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AR in the Industrial Industry

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.

Enhanced Productivity

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.

Enhanced Training

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.

Augmented Reality Industry Applications

Augmented Reality Industry Applications

Augmented Reality (AR) is a growing technology that overlays additional information over the real world. It has numerous applications across many industries.

It is a great way to train & upskill your workforce. For example, an automotive company can use AR to give technicians a clear set of instructions on disassembling a car engine.

Product Design

Unlike traditional CAD models that are 2D renderings, AR allows designs to be dropped into the real world where engineers can experiment with them contextually. This contextual experimentation and iterative improvement of designs can lead to next-level products that meet customer needs better than their predecessors.

Additionally, AR can allow for multiple design iterations in a shorter period of time than would be possible with physical prototypes. For example, if an engineering team wants to try out different variations of the same design before they move on ar industry to the more labor-intensive process of creating and testing physical prototypes, an AR application can show a holographic 3D version of the model that they can manipulate. This allows for a far more efficient and cost-effective process than the manual comparison of 2D designs with physical prototypes that requires painstaking measuring and marking of each model.

Brenden Monahan CPO at Vusar, a company that develops augmented reality software and solutions including an AR app for viewing CAD models, spoke about the advantages of incorporating AR into product development processes during a presentation at the 2020 Pacific Design & Manufacturing Conference (PDM). He emphasized that one major benefit that AR offers developers is that it allows for faster prototyping, as it cuts down on the amount of time needed to iterate on designs. Another key advantage he mentioned is the potential for remote work, as AR can be used to collaborate with teams in virtual environments from various locations.

Asset Identification

Using AR for asset identification allows maintenance employees to work more efficiently and safely. They can wear AR smart goggles or smartphone cameras to see real-time data superimposed over a digital representation of a machine or equipment. This allows them to view instructions, access a library of previous solutions, or engage with remote support, all while keeping their hands free. This also gives them a better first-person perspective of a problem or issue. It can help reduce downtime and operational costs.

For example, Overlay, an augmented reality (AR) company, has developed AR technology that lets water utility workers assess city assets from a safe distance. This can include streetlights, fire hydrants, roads, cell towers, and other infrastructure. The technology enables the workers to perform a detailed inspection of an asset from a smartphone camera or AR smart goggles, and then come up with repair or maintenance strategies. This improves the safety and efficiency of the job, while reducing the need for travel expenses and time off for employees.

For high-value assets, tamper-evident labels can be used to prevent theft. These are usually made from a combination of optical markings, such as barcodes, data metric codes, and QR codes. They use a unique pattern that machines or cameras can read, and then return important information in the backend system.

Warehouse Picking

One of the main applications of AR for warehouses is order picking. The technology streamlines the process by giving workers visual instructions to pick items from their correct locations, cutting down on picking errors and increasing productivity. It also automates tasks that are repetitive or prone to error such as data entry and modification.

Using smart glasses with AR, ar industry warehouse associates can receive instructions to locate the right product at its designated location. The system’s map and aisle layout is displayed on the device, overlaid with optimal operator routes for the specific task.

Once the employee reaches the desired item, the Smartpick app can automatically find it by simply pointing at it. The app can then display more details about the product and check that it matches the warehouse inventory list. The app can also be triggered to verify the item once the associate has picked it, further reducing picking failures.

Besides reducing travel time, the Smartpick solution improves ergonomics by allowing warehouse employees to work hands-free with clear instructions displayed on their headsets. This eliminates the need for paper lists and reduces manual movement around the warehouse. The system can also optimize the pick route to avoid congestion and increase worker performance. Moreover, it enables warehouse managers to plan and test logistics routes based on historic data.


For industries and professions that are prone to dangerous situations, AR is a safe and efficient training tool. Whether it is learning to fly a plane, undergoing surgery or working with equipment that can cause life-threatening accidents, AR gives trainees the opportunity to develop their skills in a digital environment. This type of augmented reality training can help prevent the risk of injuries and save valuable time, money and resources.

For example, a company that specializes in industrial welding software has created an AR app that allows workers to see the overlay of a welded part on the actual machine, which improves accuracy and reduces the risk of errors. Similarly, an oil and gas company uses AR to train workers on how to operate heavy machinery and to ensure that they understand the instructions correctly.

As the technology matures, it is expected that more companies will adopt AR in their workforce training. This will amplify the demand for better mobile devices and improved AR solutions that facilitate quicker cognitive absorption, safer remote collaboration and more effective content access. This will lead to the creation of a more holistic experience that integrates learning, training and workflow, resulting in higher productivity and efficiency. This will be especially important for companies that are looking to remain competitive in the face of rising labor costs and a shortage of skilled employees.