Augmented Reality for Industrial Maintenance Procedures

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The ARIA project aims to restore and enhance the competitiveness of industries in Flanders by optimizing communication, support and training initiatives through the use of Augmented Reality (AR). AR superimposes an instantly adapting projection of digital information as an additional layer on top of the real world. The implementation of wearable AR — to convey instructions, guide employees and teach skills — will reduce costs in terms of time and resources, while allowing lower-trained employees to perform more complex tasks.

Empowering the industrial workforce with AR

AR technology has the ability to revolutionize industry, ultimately empowering an agile workforce by providing access to synchronized intelligence, learning on-the-job like never before and receiving reactive, on-the-spot support in the performance of complex procedures.

Technical challenges in AR application

Building on key projects in the field of AR/VR, ARIA will address technical challenges in AR application. These include:

  • precise recognition and tracking; 
  • user-friendly projection of relevant data; and
  • accurate positioning of the employee relative to the equipment.

The project will also tackle overarching issues such as the measurement and improvement of the AR experience quality, and the acceptance of new technologies in a conservative market.

Towards a complete industrial AR system

ARIA will work with a number of partners to develop a complete industrial AR system. Each partner specializes in different applications of technology related to AR/VR use in the workplace. While the project will study all aspects of AR application in industrial settings, it will focus specifically on the use case of modular industrial cooling installations, as they are a crucial element of most chemical plants.

Industry 4.0 for Flanders

The ARIA consortium consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts from areas as diverse as IT, research and market integration. It intends to play a key role in the development of AR/VR applications in Flanders and make a significant contribution to the Industry 4.0 policy — a global initiative that encourages the application of new technologies and processes to optimize data exchange and industrial processes in the digital age.

"The ARIA project has strong, independent added value within Industry 4.0, and adds even more value to applications such as the Internet of Things, Big Data analysis and smart products. All ARIA partners will benefit from a major lead in AR development, and Flanders will be able to play a leading role in research and development as well as in the commercialization of AR/VR applications."


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Augmented Reality for Industrial Maintenance Procedures.

ARIA is an imec.icon project funded by imec and IWT.

It ran from 01.04.2016 until 31.03.2018.

Project information


  • Evonik Degussa Antwerpen
  • Partner: Impala
  • Partner: Neopica


  • imec - ETRO-MMT - VUB
  • imec - IPI - UGent
  • imec - MICT - UGent


  • Project Lead: Benny Lauwers
  • Research Lead: Jan Van Looy 
  • Innovation Manager: Dirk Hamelinck