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Why the new SAP VE Viewer iPad app is Game Changing

September 2, 2012

Last month SAP® quietly finalised and released the SAP® VE Viewer iPad app. Now, this may seem like a natural extension of the sharing, caring, collaboration enabling Viewer app for Windows thereby justifying its quiet release. The reality is that this release is the second major feast that SAP® have delivered to the Visual Enterprise Solutions table.

With the iPad Viewer app SAP® have enabled every organization, large and small, to be able to create and deliver truly mobile visual work instructions and animations WITHOUT custom mobile app development and ongoing support concerns. Now that’s big. It gets bigger.

From the Coffee Table to the Workshop Floor

The benefits of visual work instructions for manufacturing assembly, quality control, and, after-sales support and service are well established. Visual work instructions:

  • increase instruction comprehension > reduced errors > + quality > save time & money
  • reduce personal interpretation > standardized processes > + productivity > save time & money

Historically, the obstacle to implementing visual work instructions has always been one of delivery in two ways. Firstly, creating and maintaining visual work instructions has been prohibitively expensive. This obstacle was overcome with SAP® VE Author. Secondly, delivering visual work instructions to employees has been hindered occasionally by usability – i.e. placing a screen on a fixed stand is only useful if the employee is standing relatively still.

SAP®/RH have been supporting truly mobile custom app development solutions for larger server customers such as Korean Air for quite some time to enable their staff to achieve and exceed their business objectives. Truly mobile visual work instruction delivery is important as tablets are easier for people to use, easier to protect from damage, and, cost less than your average laptop or large screen. The mobility enabled by the iPad Viewer app overcomes this barrier for numerous employees and organizations.

Even Bigger

The low end hardware specifications of any tablet mean the Visual Enterprise’s standard .rh format (which we all know and love) would struggle to display anything other than very small assemblies on the screen and still be usable. How have SAP®/RH enabled and supported truly mobile visual work instructions in the past you ask? Enter VDS.

VDS is SAP®’s ultra-lightweight format used extensively in the server-based generator product. We will post more details later this week about the game-changing VDS format. For this post, all you need to know is that the VDS format is the only format capable of displaying the complete 3D CAD assembly of a geothermal power station on a laptop screen and enable you to manipulate it.

So now we come to the main course in the feast SAP® have provided. The release of the Viewer iPad app would not be so remarkable if not for SAP®’s decision to enable SAP® VE Author to produce VDS files. This enables anyone with SAP® VE Author to produce these files and realise profits from visual work instructions – not just server customers. This is the game changing value in this app release.

SAP® VE Viewer iPad app Specifications

Currently the app is available in the iTunes store and is supported on iPad 2 & 3 with iOS 5.1, while the Android version is expected in Q2 2013. With the iPad Mini and 7.85 inch rumors circulating around a release date in October with hardware comparable to the iPad 2, and SAP® supporting nothing smaller than a 7 inch screen, it will be interesting to see its usability. While it is difficult to exactly calculate expected performance, SAP® suggest models of around 65,000,000 polygons are usable on the iPad 3 – which is rather impressive. We will look to organise a test run of it ASAP – time to buy an iPad!

Look out for other posts on SAP VE Author and the VDS format relating to this post. If you would like to know more enquire directly with us below or place a comment further down.

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