In the last years, Augmented Reality (AR) technology has significantly played a game-changer role for different types of industries. This new technology is rapidly gaining great popularity and this comes as a result of the emergence of its all-encompassing potential ranging from remote collaboration to maintenance operations. Applications of AR in Industrial Manufacturing are increasingly finding usage in different scenarios. Empirical studies showed that depending on the use case assistance through AR, e.g. for assembly tasks, can improve overall performance by reducing errors and time consumption
What AR does is combine the real world with the virtual elements. This makes it possible to overlap the digital elements in the physical world. The rising demand for remote assistance and collaboration from enterprises that assist in workflow management and optimization is expected to propel AR market growth. AR technology is becoming one of the main digital tools of Industry 4.0 by being implemented in various fields, including here the industrial manufacturing also.
Industrial manufacturing is currently facing a wide range of challenges arising from numerous changes and the need for greater sustainability. This technology is showing great opportunities to help this industry, especially in manufacturing processes, remote assistance, inspections, and training purposes. The potential shown by the applications of AR has made its adoption by industrial manufacturing to have great development.
The ability of this technology has begun to revolutionize this field. For instance, it is pushing it towards the digitalization of operational processes and enabling the full engagement of the workforce. To understand the impact of AR in industrial manufacturing let’s take a deeper look as below.
Cost Efficiency and Safety
Businesses operating in industrial manufacturing are mainly focusing on operations that are all about speed, productivity, accuracy, compliance, and quality control. The whole operational process often faces many challenges, leading the board to seek more efficient solutions. The use of AR smart glasses enables real-time access to various information and data, this makes it possible to maximize engagement and increase workforce efficiency. The hands-free feature also provides greater flexibility for workers while they are performing their tasks.
Increasing the Productivity
Moreover, increasing the productivity of the workforce affects the minimization of risks and errors that can cause disruption of the entire operating process. In addition, the lack of knowledge that new employees have in most cases leads to fatal errors that cause millions of dollars in damage by disrupting many manufacturing processes. But now all this is prevented through AR- Remote Assistance.
The expert of the center through AR annotations makes it possible to warn employees about possible various mistakes and risks while performing their duties. This, in addition to preventing large cost damages that can occur from human error at the same time, increases the safety of workers. They can also implement AR remote assistance in AR smart glasses, which ensures them with the ability to perform their tasks hands-free and in safe positions.
AR in Industrial Manufacturing Maintenance Time
Another issue of concern for industrial manufacturing is the maintenance of equipment in the production process. These types of equipment require constant inspection in order to prevent possible downtime. In most cases, sending experts for inspection and maintenance requires high time and cost, taking into account the location of experts in different places all around the world. To reduce the possibility of equipment downtime continuous inspection is already quite facilitated through AR technology.
Maintenance experts through remote assistance can see exactly the current condition of the equipment. Also, they can ask the technicians to repair them if necessary. Through this technology, we already have detailed inspections and faster repairs. Moreover, there is a huge reduction of costs for sending experts to production sites. In addition, industrial manufacturing includes the assembly line. This is a production process in which the addition of interchangeable parts creates a final product. In most cases, a production assembly line is a semi-automated system through which a product moves. This process itself has its difficulties and challenges. Now thanks to AR technology the following assembly instructions are more simple.
AR in Industrial Manufacturing Training
Another effective use case of AR technology is the implementation of AR smart glasses in the training of the workforce. Additionally, through it, new employees are trained in the most possible efficient way. Also, employees are able to receive instruction in real-time. Moreover, at the same time to practice their gained knowledge safely and free hands. While smart glasses receive voice commands, allow proper focus, and enable hands-free performance to make possible the maximum guarantee of safety without risking anyone’s life. This is what makes remote assistance enabled on smart glasses to provide the safest way for collaboration in real-time.
AR Remote Support File Sharing
The AR remote support makes it possible to allow the sharing of files such as pdf, images, and 3D objects. Also, it makes a great contribution to enriching this distance collaboration. Remote support is based on the “See what I see” principle. This is what makes it possible to have a more trained and skilled workforce. Data and instructions received in real-time make it possible to increase the trained and specialized workforce. Also, to eliminate the need to look for a more qualified workforce while saving time and costs.
As mentioned above, AR technology already facilitates industrial manufacturing processes. This is possible by reducing extra costs and increasing employees’ efficiency on their tasks. AR can improve manufacturing processes, thus creating an environment of interaction between experts and site workers. Now manufacturing processes through AR technology become more and more facilitated. Also, there is no need to bring technical expertise to the field. We can easily claim that through this technology the right expertise comes in real-time and virtually in the industrial field. Also, it changes fundamentally the way how manufacturing processes are being executed.
AR appears to be more than a technology. It emerges as a major wave of changes that aim to revolutionize industrial manufacturing. This technology has the potential to optimize the processes of industrial manufacturing and give this industry the right values. This is a stimulus for many businesses operating in this sector to implement this technology to greatly improve efficiency, reliability, and security.