David Thomson (AVEVA Solutions): The Immersive Digital Asset



you hi everybody thanks for coming and yeah I'm here from Aviva which is a small software company 50 years old now and I'll explain a little bit more about that and I'm head of a small group developing AR and VR applications and I'm here really to tell you about something called the immersive digital asset so we we've heard about the digital twin and how companies going towards a sort of digital future are trying to create and manage the digital twin well I want to share with you that some insights that my team have learned about making that digital twin accessible in a R and B are applications so a little bit of background just so you understand where I'm coming from and the kind of projects that our customers work with so who knows what this is don't say a teapot this is a Utah the Utah teapot sorry which is something developed by one of our sort of founders if you like Mike I think Newell if you can correct me who's actually one of the first people working at cat Center it's a Cambridge University spin-off in UK we then went forward and developed the world's first 3d plant design system it looked a bit like this for designing process plant chemical plants oil refineries this kind of stuff we got color and shading is the hardware improved and these days this is what our technology looks like this is a model kindly provided by shell but it's a whole oil rig they're displayed on our technology touchscreen interface all of the information behind the scenes and the way that our industry works like the previous speaker Guido and is a little bit different from some of the other speakers you've seen Boeing and the automotive manufacturers because our customers make bespoke products made to order products so just to give you an example again the kind of scale of the products that our customers make this is actually to two things not not it's not two ships it's the world's biggest ship pioneering spirit made by DSME for all seas and this ship can literally come along and lifts up an oil rig office legs can lift 50,000 tons and take it back and decommission it and the oil platform here which has a kind of black history but this is a small one thirteen thousand tons also made by our customer s BM and so some interesting things about what our customers do with software that basically give us some challenges when we come to making AR and VR applications so as I said these projects are pretty much one offs there's no production line there's no factory that build these things they're all fabricated and on something like this is a kind of example oil platform there's probably like 200 to 400,000 individually fabricated items so there's no production line making the same thing hundreds of times there are millions of attributes there are tens of thousands of drawings associated with this and perhaps most interestingly our customers spend millions of man-hours to build these wonderful 3d models but the weird thing is even though they build these wonderful 3d models they still use drawings as the main communications medium so they use drawings to show design intent they use drawings to capture changes they use drawings to communicate to workers what they have to do in the field and drawings are kind of really convenient because you can carry them with you there I think loved the most because you can stamp drawing and say yes this is an approved document and that's the main reason why they're used but as you may have heard from some of the other presenters drawings are kind of out of date as soon as you print that drawing out and the CAD model gets changed then you're working from bad data and that's a big problem in our industry so luckily we're living in an age where we have the fantastic immersive visualization technology which we believe is totally going to change the game in terms of how people work in the construction site how they work in operations and all these wonderful things so immersive visualization is not a new thing for our industry and not a new thing for our company this is 1997 I thought it was nineteen seven or something but it's actually 1997 and this is our Silicon Graphics reality cave the Silicon Graphics machine cost over a million British pounds the joystick alone costs two thousand pounds and so this was a very expensive facility but even though our world use uses drawings management would pay to come and use this facility because access to 3d was so critical for them to make these very big decisions about these engineering projects today every single user on a project potentially has access to one of those virtual reality case through headsets like HTC vive so this is a quote I kind of stole but this is something that's very significant so instead of 3d being accessible so stereoscopic 3d being accessible to the management and the VIPs it's accessible to every single designer and some of our customers have 2,000 designers the use cases of this a kind of obvious was checking design is checking economic checking for safety and so on and we already have customers starting to use this in design review augmented reality on the other hand this is a screen shot from our hololens demo and has huge potential it's basically allows you to bring with you the digital twin or the digital asset into any job that you do and of course like other speakers have said most of these use cases are in the field so it's inspection maintenance commissioning fabrication these kind of things so for our industry the use cases are actually pretty straightforward there's a very strong use cases already there in our industry so just to kind of summarize where we are and this is primarily oil and gas power generation shipbuilding and 3d has always been I say always but for decades 3d has been used in the design and construction process or design and fabrication process with augmented virtuality technology this is going to drive a new wave of adoption of 3d into maintenance and operations that's a very significant thing the game for many of the players in this industry