The first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word "Augmented Reality" is most likely gaming. However, the applications of AR are not only limited to gaming.
AR's ability to transform your surroundings into an exciting and interactive virtual world can enhance the performance and experience of basically any task.
The manufacturing industry is rapidly evolving and implementing the latest technological advancements with AR, ultimately enhancing work efficiency and significantly cutting down production time.
The Role of Augmented Reality in the Manufacturing Sector
Indeed, Augmented Reality (AR) has rapidly emerged as an exceptional technology that can help resolve fundamental operational problems in the manufacturing sector.
True-to-scale visualizations enable quick shop and field inspections, allowing your team to virtually see and experience designs and BIM models like never before.
Teams who use AR solutions in the manufacturing industry can virtually experience their designs in the shop and field, allowing for quick identification of any discrepancies between the design and the actual physical conditions.
5 Ways to Use AR in Manufacturing
Here's a brief outline of some ways in which AR is used in the manufacturing sector:
1. For Training
When it comes to simulation and training, Augmented Reality can be one of your team's most effective training tools.
Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology is already being used extensively for simulation training for military operations, aircraft pilots, and advanced medical and surgical operations.
You can even use AR in training to foster and expedite the learning process. AR has the power to create an interactive and somewhat immersive experience for your employee training.
With digital twin technology, AR / VR expedites the learning curve and can allow lesser experienced team members to learn how to repair or maintain equipment.
It also enables workers to train using dynamic and lifelike simulations. Moreover, it eliminates the need to disassemble and reassemble the actual equipment to learn how to perform a repair.
2. For Maintenance
AR solutions in the manufacturing industry enable workers to work efficiently using shop drawings and maintenance manuals right alongside them. This ultimately makes the production process more efficient and less time-consuming.
When AR technology is combined with real-time analytics and sensor data, it increases defensive maintenance capabilities that can ultimately prevent expensive shutdowns and equipment failures.
AR technology can also superimpose maintenance and the asset status data on a screen.
Team members will be able to view real-time information like rate of vibration, temperature, and possible points of failure, merely by looking at a piece of equipment.
They can also get hold of trend data to regulate the changes and maintenance history to see if any equipment or its part is scheduled for service.
3. For Guidance
AR / VR can also facilitate remote assistance and guidance. AR allows virtual spatial markers to be displayed on top of real objects. By observing the physical objects via a wearable device, workers can view these spatial markers and follow them to accomplish production tasks.
For further guidance and assistance, you can also add intricate workflows and text annotations. This remote assistance can significantly reduce the need for employees to troubleshoot and allow your team to be more efficient in accomplishing their tasks.
4. For Mentoring
AR allows employees to receive one-to-many or one-on-one mentoring from experts regarding specific subject matters, regardless of where they're based.
Wearable Augmented Reality Devices with a headset, speaker, microphone, and a bi-directional camera allow the mentor(s) and the team member to communicate with each other as if they are together in the same room. The mentors will also be able to see from the team member's perspectives in real-time.
5. For Product Development & Design
Product development is a 2-way process that is susceptible to risk. AR enables executives, product developers, and other team members to work visually in unison to guarantee that any quality issues or manufacturing process problems are identified before the products reach the consumer's hands.
Product developers can use AR to create 3D models of new products and launch them on the assembly line. These virtual models will also give the team an idea of the product's quality before it is officially released on the market.
Benefits of AR Solutions in Manufacturing
There are numerous ways in which our AR technology solutions can benefit the manufacturing industry. Here are some of the benefits of AR solutions in the manufacturing sector.
Increased speed of work
Generally, it takes a lot of time for workers to learn manufacturing and assembly skills. This is especially true for fighter jet engineers who have to undergo several years of training to assemble an aircraft.
Without a doubt, AR speeds up this process as it technically uses cameras and sensors for overlaying images in the real world. This information can be beneficial for engineers as it allows them to see renderings of part numbers, bolts, and cables, along with precise instructions on how to assemble a specific component.
Easy data access
Besides proposing crucial information within users' field of view, the augmented reality technology lets manufacturers and service engineers quickly access essential data regarding the manufacturing processes or the product itself.
AR technology solutions can collect and store crucial information about the object's location in the inventory, detailed material/product specifications, and even the lead times to procure them.
Moreover, AR also makes it possible to scan QR codes for inventory management, viewing shop drawings, graphics, and live videos to aid engineers and team members throughout the manufacturing process.
Companies adopting AR in manufacturing for Quality Assurance and Quality Control are experiencing a significant increase in quality standards.
AR solutions can help team members accurately compare how the pre-assembled part/component matches the initial designs before sending it to the final production stages.
In addition, AR manufacturing solutions significantly save time and costs, boost accuracy, and enable companies to achieve top-quality standards.
By integrating AR technology into your production environment, your team can get visual access to your 3-dimensional models and shop drawings, accurately reflecting the production parts and components.
AR technology even transforms your work reality into a virtually collaborative sphere where workers can directly access all the essential information they need about the manufacturing products or project.
Decreased production and maintenance time
AR solutions can visually project 3D Models and install graphics in great detail, allowing users to perform work tasks merely by following all the instructions and specifications.
The renowned automotive company, Bosch, has joined hands with AR firms to create a common AR platform (CAP) to help users solve manufacturing, service, and training problems.
The manufacturing process can also involve remote assistance while bringing the components together in a precise sequence.
During the process of manufacturing a product, AR follows a new set of remote instructions that can drastically reduce execution times.
In addition, AR technology solutions allow project stakeholders to assist lower task management throughout the entire production process.
AR Remote Assistance can also minimize the traveling costs involved in conducting site inspections to workstations when there's a need to check something. Employees can be requested to join the headset's live video stream to assist with the tasks remotely.
ScanTek Leverages AR to Streamline Manufacturing Processes
Our team at ScanTek provides the most effective AR technology solutions for product development, product management, inspections, and quality management.
Get in contact with our team to learn how to get the most out of Augmented Reality Technology!