Jim Purvis


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