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Basic Principles

Worker assistance system for real-time quality assurance of manual production processes

Poka Yoke - the nexonar Assembly Scout software enables error-free work in manual assembly and picking. Movements of tools or hands are analyzed in real time. The Scout assists and helps to avoid errors.

The Scout analyzes and assists movements in 3D space

Despite a high proportion of automation, manual assembly and commissioning remain an integral part of production and logistics. The collaboration between humans and technical systems provides ways to achieve maximum flexibility and efficiency.

The repeatability of processes is guaranteed with machines, in most cases.

The human advantage of flexibility becomes a disadvantage when tasks are processed incorrectly.

The Operator Assistance System in use

The system is configured by the simple programming of the manufacturing instructions and the associated assembly points at the workstation. Various interfaces are optionally available to link ERP and control points. One or more nexonar cameras can be positioned depending on workplace size and work flow. These are used for the acquisition of spatial coordinates and the orientation of nexonar infrared targets. Each of these targets can be captured with 6 degrees of freedom by a single camera.

With many cameras a wide variety work stations can be captured. Generally, 1-2 cameras are sufficient for an assembly station. After the start of the production process, which happens manually or through the control station software, the nominal positions of the respective manufacturing instructions are now compared to the actual positions of the hands, fingers, or, for example, the nut of a screwdriver. The measured object positions release an automatic confirmation of the successful completion of a target position and allow the continuation to the next step of the process.

Several different objects can be tracked simultaneously with 6 degrees of freedom in the measuring room


8 operators - each with a tracker on the left and right arm or 8 different tools

All can be identified at the same time, individually, in a work area. Even very fast movements can be captured without error, with high repeatability.

The IR tracker are attached to the objects that are to be measured (arms, hands, head or tools – such as a screwdriver).

1-32 cameras can be used to capture a wide variety of workplace sizes.

The Scout analyzes in real time and thus prevents errors with:

  • monotonous repetitive tasks.
  • the processing of complex tasks that are rarely performed.
  • variation diversity - highly dynamic processes and their associated manufacturing instructions (e.g. picking).
  • frequently changing staff.
  • the training of personnel.

The Scout assists the operator with:

  • clear statements with images, text and audio (voice output).
  • automatic signalling of position achievement to higher-level systems (no physical (hand) confirmation required).
  • Bio feedback option for process steps succesfully carried out.
  • Bio feedback for process steps unsuccesfully carried out.
  • automatic communication with the ERP system or control point.

The flexible system offers many possibilities

An infinite number of combinations of manufacturing instruc- tions are quick and easy to produce.

The system can be easily retrofitted to jobs. The component boxes do not require complicated wiring. No additional sensors are needed to implement the quality standards.

Even without an ERP system and connection to a control network, the Assembly Scout is simple to use.

The 6DoF tracking has been developed specifically for applications in which objects or people need to be measured in small but also in larger environments. The IR technology offers the option of analyzing multiple objects at the same time in 3D space with up to 163 Hz in quasi real time. Up to 16 trackers can be captured with a single nexonar camera in a range of approx. 8.8 m x 4.8 m. A single nexonar IR single camera with wide angle covers a working area of 0.2 - 5.5 m depth. The standard Tracker sizes are small, medium and large. Housing forms and technical adjustments are feasible.

Precise measurement of movements in an area is easily made possible by IR technology – whether it‘s people, tools, machines or vehicles. The applied technology is simple, accurate and cost-effective when compared to existing technologies.

1. The operator receives a signal and the next production instruction

2. All other positions can be virtually ”closed“; i.e. when making a faulty engagement position the operator is immediately informed that this is wrong.

3. The fault is prevented.

IR LED Camera Tracking - system configuration: Measuring range enlargement by clustering

The most important facts at a glance

  • Error-free hand assembly work (Poka Yoke - zero error principle)
  • Improvement of quality in assembly throughputs, process safety
  • Wireless review of grasping sequences by operators
  • Wireless review of tool positions (e.g. screw positions)
  • 16 objects can be measured in parallel, along with 6 degrees of freedom (X/Y/Z Yaw/Pitch/Roll)
  • 163 Hz sampling frequency - very fast movement can also be captured
  • Sampling positions do not need light barriers for detection, e.g. of fingers
  • Quick and easy training of employees
  • Easy installation
  • Supports flow production
  • Intuitive user interface for the software
  • Visualized process software
  • Easy, flexible adjustments of software for different conditions
  • New grasping sequences are easy to programme
  • nexonar MTM tracking software with an open interface for integration into existing systems

How the Assembly Scout works

Discover the many possible applications of the worker assistance system. Software and hardware can be individually adapted to your needs.