The glass processing technology company Glaston Oyj took the first steps in the use of the XR Showroom application at the Glasstec trade fair.  The company’s flat glass laminating line was displayed in an entirely new fashion at the largest event in the industry, which attracted attention from the international press.

XR Showroom breathes new life into glass processing technology

 Marketing Communications Manager Mari Lehtinen says that the company was always focussed on acquiring a version of the XR Showroom application suitable for trade fairs.

“Generally speaking, our glass processing heat treatment machines cannot be exhibited at stands. The installation of this equipment takes significantly longer than what is allowed for by trade fair schedules, and we are naturally reluctant to display inoperative equipment. Also, the electrical capacity of the venues would not be sufficient for our purposes. Moreover, we feel that models do not represent the functionalities and technology of our equipment extensively enough. Because of these reasons, we have looked for different ways and tools to exhibit our machines and services physically,“ Lehtinen says.

“As in previous years, we held a press conference at our stand this year as well, and the topics that were definitely the most discussed were artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The newspapers reported that Glaston provides an example of a new way of thinking by introducing virtual machines at their stand,” Lehtinen recalls.

“The most significant benefit for us was that the XR Showroom application enabled seeing and experiencing the laminating line while other companies relied mostly on VR environments. We are delighted with the content provided by the application, which was designed and executed perfectly,” Lehtinen adds.

Glaston’s Cloud Software Lead Miikael Leskinen also highlights the importance of quality content. Leskinen says that artificial intelligence and virtual reality are no longer mere gimmicks to attract the interest of trade fair visitors, but a valid method of displaying the mechanics of complex machines.

“Everything is enabled by the high-quality technology, courtesy of Wakeone. We are able to focus on the essential, the content of the application, when technological matters are taken care of. The quality of the content is vital, as the simple wow factor is no longer enough,” Leskinen says.

An augmented reality application to support engineers and salespersons

In addition to visitors at Glaston’s stand and the press, the XR Showroom application has also won over the company’s personnel. According to Lehtinen, the company has identified two internal target groups for the application: engineers and sales personnel.

“In a way, the work enabled by XR Showroom is the same as what our engineers have performed previously, but it is a completely different matter to be able to view the overall concept from different angles and see the machine in a ready state. Our engineers have been so excited about the application that they have crawled on the ground while examining the modelled image in a very concrete fashion,” Lehtinen says with satisfaction.

The application also allows salespeople to get to know the product better. “Previously, our sales personnel have only had the chance to see the ready production line equipped with protective covers, for example, at the client’s premises. Our entire international sales team gathered at the Glasstec fair to learn more about the details of the machines with the application. This would not have been possible before, and it was delightful to see how well they took advantage of this opportunity,” Lehtinen explains.

“A team of professionals, no doubt”

According to Glaston’s Digital Manager Kai Knuutila, the entire development project was carried out extremely well. He was also positively surprised about the fact that, although the decision to use the application was only made in the summer, it was ready already in October. “I was also delighted about the fact that the people involved with the project knew how to take our point of view as a client into account and offered functional solutions,” Knuutila says.

Miikael Leskinen also praises the flow of the project. “It was apparent from our cooperation with Wakeone that they had carried out similar projects before and that they are a team of professionals, no doubt. In fact, at one stage of the project we were charged with overcoming a challenge, when we were selecting the models and files to be used in the application. Everything went smoothly after this,” he recalls.

For Leskinen, it was impressive that one of the project meetings was held in a virtual reality environment. “It was a fun way to discuss matters. We studied whether a certain part of the model should be moved or some of the colours should be changed. It was delightful to experience such a meeting where matters could be resolved in a quick, clear and productive manner,” Leskinen comments excitedly.

Glaston’s employees also appreciate how modern Wakeone is when it comes to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. “A definite advantage of our cooperation is that we have always been able to rely upon the expertise and networks of Wakeone. For instance, they picked alternative solutions from a wide selection of equipment that were tested, and we selected the most suitable solutions for us. It is always comforting to know that you do not have to solve every little detail on your own,” Mari Lehtinen says.

Knuutila encourages companies interested in this area to act. “With a good partner, even the initial stages of the project go well and the level of costs stays low. Impressive results can be achieved quickly,” Knuutila adds.

Share this article: