Augmented Reality is one of the most talked-about innovation right now. Businesses and enterprises understood its potential for entertainment products — like TikTok and Pokemon Go. Others explore its potential for hardware — the market of AR glasses is forecasted to reach 19.1 million units. With such a wide adoption of the technology, it’s natural to consider applications of AR that lie outside of entertainment.
Augmented Reality (AR) constitutes a major disruption to the enterprise world, changing the way businesses operate, maintain their machinery, and train their employees.
One of the biggest challenges in the industry is security, and those mainly during new recruitments since new recruits are not familiar with protocols, equipment, and procedures, this can create security problems. Thanks to augmented reality equipment, inexperienced staff can be trained, informed, and protected, without the need for additional supervisory staff.
AR is Disrupting the Manufacturing Industry
While AR is still in nascent stages and yet to be adopted for mainstream usage, a few large manufacturing firms have successfully implemented AR applications boosting their performance and productivity. With the feature to visualize images and texts, manufacturers have adopted AR to enhance workflow productivity, provide seamless communications, and reduce errors. Here is a more in-depth look into how manufacturers have implemented AR to business operations.
Augmented reality technology can minimize the requirements for employee’s mobility, allowing them to stay in one location while overseeing all the crucial logistics process. They could track products, personnel, transport with an AR system with order-tracking features.
The company, DHL, is already exploring smart AR glasses and an AR application that allow employees to follow logistics workflow, minimize manual work, and reduce the probability of an error.
Product Design Visualization
Visualization is a significant aspect of product design. Using 3D Augmented Reality applications for product design provides an added advantage and convenience where designers can easily visualize and interact with the design, add or subtract features at the early stages of production, which is more cost-effective.
Quality is one of the critical parameters in the manufacturing sector and one of the prime factors that differentiate businesses from their competitors. Manufacturers have leveraged AR as it adds an extra layer of accurate quality checks, reducing the cost of quality (i.e., Prevention cost, Appraisal cost, Internal Failure, and External Failure costs.). The luxury car manufacturer, Porsche, uses the AR software to scan and compare the finished products and check them against the required specifications.
Stock and Inventory Management
Augmented Reality has specified tools that ensure improved and more advanced stock & inventory management.
More specifically, AR engages warehouse workers in so-called “vision” or “guided” picking, which helps them to find the exact location of a certain package/product, and highlights it for easier pinpoint process and pickup. AR-guided picking helps warehouse workers effectively navigate towards needed supplies and make the overall process of order picking much faster and more efficient.
Let’s discover some proven advantages of using AR technology for maintenance in the manufacturing industry:
- AR lets teams track equipment’s work in real-time, getting visibility of the smallest internal details without having to take the machine apart, and identifying risky zones, eventually maximizing maintenance results.
- Maintenance teams can stay updated on the software’s state and issues without visiting the factory or taking the technology apart with the use of AR.
- It would lead to faster production performance, fewer investments into human resources’, prompt repairs, and reduced downtimes.
Security & Safety
When it comes to the working environment, aside from making the manufacturing process smoother and more efficient, Augmented Reality makes working conditions much safer and aids workers in avoiding any harm as well as to prevent damage.
Augmented Reality solutions reduce human and machine-centered mistakes, and, consequently, increases safety in the workplace.
The use of augmented reality in manufacturing allows enterprises to achieve two main goals. Firstly, you can increase the quality of the product by eliminating miscommunication during production, improving employee’s qualifications with AR training, and directing efforts to innovation instead of soling logistic inconveniences. Secondly, it’s a way to reduce the time, needed to produce the product, increase the team’s productivity, and reduce repair costs.
Though yet to be adopted by the masses, Augmented Reality is here to stay. With the increase of smart devices and wearable for enterprise, AR applications for industries will become more accessible and with the advantages it provides, such as reduced costs, increased productivity, and reduced downtime, more businesses need to shift from the traditional production methods to cutting edge AR technology.
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