10 Sep 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Industrial AR

Augmented Reality being used at an industrial plant
 

If you think augmented reality (AR) is limited to video gaming and entertainment, think again. 

In actual fact, AR is providing business solutions in almost every single industry. 

Processes are being transformed and tweaked as a result, saving companies time, money, and precious resources. 

It’s no different in the industrial sector. 

In an industry that’s driven by paper processes, the opportunities AR presents are huge. Forward-thinking manufacturing companies aren’t waiting around for the tech to be perfect, they’re adopting it now - and for good reason. 

There are plenty of major benefits of AR in manufacturing, including:

  • Faster, more effective training for new hires
  • Improved field service quality and productivity
  • Reduction in waste and rework
  • Improved and more efficient documentation 

Here’s how AR is being used. 

Transforming Training 

Employees in the industrial sector are getting younger by the day, and a lot of them tend to be fresh out of university or new to the industry. 

This means quick and efficient training is an absolute must. 

It makes sense that AR is being applied to industrial training processes, particularly when the younger generations are so fluent in the language of tech. 

Rather than handing over bulky manuals that might have thousands of pages or putting on dry, tedious lectures, industry sector managers are instead passing new hires a headset that overlays important training information on top of their physical environment. 

Not only does combining next-gen technology with hands-on learning make the training process more exciting, but it also helps new hires retain information and learn on the spot. In fact, a Forrester study found that AR improved knowledge transfer and reduced training time by 50%. More importantly, 51% of companies claimed that their company had experienced an increased ROI after using AR for employee training. 

Maintaining Equipment 

Maintenance is such a major part of industrial operations that anything that makes it easier and less time-consuming is considered a real bonus. 

Without technology, maintenance can be a lengthy process despite it being pretty routine. 

Technicians first have to troubleshoot the equipment to determine if there are any issues. Then, they follow a step by step process to ensure everything is running smoothly again. 

Instead of relying on guesswork, AR gives technicians the information they need directly in front of their eyes. While they’re working on a fix, they can access data and instructions to get equipment back up and running in real-time. 

Improving Quality Control

Like maintenance, quality control is a pivotal part of industrial operations. 

Today, there are multiple manufacturers that are using AR-based technologies to support quality control and quality assurance processes. 

Before technology, factory workers literally had to judge any discrepancies in quality with their naked eyes. This was time-consuming and incredibly unproductive. 

Now, they can tap into preloaded images of supplier standard products and get instant feedback on whether a new product is up to scratch. This has reduced overtime spend by 10-12%. 

Making Data Management a Breeze

Data is the key to improvement. 

But, considering the sheer amount of data that’s available in the manufacturing industries today, it can be difficult to put it all together and come to accurate conclusions.

This is where AR can help. 

As well as being used in tandem with other advanced technologies (like virtual reality and machine learning), AR enables workers to quickly locate products and scan them into the system faster than ever before. 

Say Hello to the Smart Factory

Industrial factories, sites, and plants are advancing quicker than ever.
AR is a source of entertainment for many, but it can also be used to power incredibly efficient solutions that are helping industry sector managers to make better decisions, faster processes, and more revenue. 

In smart factories that are driven by tech solutions, AR is integrating into almost every production process. It’s assisting workers with order picking, helping with assembly, and speeding up facility maintenance and repairs. 

These are the factories of the future, and they’re more efficient and streamlined than ever before. 

Use the tips in our free guide, Contingency Planning 101, and start thinking about the future.

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