How does it work?
The current state of augmented reality (AR) allows users to see the real world enhanced by computer generated information. On the work floor it can be helpful to guide and assist employees through AR. Examples such as measurements, tool information, walkthroughs and other information can be depicted digitally. This information can be shown on mobile devices, tablets and AR supported eyewear.
Benefits of Augmented Reality for operational excellence
Companies are transforming rapidly towards industry 4.0 with an need for guidance on the shop floor workers. They are hard to find and training them is costly and time consuming. Training workers virtually is the next big step in training personnel towards operational excellence.
- Increase production speed; employees require less guidance and can work independently with guidance of AR. It is, for instance, easier to use unskilled staff to prepare tasks for the machinist without compromising the quality of the work. So the machinist can focus on production instead of preparing for production.
- Easy to deploy; by simply opening an app on a mobile phone or tablet the user can request information which is often simplified and easy to understand.
- Quality control; AR can recognize real life objects and is able to compare it with digital objects to ensure good quality products.
Reduce guidance costs; costs can be reduced when there is no need for external or internal guidance as guidance can be deployed on site.
Training application types
Companies can use the AR application in various ways in a production environment, for example:
- Assembly: guidance while assembling products or preparing for production, like preparing a build up for machining. Very beneficial with different types of assembly of many product types.
- Maintenance: giving additional information such as temperature graphs, vibrations and more, during work activities: adding location-specific information.
- Remote maintenance: having an experienced machinist or service engineer spectate a less experienced technician. Including the ability to digitally indicate possible malfunctions by the experienced technician, and seen on the device of the technician on site.
For augmented reality multiple devices can be used. In industrial environments AR supported mobile phones or tablets are widely applicable. Most AR applications for mobile run on Android and iOS.
Wearable AR supported eyeglasses, like the Microsoft Hololens, are still very fragile and expensive. They have still a limited usability in an industrial environment, due a limited field of view and usability. The biggest benefit of wearables is that you don’t need a hand to hold the device and can