When shopping for the best Augmented Reality (AR) solution, no two clients are the same. However, they often do have similar questions and concerns. Here, we share the journey of one of our clients, WEMO, before they decided to work with TWNKLS.
Together with WEMO, specialist in designing and building high output machine lines for forming sheet metal into an end or a half product, TWNKLS created an application for HoloLens that enables a machine operator to independently run a full production facility that consists of one or more WEMO production lines. Paul Hoekstra, Managing Director of WEMO, tells us their customer journey and shares his insights.
What challenge were you facing at WEMO when you contacted TWNKLS?
At WEMO, only a trained machine operator can work with our line, even with our current simple human machine interface. Some of our clients, for example in China and the USA, regularly face the problem that their machine operators suddenly leave the company for a higher paying position elsewhere. It is costly and time-consuming to hire a new machine operator and train them to work with the interface. To address this problem, WEMO was focused on how to make their human machine interface so that anyone could operate it. In other words, we were looking for a way to make the work of the end-user (the operator) as easy and efficient as possible. Finally, in order to apply industry 4.0, we needed more than just a nice marketing term; we needed a real pragmatic solution!
What made you decide to look externally for a new solution?
WEMO strives to continuously innovate in order to expand on our unique selling points and to stay ahead in the market; we invest 5% of our revenues each year in innovation. Furthermore, we wanted to bring our service up to an even higher level, looking not only at the client request and the technology, but also at the needs of the end user. How can we make the work of the operator easier to improve efficiency? It is important to us to keep a focus on people and in this way to enable the human and the machine to learn from each other.
How did you make the decision to work with TWNKLS?
We first looked at who in the AR world was capable of taking something that already exists – our human machine interface with additional service options – and converting that into a holographic operator system by using augmented reality. That narrowed it down to just a few candidates worldwide, including TWNKLS. Besides the fact that TWNKLS is a Dutch company with very good references, there was also a personal click between the colleagues at WEMO and TWNKLS. Finally, we both operate in the highest segment of our own technology.
How do you find the collaboration with TWNKLS?
Perfect: we can read and write together, we share the same DNA and we are both motivated by the same drive and passion. Also, we are challenging each other constantly.
What advice would you give to others thinking about implementing augmented reality for their organization?
Think carefully about what you want to use it for beforehand. Spend enough time setting up the right scope. It can be overwhelming having so many possibilities to choose from with AR.