Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. The manufacturing industry is one of the early adaptors of Augmented Reality. AR aims to produce efficient operations in Manufacturing by cutting down production downtime, maintenance time, and it helps in identifying the problems quickly, ensuring processes, etc. Modern manufacturing involves complex assembling with thousands of components to be put up in a precise sequence quickly and efficiently. Even though we have come a long way from the days of paper-based work instructions to using software – most of the current work instructions are now given in computers and smartphones.
With Augmented Reality apps work instructions are available with engineers in their goggles, so there is no need to go back and forth between tasks to review documentation or capture data. This helps the resources to stay focused and productive.
Also, Augmented Reality helps field personnel in manufacturing, in many situations, field personnel are working in long-distance, and they need expert support in servicing equipment. It minimizes the need to travel to worksites and provide real-time solutions from any distance. This allows the team to multitask and do performance maintenance tasks from any part of the world.
In addition to time and cost savings, AR also creates a positive impact on quality assurance. These technologies can deliver relevant information to Quality Assurance engineers on the floor which can be used to record problems on the spot in real-time as they arise. One of the most common challenging problems most face is documenting non-conformance issues – to describe issues in writing is a time-consuming act. We all know that picture is worth a thousand words, so now, with AT quality assurance staff can capture video on the spot and attach it against issues.
We are certain that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology can transform the user experience for complex, discrete manufacturing organizations. One of the most important things to consider when adopting AR/VR solutions for your workforce is to clearly identify your goals. Simply adopting technology for technology sake is not the objective. Benefits such as enhancing user experiences, cost savings, better resource utilization, and customer experience, etc. all need to be considered before adopting these technologies. Find what works for you, because something which worked for others might not work for you.
Here is how Augmented Reality is impacting Manufacturing,
1. It Helps In Working Faster
When it comes to complex assembly like assembling fighter jets, it takes years of training for engineers to become efficient. But, with the help of AR glasses, we can use sensors, cameras, etc. to bring overlay images into the real-world where engineers can see the renderings of bolts, cables, instructions, etc. It will help them in improving accuracy and making them faster.
2. Solve Daily Shop Problems
While addressing the pain points of the shop floor, your team required real-time data to deal with the problems. With Augmented Reality in Manufacturing, your employees can directly show all problems in real-time to maintenance teams and engineers. They can also view KPIs, diagnose and resolve the issue without disturbing the production line.
3. Access Data
With AR-enabled smartphones, your service engineers and manufacturers can access specs, location, inventory, lead times, etc. in a click. They can use tech like QR codes to scan and get live video feed, images, etc. and use it to identify issues and repair machines without downtime.
4. Cut Down Maintenance Time
Using AR, your maintenance crew could see which equipment or hardware needs servicing, and identify potential issues upfront. They will have data on operation times, date of the last service, potential failure points, etc. Instead of relying on guesswork; now they have a real-time date which helps them become faster, and quicker in taking the decision. It helps them to plan operations accordingly and reduce maintenance time.
5. Reduce Production Downtime
Manufacturers lose thousands of dollars if they face unexpected production downtime due to machines breakdown. Augmented Reality will help the team to identify the problems well ahead and prevent downtime.
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