The discussion about whether automation will significantly reduce the need for human work, more so in the manufacturing sector has been going on for quite some time now. However, everyone agrees with the fact that some industries will see a significant rise in job growth, but will struggle nevertheless to fill the position with relevant and qualified people for those vacancies.
A joint report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute reveals that the US alone in the next decade will be looking to fill 3.5 million manufacturing jobs, with estimates that close to two-third of the vacancies are likely to go unfulfilled because of lack of people with requisite qualifications. Many executives feel that this gap between demand and supply will directly hamper their ability to meet customer demand, invest in new technology, carry out R&D activities, demand, develop new products, and expand into foreign markets.
In order to bridge this skills gap, experts believe that the manufacturing sector will need to innovate, and make significant investment in technology related to human-machine interaction, such as augmented reality (AR) – a powerful technology that is already revolutionizing gaming, entertainment, education and beauty industry.
Augmented reality (AR) AR headsets and screens empowered with AR software offers an interactive experience that overlays digital information such as sounds, videos, and graphics on a user’s view of the real world. In other words, it superimposes a computer-generated image on top of the real-world environment thus allowing users to see virtual objects superimposed on a picture of the real world.
Integrated literally in front of workers’ eyes, AR allows them to make quick decision in real time, thus resulting in quick accomplishment of tasks. This way, augmented reality in manufacturing can help in a lot many ways in manufacturing such as knowledge transfer, quick assemblies, training of technicians, carry out complex repair tasks with ease among others.
In this blog, we describe 5 real-world use cases of AR in manufacturing where AR software development combined with special equipment has been driving operational efficiency in the manufacturing industry. We shall also see how a good augmented reality company can help you bridge the skills gap and allow you to efficiently deal with customer demand and expectations.
Remote repair with experts
As the manufacturing industry tries to keep pace with the rapid pace of technological advancement, a problem it is facing is that experts are growing older and retiring. The challenge is to find new talent, who may be in remote locations, to replace the old talent. AR headsets and integrated software can allow young and inexperienced workers to receive assistance and training from veterans in the manufacturing field in real time irrespective of their location.
Most of these AR headsets include a “see what I see” function, allowing experts to have a thorough view of the machine through the eye of the technician. This can help identify the malfunctioning part with rather ease. This is in sharp contrast to the times when experts had to visit the actual site to fixed the damaged machinery, costing organizations both time and money.
The conventional product design process is complex that demands heavy investment of time and money. Development of any new product requires multiple discussion between all the concerned parties, which automatically means multiple revisions before a product is finally approved. AR can significantly lower the time required for some of the tasks in this process. For example, AR glasses or apps can show how the finished product will look in real time to directors or executives, thus speeding up the entire process of product development.
On-the-spot training in real time
As the skills gap in manufacturing widens, AR is expected to play a central role in training young talent for additional responsibility. Apart from providing access to courses, AR via telepresence can offer technicians and mechanics real-time training through manufacturing experts and engineers. AR by providing a seamless combination of technical skills and experience combined with prompt access to relevant documentation and resources can drastically cut down on the training time.
Modern manufacturing companies operating in a highly complex business environment and manufacturing complex machineries must assemble thousands of components in real quick time. Businesses can simplify the process by utilizing AR in manufacturing. For instance, Boeing uses AR glasses integrated with Upskill’s Skylight platform to streamline 130 miles of wiring required in its latest plane. With the help of AR glasses, which come equipped with bar code reader and voice command capabilities, workers can receive relevant instructions in real time, and subsequently carry out the relevant tasks in quick time. Because of use of AR, Boeing has successfully cut down wiring production time by 25%, while at the same time completely doing away with error rates.
Businesses in the manufacturing sector can also use AR to provide better customer support. For example, Leybold, a vacuum pump manufacturer, has partnered with REFLEKT to deploy AR apps to assist onsite sales representatives. The app is capable of showing components as well as features of a product on an iPad or HoloLens device. Customers can see the various components of a pump without the need for disassembling it.
As AR technology continues to evolve, businesses will see even more application and usage of the technology in manufacturing. ground-breaking applications. Big businesses are already partnering with quality provider of augmented reality services to close the skills gap in manufacturing.