3D scanning helps SAAB plan for their Brazilian plant.

The start-up of production at Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) plant is fast approaching. In just over a years' time, production will be up and running, where some 60 people comprising operators, management, warehouse personnel and engineers will be manufacturing parts for the Brazilian Gripen E/F fighters. Thanks to 3D scanning and CATIA models it is now possible to tour the plant located outside São Paulo by using VR goggles.

"The aim was to give people an idea of how much space we have allocated for the current work packages. Does the layout allow our operators to move appropriately? Can they move around trollies? We are doing this to ensure that we don't build the plant and then realise later that it is unsuitable. It will be used as a basis for decision-making before the layout is finalised," explains Ola Rosén, Assembly Engineer at Saab and Project Manager at SAM.

Collaboration with Chalmers University

"We conducted a feasibility study together with Chalmers. They have a project called SUMIT in which they work with digitisation, layout, and planning using 3D tools. We started working on this with Chalmers just before Christmas 2018. Chalmers 3D scanned the entire workshop floor and then we integrated it with the layout, which we created in CATIA. So now we see a combination of the real workshop environment, consisting of walls and floors, together with our CATIA models of jigs and tools, which look animated," says Ola.

What is the next step?

"We will look into how we can develop this further. Our plan is to see if we can move things from a rough layout and then plan in more detail to make it practicable in the plant. Simply put, to simulate how the premises can be optimally used. This enables us to show our layout to operators here in Sweden so that they can see it for themselves and provide us with feedback," concludes Ola.