Augmented Reality in Manufacturing: Tap Into New Workforce Potential
Augmented Reality (AR) can help manufacturers manage onboarding, reduce human error, train employees, and boost productivity.
With a record-low unemployment rate and many manufacturing workers retiring, it’s no secret that the industry struggles to find and keep good employees.
Once you hire them, onboarding and training take valuable time and resources. It may be weeks or months before new staff members are ready to work on their own.
That’s where augmented reality (AR) technology in manufacturing makes a difference. Through phones, tablets, or eyewear, it overlays digital content (like drawings, three dimensional objects, and cues and directions) onto the real-world environment.
Here are three ways AR helps employees be more efficient and productive.
1. Manages Onboarding
New operators often need hands-on time with employees to learn the most efficient assembly methods while minimizing mistakes. By overlaying step-by-step guidance at the work area, AR empowers them to move forward on their own so other employees can keep working. New staff members can make big operational impacts faster with assurance that they’re performing actions in the right sequence, and correctly.
2. Reduces Human Error
When several versions of a product exist, thousands of assembly combinations may be possible. After an operator receives training, will they remember these variations? With AR, constant visual cues provide guidance for each assembly variation they encounter.
3. Trains Existing Employees
Even seasoned employees may need training on new processes or products. A simulation station using augmented reality lets them become familiar with these changes – without referring to a manual or remembering what was learned during training. Guided work instructions boost decision-making confidence.
Augmented Reality in Your Plant?
Examining your plant’s pain points can determine whether augmented reality is a good fit:
- Do you struggle to onboard employees?
- Are you losing top talent?
- Are too many human errors occurring?
- Does it take operators too long to complete tasks?
If you’re not sure whether AR will work for you, Van Meter can help. We’ll analyze your situation to determine whether AR technology can boost productivity. We’ll also show you ways it can integrate with existing production and automation systems to support your unique workforce initiatives. Questions? Give me a call at 1-800-247-1410.
EMPLOYEE-OWNER, PROCESS & INFORMATION SOLUTIONS MANAGER
Schmidt joined Van Meter in 1995 and has spent more than 24 years helping customers automate and optimize manufacturing processes.