AR in the Industrial Industry
The growth of AR market raises new strategic questions. Every firm must consider how this next-generation human interface will impact customer needs, product capabilities, and value chain performance.
Simple AR experiences use markers to anchor digital information to objects. More advanced, higher-value AR experiences leverage shape-recognition technologies to automatically recognize physical objects and integrate information seamlessly.
In industrial settings, AR provides a seamless connection between the virtual world (all the digital information from the design team) and the real world (the operations that are happening on the manufacturing floor). By presenting work instructions directly in the operator’s line of sight, this technology helps them to get it right first time, reducing the need for costly quality issues.
In addition, AR can be used to provide a more immersive way to demonstrate and try out products or equipment before purchasing. This saves the company money on sales and training costs while also eliminating the risk of product return and other related expenses.
Another major benefit of AR is that it reduces the need for workers to perform hazardous tasks in an unsafe environment, such as working in high heat, dangerous chemicals or moving machinery. This not only improves worker safety and productivity but also helps companies comply with regulatory bodies in a more cost-effective way by removing the need for costly regulations like high energy consumption standards. This is especially useful for manufacturers in states that are more conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies. In these cases, the manufacturer can simply stop selling in certain markets or offer a different model that is compliant with regulatory bodies. This allows them to continue a successful business and still be competitive in other regions of the country.
More Accurate Inspections
The inspection process in infrastructure and manufacturing is a complex and time-consuming task. With AR, human errors are reduced, and more accurate results are delivered.
For example, Newport News Shipbuilding uses AR to inspect their US Navy aircraft carriers near the end of manufacturing to mark steel construction structures for removal. This helps reduce inspection time by 96% and allows workers to easily compare the structure to the original design in augmented reality, eliminating the need for paper blueprints.
AR can also be used to streamline quality assurance processes. For instance, Vuforia’s Manifest software supports step-by-step instructions that allow workers to confirm each step before moving on. This ensures that the correct procedures are followed. In addition, Manifest can incorporate real-time, IoT sensor data into the process to enable dynamic guidance and workflow.
During inspections, remote experts can connect with local operators via ar industry AR to provide advice and guidance without having to travel to the site. This saves both time and money.
AR can also be used to monitor equipment in factories. This enables staff to view important machine performance data such as ar industry efficiency, error rates, and more in the context of the production process. This helps maintenance technicians understand problems and take proactive actions to prevent costly downtime. Using AR, telecommunications field engineers can access the product’s service history and diagnostics on their smart glasses, resulting in faster and more efficient repair times.
Improved Service Times
The ability to see a digital product representation with AR simplifies data access and accelerates problem-solving and process optimization. It also enables more efficient service, improving customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. In the logistics industry, AR digitizes inventory management and supply chain processes to reduce tracking and shipping costs.
For manufacturing, AR allows workers to easily adapt to product variation without interrupting the flow of work. Work instructions can be programmed with sensory features like audio cues, flashing lights, animations and videos to simplify steps and make them more understandable. Integrated with MES or PLC systems, AR can automatically call up the correct process for new products without adding to cycle times. In addition, augmented inspection and verification saves time by allowing inspections to be conducted throughout the manufacturing process rather than at the end of an assembly line.
Moreover, using augmented work instructions in aerospace and defense helps improve traceability. With the capability to incorporate “no-fault-forward” steps that block a worker from continuing without completing the previous step, LightGuide AR software can record a “digital birth certificate” for each part and verify quality standards, improving efficiency by eliminating human error.
Because an AR user interface is purely software based, it can be adapted and expanded as needed. It can also eliminate the need for physical buttons, switches and dials, further reducing manufacturing costs.
Rather than just providing instructions or visual guidance, AR solutions allow employees to actually experience the tasks they’re working on. AR smart glasses like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens act as lightweight, hands-free computers that display digital information over a worker’s real-world surroundings. This allows workers to work faster, more accurately and improve safety while reducing training costs.
For example, one company used augmented reality to train its maintenance specialists on the process of repairing high-voltage equipment. The company’s AR hardware displayed the information overlaid on the actual machine and guided them in performing the task, thereby significantly reducing the time needed for training.
The technology also helps companies train employees at all skill levels. AR software can easily adapt to a worker’s experience level, whether they’re a new hire or a veteran with 30 years of manufacturing experience. This enables companies to bridge the skills gap between younger employees and senior management, resulting in improved productivity.
For instance, ThyssenKrupp used Microsoft’s HoloLens to enable 24,000 service technicians to visualize and solve elevator problems on-site. This helped them save time, cut down repair costs and improve customer satisfaction. It also eliminated the need for them to call experts for help in solving complicated issues, which can be a waste of both money and time. Unlike VR, which is accompanied by obvious simulation diseases and has poor visualization effects, AR is safer to use.