Google Glass augments the factory

As Google Glass picks up steam with consumers looking to augment their daily lives, it has also received attention from the manufacturing industry as a possible new tool in the automated factory.

Google Glass has been getting a lot of press over the past several months, but mostly for consumer augmented reality applications such as restaurant reviews/ratings and shopping. Now the technology is coming to manufacturing with the release of the MTConnect + Google Glass from Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO).

MTConnect is a manufacturing industry standard established for the organized retrieval of process information from numerically controlled machine tools.  The free Glassware application can be used to monitor machine tools using Google Glass.

With MTConnect + Google Glass, the wearer can view a variety of data coming from each machine in the factory and have an unprecedented look into the machines – including being able to see inside the machines themselves if cameras are installed within the machines.

Coupled with MTConnect functionality, Google Glass recognizes the machine tool, retrieves appropriate information from MTConnect and parses the MTConnect stream to display it for the Google Glass wearer. According to ITAMCO, with MTConnect + Google Glass, the user will be able to view the following information from the MTConnect-compatible equipment: power status, emergency stop, alarm/messages, block, controller mode, line, program, execution, path feed-rate, spindle, axis positions, spindle overrides, feed-rate overrides, machine location, part location, and current part status.

If a camera is placed inside a machine, Google Glass can stream the video to the user and overlay the machine data so the user can compare and analyze the information. ITAMCO notes that, with the Internet connection and email capabilities built into Google Glass, a user could also record and share this data.

MTConnect + Google Glass could be a huge change in the way that production processes are managed and monitored in the factory.

To read more, visit Automation World.

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