Peter Anderson | Oct 10, 2012

Holden has teamed with the University of South Australia, adding a new augmented reality system to train workers in its Body Shop.

Often used in advertising, the Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) system will help engineers and line workers know what to expect on the production line.

The company says it is pioneering the use of augmented reality in manufacturing.

Unlike virtual reality systems, augmented reality uses real objects - in this case steel body panels - and projects images on to them, removing the need for specialised viewing equipment like goggles, or powerful computers generating the entire environment.

“The system consists of two projectors housed in basic box-shaped enclosures and projects welding patterns on to the steel car body panels which indicate the precise locations which the line operator needs to weld,” Senior Engineer Con Bouras said.

The system is located at Holden Vehicle Operations (HVO) in Elizabeth, South Australia.

Mr Bouras also said that the SAR's usefulness isn't restricted to the body shop, but could be used across the entire site at Elizabeth.

Ash Doshi, a research fellow at the University of South Australia, said the SAR was proposed by his colleagues Professor Bruce Thomas and Doctor Ross Smith.

“It’s safer compared to laser projectors, users do not have to wear special goggles or head mounted displays, has a large visual display area and is not restricted to individual operators," Mr Doshi said.

The visualisation system can also be used to train unskilled operators at a significant lower cost and risk."

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