How AR/VR Revolutionizes Product Development in Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry seeks technical innovation to cut costs, enhance production and distribution, and create quality products.
While IoT helps manufacturers control the production process seamlessly until distribution and enables engineers to collect and analyze any data they want at any given time, virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) provides a new way to interact with information provided by IoT devices.
Many manufacturers are learning that AR/VR assists in the production process and provides valuable insights in real-time. Let us briefly look at various stages that AR/VR will boost.
1. Product Design and Assembly
Engineers can use AR/VR to design cars, planes, and production equipment, use the AR model to study design and construction, and test its functionality and features.
Engineers can overlay the virtual model over the physical model to get real-time and get information about the internal construction, body materials, etc. when they look through an AR camera.
AR enables engineers to thoroughly study the product without building many prototypes to look at it from different angles and get additional information about adding product features.
Additionally, AR/VR can help workers do their job better as there are still people working on assembly lines. Workers can see the details they need to assemble down to the centimeter, enabling them to control the production process.
2. Product Downtime and Maintenance
Downtime pauses production and causes a loss of money for manufacturers. Production teams can utilize AR solutions to identify the cause of the problem and solve the issues. Porsche workers rely on AR to identify technical problems on their assembly lines and resolve them.
Large manufacturers waste much time on equipment maintenance, so they are constantly looking to cut maintenance time. Engineers can get the order of review on their AR displays and, while running tests on equipment, get condition details while performing the tests.
For instance, ThyssenKrupp’s AR app enables service workers to visualize and identify problems with elevators and gain easy access to technical information. These features optimize the maintenance process, making it faster and more cost-effective.
3. Data Access and Quality Control
AR puts data in front of manufacturers to help them work efficiently in production areas, storage facilities, and warehouses. Workers can use AR with IoT in warehouses to get information about products anytime.
- IoT- With IoT, beacons send data about object movement to the company servers.
- AR – Workers can access the server for information on objects using AR headsets or mobile devices. They can get the object’s location, inventory, condition, and other details. AR solutions enable easy navigation to certain sections of the warehouse or production line easily.
Companies are already implementing IoT devices with AR/VR to track production and monitor equipment conditions, single out faulty parts, and alert engineers during emergencies. With data, companies can improve the quality of their manufactured products.
4. Staff Training
New employees may find it challenging to work with complex equipment and products and struggle with learning the workflow, while more experienced workers must readjust when further instructions come out. AR solutions can assist in –
- Saving time – Workers can get hands-on instruction to start with the equipment and review the instructions at any time without relying on instructors or mentors.
- Improving work quality – With AR training showing instructions in real-time, workers can remember them and perform up to expectations or exceed them.
- Reducing failure – Workers are prone to make fewer mistakes as hands-on training is accompanied by abundant information.
AR holds enormous potential in manufacturing. It makes production facility operations and management more transparent. The expansion of IoT, AR, and other technologies will continue faster with the development of Industry 4.0 to push the manufacturing industry forward.
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