Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two powerful tools now regarded as part of industry 4.0 technologies, with the latter synonymously known for entertainment. Throughout the years, AR and VR have been incorporated into the manufacturing industry and have helped companies adopt sustainable practices and reduce overall waste and finances. Although the two types of technologies are often categorised together, it is essential to note that AR and VR differ. While VR is 75 percent an immersive virtual world, AR provides an augmented real-world scene that is only 25 per cent virtual. This means VR provides a fictional world that completely replaces reality, whereas AR enhances the virtual and real worlds. Combined, however, they offer a more enhanced and engaging experience. This combination is sometimes referred to as mixed reality, making it easier to target centralised data at any time.
It is estimated that AR devices will increase by 40-fold in 2023, leading some to believe AR will eventually surpass VR in its capabilities. According to the Augmented Reality Market – Global forecast to 2023 report conducted by Research and Markets and a report by PwC, the AR market is expected to read USD 61.39 Billion by 2023. Despite this, both AR and VR will continue to play a vital role in digitally transforming the manufacturing world. This article will provide an overview of how AR and VR are currently being utilised by manufacturing companies to streamline their processes.
Five Ways AR and VR Are Used in the Manufacturing Industry
AR and VR technologies help a range of individuals in a factory, starting from the decision makers, engineers, manufacturers, designers and many others. Here are five ways different people in the manufacturing sector have infused the advanced capabilities of AR and VR in their operations:
To Test Out Products Without Incurring Any Waste
The combined power of AR and VR helps manufacturers test various prototypes. It is common knowledge that multiple tests are carried out to create a standardised product. As a result, many resources and money are potentially wasted in the initial stages. This was one of the reasons why Ford incorporated VR in the late 1990s and early 2000s to make its automobiles. This alone showcases the enormous power that can be unlocked with VR, that has helped manufacture one of the world’s fastest automobiles today. From the planning to the designing and manufacturing stages, both technologies contribute to making a robust end product that is cost-saving and sustainable for the environment.
Make Training More Immersive for Employees to Accurately Respond to Critical Manufacturing Events
One of the reasons why the manufacturing industry around the world faces labour shortages is the existing skills gap. AR and VR can thus be used to provide better training on the job. AR uses its many audio and visual sensors to capture knowledge, making it easy for skilled engineers to record and share their expertise. They can, therefore, easily create AR experiences instead of having to work on documentation manually. This offers an immersive training experience whereby employees wear specific VR devices. These help employees to receive a first-hand-like understanding of the various situations that could arise in a factory and be trained to respond accurately to emergencies. Such new skill sets can help in the professional development of factory employees and, in turn, increase the productivity of a factory long-term.
Work or Train Remotely
Imagine that a company has multiple manufacturing sites located in different locations. Attempting to provide quality training for all traditionally would have been difficult. It would require expert engineers to take time off their schedules and incur more costs. However, with AR and VR, experts can connect remotely with any manufacturing facility. Employees are no longer required to go through difficult lessons to ensure all processes are executed flawlessly. With expert guidance, prior unachievable tasks can now be easily done. This gives both the trainer and the great employee flexibility. AR and VR furthermore help to detect and reduce errors from anywhere worldwide. Hence, employees and specialists can carry out routine safety inspections and maintenance virtually.
Detect Anomalies and Automating Maintenance
AR and VR allows an interactive visualisation environments that allows anomaly detection in manufacturing assets in real-time. The IIoT sensors rigged in the factry floor will give instantaneous parametric updates about pending risks at its initial stages and guide the users with steps that should be taken to rectify them. As the AR and VR visibilities allows managers to take concurrent tours in the factory floor they can investigate on machine operations, labour utilisations, CO2 emmision levels, energy usage, asset integrity, losses, risks and advantages all in the virtual realm. It can therefore help in improving factory floor maintenance. Managers can thus eliminate downtime, reduce hazardous events, and increase safety.
Better Performance of Warehouse Operations
Warehouses today significantly rely on technology to efficiently carry out their operations. Since most mundane and repetitive tasks, robotics has been utilised to carry out warehouse operations seamlessly. Similarly, AR and VR help warehouses pick and drop materials and objects faster and more reliably. It reduces the chances of risks occurring and eliminates any waste generated from errors. With just a glance at the packaged material, employees can also use glasses to display picking information for the worker. Details related to the location, its product details and packing instructions can easily be seen through it.
Cerexio Powers All Solutions With New-Age Visibilities
Cerexio is recognised as one of the best digital solution vendors in the manufacturing industry in Asia and the world. It includes a range of manufacturing solutions and suites with the latest up-to-date technology, including industry 4.0. This specifically includes the Cerexio Manufacturing Enterprise System 4.0 and Cerexio Warehouse Management System 4.0. Hence, as Cerexio infuses powerful technologies into its solutions, it is no surprise that it provides companies with new ways of visualising their assets and performance through AR and VR capabilities. Both these technologies increase the manager’s ability to manage, monitor and overlook assets in a different reality through a macro-scale, intuitive and advanced virtual lens. This artificial world allows managers to test various simulations to consider the feasibility of adopting specific goals in the factory. An expert can gain advanced analysis and data insights through AR and VR capabilities to make informed decisions. Additionally, they contribute to conducting interactive and immersive training programs, providing a unique consumer experience for target clients, and finding anomalies by detecting abnormal data patterns. It furthermore helps speed the maintenance process and ensures that your assets are more robust and reliable.
Connect with us to find out which Cerexio solution powered with AR and VR technology best suits your overall purposes.
A Must-Use Technology for Forward-Thinking Manufacturing Practitioners
Although AR and VR have existed for a long time, their integration into the manufacturing sector has been slow. It is an untapped market that only a few industrial practitioners have incorporated by understanding its significant potential to drive a factory to the top. The number of advantages you can unlock by adopting such technologies is endless and will provide you with a far better competitive edge. Suppose you are a forward-thinking practitioner in the manufacturing sector. In that case, you are sure to find the implementation of AR and VR-friendly solutions in your company operations to be a major advantage in the long haul.