Both Augmented reality and Virtual reality are hugely promising and offer an immersive experience.
Virtual reality technology transforms digital content into a life-like event. All you need to do is wear a headset to experience the world of virtual reality. It gives both visual and audible experience, giving a real-life experience.
Much like Virtual reality, augmented reality also shows digital content. Pokemon Go is one of the best-augmented reality applications.
Due to the slight difference between the ways these technologies work, both are used in completely different environments. To use Virtual reality technology, a headset needs to be wear that certainly makes it extremely difficult to move freely.
On the other hand, augmented reality only requires the use of eyeglasses or a display screen. It brings in a whole new environment for workers in manufacturing units, enabling a better and efficient working environment.
Since augmented reality offers more natural and seamless movement to workers, it makes a better choice than Virtual reality to use in manufacturing facilities.
Why Augmented reality Will Disrupt Manufacturing
The use of augmented reality for manufacturing is possible in a variety of ways. Businesses can benefit from it by providing this technology to the workers operating the manufacturing, construction, or production process. Augmented reality wearables can help identify loopholes, visualize the finished product, and even visualize the environment that could affect operational efficiency.
In a manufacturing facility, augmented reality can benefit the same way it does on a construction site. What makes it beneficial is its ability to overlay text, statistics, and other critical information related to the on-going task — meaning its functionalities go beyond visualizing digital characters.
Let’s say a piece of the product is currently under the manufacturing process, and an augmented reality wearable device can help identify if the piece is safe to touch with bare hands or not.
The concept of visualizing things with the help of technology seems like a concept from a sci-fi movie, but the world has actually come to this point where things like these are possible.
Few years down the lane augmented reality wearables will become a common thing in every industry. According to the available date forecasts, augmented reality wearables will reach 19.1 million units by 2021.
These devices enable workers to know everything happening around, including the machinery’s performance, whereabouts of the colleagues, the current state of the item under the manufacturing process, and much more.
Some of the ways augmented reality technology can help in the manufacturing industry include:
Hands-On And Safety Training
In a manufacturing facility, one of the biggest issues is training the new employees. When they are put to work, they are not familiar with the required protocols and equipment used in the manufacturing facility.
So prior to putting them to the actual work and handing over some responsibilities to them, it is important to provide them hands-on experience and safety training. In case they are not trained rightly, it can lead to disastrous circumstances.
An efficient and effective way to train a new workforce is to use the right augmented reality applications. Without wasting extra resources, these new employees can be educated about all the protocols, equipment, and standard operating procedures.
For any manufacturing business, logistics and supply chain are an integral part. Therefore, the employees working in a manufacturing facility should multitask for order fulfillment and warehouse management and complete regular duties.
Let’s say an order is received; a worker will check the order information, find whether the product is available or not, arrange the product, send it to the loading dock, and then ship the order. Given that the businesses are going towards automation and streamlining their processes, that’s a lot of manual work.
Using an Augmented reality solution, the same work can be done by a worker without going through the tedious process. All it needs is to tap into a connected system that tells the status of a product, enabling efficiency.
The product can be scanned using the augmented reality technology, and the loaders will be notified automatically so they can pick up the order and deliver it to the loading dock.
Some top-level freight service companies are already benefiting from mobile augmented reality systems in local environments.
Sometimes, manufacturing machinery requires detailed maintenance work but takes a lot of time. It creates difficulty in meeting the month’s production requirements. Now imagine if your maintenance team can easily identify the faults without spending a lot of time on problem identification. It will certainly save a lot of time and effort.
Imagine a system that could help the team know how many hours the machines have been operated when the last service happened and potential issues that could disrupt the operational efficiency.
The comprehensive solutions lie in augmented reality technology. The team can use an augmented reality wearable that’ll provide them all the information for a quick maintenance job. An industrial augmented reality system can take the guesswork out of the process, allowing faster repairs and maintenance tasks.
Product Design And Development
In a manufacturing facility, one of the most important processes is product design and development. It is one of the parts where you can’t afford to go wrong. From concept, prototyping, and giving a design to your product, the whole process is very resource-intensive.
You need to redo and correct your design at various steps until you achieve the right design. All this happens before you begin production of the product. The success of the design is assessed based on the successful launch of the final product.
If you want to eliminate some of the monotony of the product design and development process, an industrial augmented reality system can be of great help. The technology can help you visualize or see the final product before it’s actually manufactured. It can help the executives to make informed decisions.
Modern manufacturing facilities produce complex products, which requires the workers to put together numerous complex pieces. It calls for great attentiveness and efficiency at the same time. Be it a smartphone being assembled in an assembly line or the largest airliners; the workers must follow the instructions carefully.
Some of the world’s manufacturing facilities are already using smart glasses powered by augmented reality technology that helps them put together all the pieces of the equipment correctly. Companies like Boeing uses wearable augmented reality technology to assemble unbelievably complex electrical wiring correctly.
The benefits of using augmented reality while assembling the electrical wiring include improved efficiency, reduced error rate, and much more. Other companies using augmented reality in manufacturing units or assembly lines have also cut down the error rate to zero.
A few years ago, augmented reality was only used in clothing outlets and entertainment apps. However, augmented reality technology is no much more than just placing virtual filters over machine assemblies. Companies are using augmented reality technology to support the support team to identify the faults and serve the consumers better easily.
The Future For Manufacturing
The cases mentioned above aren’t the only uses of augmented reality. These are just a few of the potential use cases augmented reality has to offer. As we move into the future, we’ll see augmented reality become a solution in every development field.
Augmented intelligence for manufacturing paves the way for manufacturing organizations to upscale their operations, reduce operational costs, and enhance efficiency. It can help manufacturing facilities by providing benefits, including:
Smarter and faster work
Engineers can leverage augmented reality for manufacturing products. The technology can enable smarter work by providing digital information onto the real environment, monitoring productivity, and identifying the issues before the final product is ready.
Augmented reality can provide real-time data to the engineers, workers, and any person present on the production floor.
Reduced production downtime
Typically, production downtime is either caused by human error or machinery failure. A great way to avoid human error is to utilize technology. AR wearables promote error-free operation and reduce the production downtime caused by human error.
Whether the uses of augmented reality in manufacturing stops here or advances further, only time will tell.
So what do you think of it? How do you see augmented intelligence? Do let us know!