Today’s drive and propulsion systems are so complex that huge amounts of information are required to run and maintain them. MTU also supplies this information
in digital form. Increasingly, printed operating instructions are being supplemented with helpful 3D videos.
A very ordinary flat-screen display stole the show from the genuine PowerPack in the Puma infantry fighting vehicle at the ‘Eurosatory’ military equipment trade fair in Paris.
The powerful drive system was actually the dominant feature on the MTU stand. But for visitors from near and far, the star of the show was a display on the monitor behind it: a highly detailed, almost hyper-realistic 3D animation of the Puma PowerPack, which was making its world début at the fair.It was giving a kind of x-ray view, drawing the audience into an amazingly true-to-life journey through the inside of the engine. Delegates from all over the world were able to follow the flow of air through the various components and view, in amazement, the movements of pistons, valves and turbine blades which otherwise remain hidden from view. Despite weighing many tons, the drive system was able to be moved around on-screen and flicked over in any axis, and individual sub-assemblies enlarged.
Learning more effectively with 3D
The latest product from the team run by Ulrich Korioth – responsible at MTU for technical documentation for government projects – really caught the imagination of many visitors to the trade fair. “The interactive model showing the workings of the Puma PowerPack was something we created for the German Armed Forces,” explained Korioth. “They are using it at the Land Systems Engineering Training Center in Aachen for training soldiers in the maintenance corps.”
The software enables incredibly vivid explanation of how the drive system works – with details and perspectives which would never be possible using the physical machinery. In addition to showing the working principles, the dynamic processes at work inside the engine can also be depicted, for example, at various different engine speeds. Future projects will also include showing what happens when malfunctions occur. Learning efficiency is boosted, as every single bolt and cable looks exactly like it does ”in the flesh“ and is shown in realistic detail hitherto unknown.
3D videos support heavy-duty strategies
However, Korioth and his team are able to do much more than just demonstrate how a drive system works in 3D: maintenance and repair of MTU engines are also made simpler and easier for the customer using products created by Technical documentation. Used as part of a maintenance system like Callosum MT, developed by MTU for the shipping industry, ships’ crew can perform scheduled maintenance or
necessary repair activities after watching them in 3D videos: say a coolant pump has to be replaced, the system shows the mechanic exactly which bolts need to be removed and where, and which tools, spare parts and consumables will be needed.
Like a YouTube tutorial
These instruction films are sure to remind younger mechanics of tutorial videos on YouTube and other video websites, because that is where they go for easy-to-follow instructions on practically everything – from changing a bicycle tube to making car repairs, or even knotting their neckties. Thanks to such films, even less experienced naval mechanics are able to carry out quality maintenance work without losing much
time. These MTU maintenance animations are the modern answer to challenges facing many customers. Financial cuts and skills shortages mean that the same number of vehicles and machines have to be run and maintained by fewer and fewer people – at the same time as dealing with growing system complexity and what are often restrictive working hours policies. The German Navy, for example, is operating
a heavy-duty strategy on its new Class F125 frigates, deploying the vessels for two years without interruption and with crew changes every four months. This is made possible, among other things, by the long maintenance intervals of the MTU engines aboard – and by the use of Callosum MT with its 3D maintenance tutorials.
The Smart Documentation revolution
Conveying knowledge about how a drive or propulsion system works and how it should be maintained is both a conventional and a highly up-to-the-minute task for the
MTU Technical Documentation unit: “What we’re doing is the epitome of the Smart Factory revolution,” said Ulrich Korioth. “We connect customer and information, ensuring it is to hand at the right moment in a form he can actually use.” For the customer, this is often a key aspect when purchasing a drive system.
On request, MTU provides all data in digital form in such a way that it can be transferred to customer systems and connected to other sources of information – such as a vessel’s master logistics system. The conventional hard-copy operating instructions are now just an ancillary item to be used as backup. Very soon, MTU instructions could become available as apps for mobile cell phones and tablets, etc. This carries a lot of customer benefit: I nstructions do not just become easier to follow, they can also be integrated with digital systems used by the customer – not to mention
making today’s pallet loads of paper a thing of the past. “When creating digital documentation, the number one rule is to take a standardized approach to capturing the data,” explained Ulrich Korioth.
Each piece of information is specified – “keyworded”, you might say – using a consistent system. Indeed, ever since the year 2000, MTU has been observing international digital standards used in industrial and military environments such as the German Armed Forces. Observing uniform specifications ensures information can be reused easily within various different digital systems and is able to be fully integrated as required. The same goes for the 3D models mentioned above. This reusability is one of the key prerequisites for making the Smart Factory revolution work. “This technological development means MTU’s technical documentation is right up there at the cutting edge,” said Korioth.
The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.