Designers and technical drawers use all kinds of software solutions on a regular basis as their complex machines enter the digital era. Yet mounds of paper are still common in production and assembly. Digital information flows could save time and help avoid errors. Dr. Florian Tietze, Dr. Fedor Titov and Philipp Halata, all former academics at the University of Technology in Hamburg (TUHH), have identified this gap and launched the attentio start-up last September to address the situation.
Assembly solutions requiring plenty of know-how
“Our software aims to improve the assembly of complex products in machinery and plant engineering. That could be, for instance, the costly installation of air conditioning pipes aboard ships or installing a switch cabinet into which several hundred cables have to be correctly fitted,” said Titov. Assemblers need the know-how to install such software, but which also has to be accessible for less experienced staff.
Augmented reality minimising error rate
“The assemblers save time that they would otherwise have to spend finding and understanding information for the assembly,” said Titov. An augmented reality function will show users which component goes where. “We minimise the error rate in that way,” he added. The fitters can give the developer immediate feedback on possible construction errors which is one of the software’s main advantages. Communication becomes much easier.
New funding from InnoRampUp programme
Impressed by the digital assembly solutions, the Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB Hamburg) approved funding from the InnoRampUp programme. Meanwhile, attentio now has a team of eight and will receive almost the highest grant of EUR 150,000 from August 1, 2017. “That’s a milestone for us,” said Titov. Until now, the trio had financed their company from the EXIST scholarship for founders and initial turnover from the pilot project.
The scholarship also helped finance the start-up’s work space at TUHH’s start-up dock. However, this funding will expire soon and the trio are now looking for new premises while keeping an eye on their development goals. During the coming months, the engineers hope to expand the software’s augmented reality function. That will help visualise various assembly steps and the installation can be examined on completion. The ambitious founders of attenio hope to have a market-ready product by late 2017.