Augmented Reality in Manufacturing Industry

augmented reality in manufacturing industry

Augmented Reality in Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing processes generate a large amount of data from manual and automated work. With AR, manufacturers can collect these minute data points and use them to improve production.

For example, during maintenance tasks, workers must often refer to paper schematics. With AR, these schematics can appear virtually before a worker’s eyes, cutting down on downtime and errors.

Real-time Schematics

During the production process, there are many milestones that need to be met in order to produce a product. If one of these milestones is missed, it can lead to a delay in the entire production process. AR helps to streamline this process by providing engineers and other workers with a real-time schematic view of the manufacturing floor. This helps them identify any vulnerabilities and resolve them as soon as possible without affecting the production schedule.

One of the most significant ways in which augmented reality is used within the manufacturing industry is in the field of assembling machinery. By using AR, the process of assembling complex machines is made much easier by displaying instructions and visual aids to workers. These could be anything from a 3D image of the assembly process to a guide on how to do a specific task.

Another example of how AR is used in the manufacturing sector is by guiding employees to locate parts and equipment within facilities. This can be done by superimposing data over physical objects, such as instructions or barcodes. This makes it easier for workers to navigate through a facility and reduces downtime due to lack of access to key components. One of the most interesting examples of this is a case where GE utilized augmented reality to conduct a remote factory acceptance test (FAT) during COVID-19 travel restrictions for a cycloconverter upgrade.

Better Product Quality

Unlike virtual reality, which removes the user from their natural environment with headsets, AR allows interaction between computer-generated information and the real world. This enables easy access to instructions that can guide employees through multi-step tasks, work through troubleshooting products and equipment and even remotely help out customers with their machines without interfering with production lines.

As a result, the technology has become a crucial tool for manufacturing, with the ability to create realistic simulations that walk new workers through critical procedures and ensure they follow safety protocol at all times. The system can also offer a real-time warning if they fail to follow protocol, which eliminates the risk of accidental injury.

No manufacturing floor is free from problems or minor issues that prop up on a daily basis and cause a delay or halt in the production augmented reality in manufacturing industry process. With AR, engineers can easily see a schematic view of the processes that can assist them in identifying faults and vulnerabilities, which helps to increase assembly speed by 30%.

Moreover, the technology can be used by warehouse workers to quickly access navigation solutions for inventory management and provide them with the latest tracking information and performance metrics. Some leading companies, such as DHL and Honda, have already utilized AR in their operations to improve the speed of shipping and reduce the error rate.

Reduced Maintenance Time

There are a lot of small issues that come up on the manufacturing floor on a regular basis. Often times, they can lead to delays or a halt in processes. With AR, these issues can be seen by engineers in real-time and are easier to address.

In the case of Boeing, AR glasses integrated with Upskill’s Skylight platform were used to streamline 130 miles of wiring in the new 747-8 freighter using digitized work instructions. This helped cut production time by 25% while eliminating errors. This is just one of many ways that businesses are using AR to improve their business processes.

Augmented reality can also help manufacturers train employees more efficiently. Thyssenkrupp, for example, uses Microsoft’s HoloLens to design home mobility solutions for physically challenged individuals and show them in real-time to directors and executives. This process cuts down on the number of meetings and saves the company valuable time and resources.

Other companies are also finding augmented reality to be useful in training. For example, Honda utilizes augmented reality to show workers step-by-step troubleshooting instructions and even view the customer’s environment through an augmented camera. This allows a qualified technician to immediately resolve the problem. This kind of remote assistance is expected to become more widespread in the near future. Companies like Apple and Amazon are already experimenting with this kind of technology to enable their customers to connect with a live representative without leaving their home or office.

Remote Help

AR can help streamline processes within the manufacturing environment by letting employees access additional data and detailed context around the objects they’re working with. This allows them to save time by reducing the number of steps they need to take to complete a task and improve efficiency. It also helps them identify any potential problems early on in the process and make necessary changes before it’s too late.

For example, a global manufacturer of business technology products used AR to connect field engineers with experts instead augmented reality in manufacturing industry of providing them with service manuals and telephone support. This allowed them to solve problems faster, increase first-time fix rates and cut the overall maintenance time by 20%.

ABB is another company that uses manufacturing AR to allow its workers to remotely conduct factory acceptance testing (FAT) during tight COVID-19 travel restrictions. By deploying an AR solution, the company was able to test an upgraded cycloconverter without relying on in-person engineering visits.

Augmented reality in the manufacturing industry is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, from training new employees to speeding up production times. By allowing employees to gain instant industrial expertise, it can help manufacturers reduce their operating costs and increase their product quality. And by making it easier for workers to collaborate, AR can help them switch between remote and in-person work more seamlessly.

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