_How does Augmented Reality revolutionize manufacturing industry technologies?
20 September 2019
Reading time: 7 minutes
More and more entrepreneurs from different industrial sectors realize benefits which Augmented Reality technology can offer them. Augmented Reality supports efficiency of processes, for instance by eliminating production downtime. It enables quick identification of problems and resuming work continuity, and as a result, reduces current expenses.
Let’s have a closer look at solutions which make AR significantly influence industrial technology revolution.
Modern production includes joining hundreds or thousands of components in a particularly determined order, as fast as possible. What’s more, every new product requires a new set of instructions.
AugmentedReality technology enables freedom of movement, which allows for quick assembly step by step. Engineers can see graphics applied in real time on a real picture with glasses which use AR technology, which have, among others: depth sensors and depth cameras. It is possible for them to see in details screws or cables rendering, numbers of parts, and instructions for particular components
Implementing such solutions, accuracy of specialists’ work can increase even by 96%, accelerating their work by 30%.
Smart service and repair
Apart from help with assembly of manufactured products, Augmented Reality can be used in maintenance tasks or repairs of production machines. Manufacturing companies use dozens of sensors to establish machines’ work quality. With the use of AR, it’s enough to have a quick look at a machine and the user can see in real time which parts of the machine have been broken. Because of technology, an operator of the application receives a confirmation concerning the order of necessary steps, from a serviceman after reporting a failure. Besides, he has a possibility of entering service process in an audio version and saving it in a digital documentation. In case of a repeated failure, every employee can verify historical data concerning a particular failure which makes them avoid wasting time consulting an expert. Everything goes smooth and allows for saving countless working hours and optimizing costs.
Simplification of information exchange
In a situation of service orders, it’s often unavoidable to request for an expert who needs to get to the place of machine’s work. It happens that less advanced specialists need help of long-term employees, called experts. What if the above mentioned expert is a few hundred kilometers away, without a possibility of showing up at the place of failure? These situations are solved by Augmented Reality. It’s easier for a regular serviceman to contact an expert, which makes work effectiveness and speed of dealing with unusual failure increase significantly.
Traditional actions make the time of a repair process or components’ replacement longer. Let’s imagine a situation where one of machines from a production line is broken, the date of repair is far away, and the whole situation leads to downtime in the company. AR technology has been included into supporting applications, to make it possible for servicing companies provide their service more efficiently. Employees have a possibility of reporting problems directly to servicemen in real time, regardless of distance. It’s just enough that they’ll take a photo of a part which needs to be fixed, send it to a specialist, who will then lead them through the process of repair step by step. It can be said that the serviceman can see the malfunction with the eyes of the employee reporting the failure, using Augmented Reality glasses. A perfect tool which makes information exchange between an employee and an expert easier is Vuforia Chalk. It allows for audio-video connection with a person from outside, who, looking at a real picture in their device, can lead the person who reported a failure through the proper steps of service work, with just drawing arrows. A technician can remotely visualize and identify problems as well as enter comments in the visual field of a person who is repairing the machine. Additionally, the application does not need any special training as it’s really intuitive.
The next tool which will also make it possible to save time and money when any equipment repair is necessary is HPE MyRoom. How does it work? Putting it in a nutshell, you can invite a specialist to your virtual ”room” and connect directly to them, regardless of where they are at the moment. With the use of sound and video, using wearable devices, we can pass on all the necessary information concerning what has happened.
One of problems related to train a new employee is the fact that they do not know all the necessary protocols, procedures or equipment which they are going to work with. Most of all, it can lead to safety issues. Moreover, introducing a worker to new responsibilities demands a great deal of involvement on the part of a supervisor or a more experienced employee. Owing to the right AR applications and devices, still inexperienced personnel can be well-trained without physical presence of trainers. The system also provides all updates, informs about any potential dangers or breakdowns, as well as it visualizes the construction of particular parts.
Technical trainings can be expensive when we deal with complicated machines. Using Augmented Reality, we only need a training room and AR glasses.
Easily accessible data
All the above mentioned facilities have a common feature – easy access to any information. Service engineers and manufacturers can approach any machine’s element equipped with IoT technology and get access to data collected by sensors. Additionally, information concerning the machine can be enriched with digital version of documentation or an instructional video. Owing to this solution, a company reduces the excess of materials, instruction manuals or procedures. It can be up-to-date with information and eliminate potential mistakes in documentation.
What enables all the functionalities?
There are more and more new AR devices on the market. However, RealWear HMT-1 glasses have been designed from the very beginning for industry. They are comfortable to wear and do not require hands to use the device, guaranteeing complete freedom of movements and free hands. They perfectly pick up voice commands and provide great quality of sound inside a production hall. What is more, they are water-, dust- and shockproof – however, it’s more of a device to transfer 2D media: texts, pictures, schemas, movies. We sometimes consider AR to be Assisted Reality – reality enriched with an assistant. The whole potential of AR in a form of enrichment with virtual elements embedded in the context of real world is given by holographic glasses (Hololens 1/2, MagicLeap etc.). There, additional cameras and depth sensors are used besides picture processing from one camera.
Augmented Reality and Industrial Revolution 4.0
Has Augmented Reality become part of Industrial Revolution 4.0? Everything suggests so. Probably not a keystone, but a natural complement. Although it’s not yet widely used, in some of the applications it has been predicted that overall AR growth rate in industry will sharply increase.
Industrial field of business perfectly absorbs all the technological novelties, and AR offers a wide scope of possibilities, influencing a lot of aspects of a company’s performance. Most of all, it significantly enhances information flow in all processes, starting with product prototyping, through assembly, and finishing with its service or repair. It makes it possible to avoid mistakes as early as in a design phase, and later on, to identify failures and inform about them. Remember that optimization of most processes in a company has an influence on a ‘design’ of an end product.
What is improvement of information flow related to? Benefits which it gives work in a chain, because when we reduce time of widely understood information delivery from point A to point B, we reduce time of a given activity, reducing the time of the whole process, and as a result, reducing costs.
Fast development which AR is experiencing at the moment transfers it beyond industrial area. For example, it is used in marketing activities which you can read about here. In modern living pace, time is priceless, and Augmented Reality solutions make it possible to save a great deal of it, basically in all of business areas.
Maybe it’s worth inviting Augmented Reality to your company and enjoy all the profits it offers? Contact us and we’ll answer all your questions!