but um it's not all you know a straight road there are challenges and you'll see kind of common themes and these challenges especially for our industry model size is a big problem so customers sometimes they want to see the whole model simple as that they want to see the whole goddamn oil rig on their screen and these things you know we're talking tens of millions of polygons they're not modeled to the you know the micron detail that cars are but there's just lots of parts in there so model size is the problem and we've had our own problems trying to build hololens applications that will read the oil rigs and display that kind of thing but the second one which I want to dwell on which is very important and some people have brought it up but it's basically the fact that getting a 3d model a CAD model into an environment where you can build an AR application or potential so VR application has a horrible production pipeline this is a kind of game technology terminology but basically you have to convert the CAD model into some kind of mesh format you usually lose colors and you might lose the hierarchy of the model you usually have to simplify it and this is this is a real pain in the ass and I've got some numbers for you that you can quote but on a couple of projects we worked on this is like 150,000 K of services in a low-cost country to do this and that's for kind of every project and that's just to convert and simplify you know a whole oil rig and the most important thing is that when you convert a model and you decimate it you're disconnecting your augmented reality or virtual reality application from the digital asset and that's completely against what the executives are trying to do in the companies that we work with and so integrity of the model starts to become compromised as soon as you start copying a file making the visualization kind of data now the other challenge that we faced is kind of a unique coin as a software developer so we make software products and but as soon as we started talking to customers about augmented reality applications they would take great Oh hololens we want a commissioning app we want a an app for training people we want an app for sales with an app for inspection and because these applications are so bespoke we can possibly make all these hundreds of applications for every single company that we serve with our engineering tools so you basically need okay sorry it's got my slides the visualization performance thing I think we've got cracked so this is our own rendering engine this is again the shell model this is a very large model in terms of polygons but we're able to you know fly through this with an oculus at a very good frame rate so that's just a small example and that runs 52 million polygons sorry approximately I've interpolated from a smaller model but that runs nicely at 90 frames per second so we've got the model performance thing so from our sites this comes from a single data from the CAD system is going to come directly from the CAD data as soon as we've got our service that can produce this CAD this data on the fly finished but basically the production pipeline we start to solve that problem from our site and as you know a lot of the applications especially for hololens are built with game engines unity specifically in this case and that's because they allow you to add interactivity they allow you to add very special effects and very importantly as you've seen from Boeing others because they allow you to deploy to different platforms to tablet to head-mounted devices so you know our idea and this is something that I think industry could be interested in adopting generally is that okay from our point of view from a software point of view we make software that allows you to create the digital assets or an oil rig model or a ship model and that allows you to perhaps manage the data associated without their engineering attributes that kind of thing and then we've got the world where most of the augmented reality applications are developed so it's units in this case I think the unity asset store will become much more enterprise friendly with enterprise where the assets in there it's not the case today and our idea is simply to connect together our platform our digital asset platform with an SDK that serves up graphics engineering data entering documents and reads back into the CAD database things like markup and redlining that might be done in an augmented reality application and if you kind of extend this idea we seeing that augmented reality applications are used in operations mostly or on the field it kind of makes sense that the developers of Internet of Things software's or operational software like products from GE or mine sphere from Siemens or OSI soft do the same thing so that those augmented reality applications have access to you know enterprise level operational data allowing effectively this ecosystem of developers many of you here to create all of these bespoken custom augmented reality applications yet retaining the link to that enterprise data in the backend so again we've started our work to do that this is the same shell platform running in unity so we're basically started with the graphics integration this data is coming one step removed directly from our CAD system and but we can render the same 52 million triangles in unity at 60 frames per second which we think it's pretty good and and of course from this you could develop a unity application that you can send your customers that kind of thing so to summarize and the immersive digital assets so realizing this immersive digital asset that's going to be accessible from head-mounted devices and VR and critical to do that is really to connect the immersive digital asset to the master 3d data and entering data connected to the operational data and but do that in an environment which is accessible to AR and VR developers and in our case that's through unity at the moment so let's a look at time four thank you very much for your attention

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