Updated: Jan 1
Augmented reality (AR) is changing how we collaborate and communicate in the industrial industry. Through the integration of digital and audio-visual components, augmented reality connects the actual and virtual worlds, creating a richer representation of our surroundings.
AR, as opposed to virtual reality (VR), enables interaction between computer-generated content and the actual environment. Using headgear to obstruct their sense of real reality, VR isolates users from their surroundings. AR, on the other hand, contrasts the two. These displays incorporate a new reality into our current one, like providing guided job instructions when you need them.
More expenditures are being made by manufacturers on human-machine interaction. Leading manufacturers continue to automate simple, repetitive processes and track data to remain competitive. Manual procedures are still very much in use, though. Workers at manufacturers are being given more difficult duties and being trained to be more flexible. The use of data and complicated problem-solving to break down these barriers and empower factories with augmentation results in an overall rise in production and efficiency. This connection is provided through augmented reality. It directs and monitors manual processes, providing fresh insight into how our business functions.
A worker can access data, dashboards, maintenance records, and 3-D schemas using a wearable while in a manufacturing environment, creating a digital overlay. The trend toward Industry 4.0, in which smart technology improves and automates conventional business operations, includes augmented reality (AR).
AR and Industry 4.0 improve manufacturing capacities, making them the ideal tool.
Let's look at the main advantages of augmented reality in manufacturing.
Seven (7) manufacturing use cases of augmented reality that are improving operational efficiency.
Training and Upskilling
Businesses and employees at all levels benefit from utilising AR technologies to address manufacturing training and upskilling concerns. No matter if a corporation has to train employees at the individual, factory, or enterprise level, digitally augmented reality work instructions scale to match their needs. With just a press of a finger, individuals or large groups can receive production training. These programmes are flexible enough to accommodate users of any skill level, whether they have extensive manufacturing expertise or none at all.
Digital work instructions standardise training more than anything else. Depending on who is training you, oral instructions may differ. Depending on when they were last updated, paper instructions can differ. Work instructions for augmented reality are updated across an organisation with a single click. Systems that are connected update simultaneously to prevent information gaps. Additionally, digitised work instructions guarantee consistency of information across all workstations.
Standard Operating Processes.
AR work instructions, direct employees, via predefined procedures. AR projects job instructions directly into the line of sight, guiding employees one step at a time. This eliminates the need for a worker to read about the tasks at once with only one picture to demonstrate them. As a result, the worker experiences a significant decrease in time, errors, and cognitive load as all attention is placed on the quality of that one operation.
AR makes it simpler to write digital job instructions. Less text is required if the steps include audio and visual prompts. A drag-and-drop interface can be used to programme each of these features, speeding up the process of developing work instructions for manufacturing and assembly procedures.
To ensure quality, inspection and verification are crucial. But it's nevertheless frequent for inspections to wait until the finish of a procedure. Work instructions can include fast inspections at any step using guided AR solutions without slowing down cycle time.
All inspection data is stored, along with all process data, and snapshots are added for further assurance. A worker cannot proceed to the following step until they are certain that the current one is accurate.
Picking a product off a shelf in a warehouse still requires manual work, even though AI algorithms can simplify the challenging process of keeping inventory databases. Using AR technology, confusion is reduced, and the procedure is expedited. A warehouse employee wearing a wearable head-mounted device is directed to the aisle and shelf where a certain item is kept after receiving instructions on its precise location that is visible directly in their line of sight. Anyone who has ever been inside an industrial warehouse may appreciate the usefulness of this solution since it eliminates the need for guesswork and the risk of getting lost among the shelves that all seem the same.
Mentoring and Guidance
Employees can receive one-on-one or one-to-many mentorship from subject matter experts using augmented reality technology, regardless of where they are located. The employee and mentor(s) can converse back and forth using a wearable, such as a headset with a bi-directional camera, microphone, and speaker.
Remote guidance and assistance are made easier by augmented reality. Geometric markers can be overlaid on actual objects using AR. Employees can see these indicators through a wearable gadget and follow them to complete challenging jobs. To provide further direction, complex workflows and text comments can be included.
With remote assistance, staff members can do their responsibilities more quickly and with less troubleshooting. Accurate and speedy repairs, installations, and assemblies can be made.
Augmented Reality technology improves preventative maintenance capabilities that prevent equipment failure and expensive shutdowns when paired with real-time sensor data and analytics. The technology overlaps information on asset status and maintenance on a screen.
The employee may only see real-time data like temperature, vibration rate, and probable failure locations by glancing at a piece of equipment through the camera. Additionally, the worker has access to maintenance records to determine when a piece of equipment needs maintenance as well as trend data to track changes over time.
Augmented reality may adjust to your demands because it projects digital overlays onto the surroundings' surfaces. Everyone does not work in the same environment. Modifications must be made to the job you perform, where you do it, and how much you do at once. These are referred to as physical, cognitive, and organisational needs in ergonomics. Together, ergonomics significantly influences how your employees engage with their tasks.
Let us wrap up
These applications of augmented reality in manufacturing are just the tip of the iceberg. Your manufacturing company can find new use cases to grow your business by collaborating with the proper technology partner.
With our Connected Worker solutions, we can help your business adopt AR. Our connected worker solutions include customised software if required in combination with wearables, smartphones, and tablets.
To realise your vision, we will collaborate with your business to identify novel use cases that can increase your profit margins. Start your journey toward being a connected worker today. Connect with us and request a demo. We'll be pleased to help. We invite you to follow our hashtag - #dxsolutionadvisor on LinkedIn as well as our page.