Industrial augmented reality (AR) systems, which involve the use of specialized goggles, glasses or smartphone apps that overlay digital information onto a plant worker’s real-life view, can help increase productivity, efficiency and safety on the manufacturing floor.
Not to be confused with virtual reality (VR), which uses visual and audible means to mimic real-world settings, AR technology produces stats, calculations and other information in order to give workers increased visibility into their actual surroundings.
6 ways industrial augmented reality can benefit manufacturing facilities
- Streamline product design and development. Concepting and prototyping can be time-consuming and resource-intensive tasks. With AR visibility, management can provide insight throughout the design phase, making changes and improvements as needed. Rather than creating clay models, technicians can create digital overlays to see what features will look like.
- Quickly identify problems for less downtime. AR can help operators identify and fix bottlenecks quickly, reducing downtime. It can also show operation times, date of last service, potential points of failure and more as part of preventive and predictive maintenance efforts.
- Increase worker productivity. With AR sensors and immediate data analysis capabilities, employees can gain additional insight into complex tasks and free up their hands to work faster. This is especially true with assembly. AR systems can overlay simple assembly instructions, placing renderings of bolts, cables and part numbers in employees’ direct line of sight.
- Easily access and manage data. Employees could pull information such as specs, locations, inventory levels, lead times, graphics, images and live video feeds.
- Lower costs. Since AR essentially implements real-time, on-the-job training with step-by-step task guidance, it helps decrease training costs. Additionally, minimizing assembly errors and optimizing equipment repairs keeps costs down.
- Improve quality. AR takes detail and quality checks to a level the human eye isn’t capable.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this blog post was derived through close industry observation. Topics discussed should not be interpreted as predictions on behalf of Border States.