The ever-increasing complexity in manufacturing environments has caused delay and uncertainty for on-site personnel when retrieving critical information. Currently, information associated with manufacturing environments is created and stored in centralized terminals and even paper-based logbooks. Any delays in accessing this information can hinder critical decision-making processes that are essential to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity. To increase the competitiveness of manufacturing companies, the authors present a user-oriented markerless augmented reality authoring solution for the manufacturing environment utilizing the capability of a modern smartphone or head-mounted display. With a one-time setup and calibration, the end user is able to augment a physical workspace with a digital layer and annotate any stationary object with application data including maintenance records, service tickets, and usage logs. By directly mapping the data onto a relevant physical object, it allows more efficient reuse and better contextualization of manufacturing information. The backend expandable data structure also enhances extensibility so that the users can modify the digital layer with ease when the physical environment changes. This annotation tool defines a novel way of managing manufacturing information to help companies work more efficiently and effectively.
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