How Augmented Reality is Transforming the Manufacturing Industry

augmented reality manufacturing
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Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved from a futuristic idea into today’s real-world apps. Even manufacturers are welcoming this technology to elevate the intricacy of their products and services, boosting accuracy and decreasing the time of employees per single part.

This technology will turn your surroundings into an interactive monarchy, which can be in the form of a game or anything that is objective-based. It will add a touch of digital elements, objects, and another appealing glamour to make experiences more pleasurable.

Before 2016, AR in the manufacturing industry was like a fantasy, but today the potential of AR has changed the way manufacturers are managing their work. It has already started creating strides on the industrial manufacturing plant floor, boosting operational proficiency by decreasing production downtime, instantly identifying problems and moving process smoothly.

Various manufacturers have realized the benefits that AR can offer in an industrial environment. Some examples:

Maintenance

AR can be easily used in the maintenance of manufacturing equipment. A lot of field workers and labourers need to confirm a maintenance target using a maintenance manual.

Following maintenance manually is a time-consuming process, and is also a tiresome process for workers. It makes sense to use AR to develop maintenance applications like some leading companies already do. Mitsubishi Electric has already developed maintenance support technology with the help of augmented reality that based on a 3D model.

The developed maintenance support allows users to confirm the order of inception on AR display and then they can enter their review results with their voice. It helps users reduce workload and avoid entry errors as they can enter the information vocally even in noisy environments.

Assembly Instructions

As we all know that the modern manufacturing includes thousands of components in a right sequence as instantly as possible. No matter whether you are manufacturing clothes, smartphones or jet engines, every new product needs a new set of assembly instructions.

However, following a new set of assembly instructions for the product is not always possible for all the workers and labourers in a factory or manufacturing unit. Remembering an entire work process is quite difficult and they are static documents, so they may be out of date after some time.

Let’s take an example of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial jetliners, Boeing, that uses AR technology to ease the difficult task of wiring that goes into every new 787-8 freighter. Currently, this company uses Google Glass and Skylight software platform from Upskill to increase the wiring process.

Technicians used to work using charts and laptops, which had a basic problem. To refer the diagrams and charts, they need to look away constantly so that they could get assembly instructions. With the latest AR solution, technicians and workers can easily access instructions when needed with the Google Glass touchpad.

With voice commands, technicians and workers can free up both hands, while Google Glass cameras help them in identifying and confirming the wiring inventory. By implementing AR technology, Boeing saved 25% time in wiring production, and reduced the error rates to virtually zero.

Quality Assurance

As we all know Quality Assurance (QA) is the process wherein it is verified whether a product meets required specifications and customer expectations. Being a process-driven approach, it eases and defines the goal regarding product design, development and production.

Following an entire QA process manually is quite difficult and time-consuming, therefore it is beneficial to use AR technology for this. Let’s check out how Porsche technicians are using Augmented Reality as a tool in the QA process.

The basic function of it is this case, is that the quality professionals and experts can take pictures of parts or assemblies on vehicles under inspection. Then they can easily compare those pictures to ones that delivered by the company’s suppliers through AR overlay.

Technicians can instantly know what the problems are, and can instantly solve them, as features that are out of specification can be highlighted by the overlay.

Along with this, Airbus, a leading manufacturer of civil aircraft, has been using a “Mixed Reality Application”, or MIRA, in order to integrate digital mock-ups into production environments, allowing assembly workers to access complete 3D models of the aircraft under production.

Moreover, the technicians are also using AR smart glasses to allow millimeter-precise positioning during the cabin installation making process. AR mainly aims to produce effectual operations by reducing production downtime, instantly identifying the problems and keeping all the services and processes ongoing.

Conclusion

With the above-given examples of how top manufacturers like Airbus, Boeing, Porsche, etc. are using AR technology tools and applications in the industry, you might also understand the importance of AR in changing the whole environment.

The whole point of AR in the manufacturing industry is to decrease the cognitive load from the workers and technicians by making instructions clearer and easier to understand. It is helpful in reducing fatigue and boosting the possibility that the right procedure is performed.

Various augmented reality apps development companies are in the market that develop advanced and best AR apps for various industries like education, retail, gaming, entertainment, etc.

It would be beneficial for you to invest in AR apps for your business and avail maximum benefits.

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Jyoti Bharwani
Jyoti Bharwani is a content manager at Space-O Technologies. She prefers writing about latest technologies like Augmented Reality, Blockchain, and mobile apps development. In her free time, she likes to read non-fictional books.
Jyoti Bharwani

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