Porsche turns to AR to grade up its service

Porsche wants to use the CAD data from its new Taycan for the world’s first workshop solution using augmented reality (AR). The goal to make service and maintenance of the company’s first fully electric sports car easier and faster. An added bonus for workshop employees: Because they no longer need to search through page after page of repair manuals, their job is a lot more fun.

For many people, the sight of a Porsche sends their heart racing. The legendary sports car brand’s latest model, the Porsche Taycan, is unique in several ways. It’s the first fully electric serie-production vehicle to come out of Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The company has developed a brand-new workshop solution based on augmented reality (AR) just for the Taycan. And with the Taycan, Porsche After Sales is beginning “to make the PLM concept a reality.”

 

Such is the appraisal of a man who should know what he’s talking about. Steffen Loose has been working with Porsche for many years and is now the Siemens Account Manager for the sports car manufacturer. Porsche is currently working with Siemens to develop the PARiS after-sales solution, which stands for “Porsche Augmented Reality in Service.”

The technology has to stay manageable

“The technology in our vehicles is becoming more and more complex,” says Robin Banse, Specialist in Workshop Information Systems for Technical After Sales at Porsche AG. The number and complexity of components that are increasingly interconnected is growing, with emphasis on the electronic rather than the mechanical. Digitalization is increasing the number of functions. Ultimately Porsche is offering its customers more and more options for configuring and customizing their dream car however they want. “Our job is to make sure the vehicles can still be repaired,” says Banse.

Technologies challenge workshop employees

“The new Porsche Taycan introduces many new technologies, which is why it also makes perfect sense to introduce new technologies in the workshops. We want to do everything we can to help our employees understand this new technological complexity so that they can service the vehicles,” says Banse. Of the many technological innovations in the Porsche Taycan, one stands out in particular: the 800-volt battery. A fully electric powertrain at this performance level poses completely new tasks for workshop employees.

AR makes work more fun

“With PARiS, we’re pursuing our goal of making work in the workshop more fun,” says Banse, who makes sure joy is also always part of his work too. “With new and innovative workshop media, we want to make service more visual, playful, and interactive.”

X-ray view of the vehicle

“Our goal is to use augmented reality to create a sort of X-ray view of the vehicle so that we can see inside,” explains Banse. “For example, workshop employees can view the charging system, battery, electric machine, and cable connections inside the body.” Even the current paths are visible from the outside. “We’ve animated the charging currents, which means we can see how the electrical current flows through the high-voltage cable during the charging process,” says Banse.

3D animation instead of bigger manuals

“Our motto is ‘A picture’s worth a thousand words,’” explains Marc Robl, PARiS Project Manager and Head of Product Definition & Information After Sales. “Show the colleagues what needs to be repaired using animated 3D data! We don’t want them to have to read through long repair manuals,” he says. “First of all, it’s no fun. And second, vehicle technology has become so complex that it’s very complex to describe it all in text form alone.”

Thanks to the PARiS after-sales solution, service employees simply have to hold their tablet up to the vehicle, which is automatically recognized based on its silhouette. Animated 3D data for the particular vehicle part is instantly displayed, including a description of the component, technical data, and handling instructions, such as the correct tightening torque for a bolt.

The “heart of the matter” – Teamcenter

The data from development, including information on the parts of the Porsche Taycan that require maintenance, is fed into the tool chain. “Then we get to the heart of the matter, the Teamcenter system for visualizing and collaborating on 3D data,” says Robl. This software from Siemens is used to manage the vehicle data, generate scenarios, and publish the scenarios worldwide. Visualization technology makes it possible to display the 3D animation at any Porsche Center in the world, either on tablets or on the workshop computer.

 

“We see Teamcenter as an integrative solution that consolidates everything, and that is also future-ready,” says Robl. “We have different disciplines in After Sales, such as requirements management, the topic of guideline values for working hours and, of course, content management. Siemens has combined virtually everything in Teamcenter, and there’s a module for each area. And even for technologies as innovative as the animation of CAD data and AR technology, Siemens provides us with the solution we need.”

Sprinting to the AR solution

Based on the existing VR solution, PARiS is being developed into an AR solution as part of an agile project. “Our vision is the digital twin, which means combining the real vehicle and the digital model in our application,” says Banse.

3D data expertise

“After two years of collaboration, I can truly say that the people at Siemens are exactly right for this project,” says Robl. “Siemens contributes a tremendous amount of expertise in the area of CAD data management." And Robin Banse adds: “They definitely have extensive experience working with 3D data, managing it, and supplementing it with information.”

Siemens contributes a tremendous amount of expertise in the area of CAD data management.
Marc Robl, PARiS Project Manager and Head of Product Definition & Information After Sales, Porsche AG

A tool chain all the way to After Sales

“We’re pioneers,” says Robl. “We’re the first automobile manufacturers to establish such a unique tool chain.” Robl is certain that the new after-sales solution will be well received in workshops around the world. “As long as it adds value and saves time and money, the new technology will also be used in other workshops.”

 

And according to the PARiS project manager, the developers’ eyes also “light up” when they learn about “everything that can be done with their CAD data – that CAD can not only be used to build a vehicle, but the data can also be used externally to provide maximum support to colleagues in repair and service.”

 

 

September 2020

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