How VR technology will change manufacturing

Virtual technology has been around for more than 50 years, but augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have only recently arrived in manufacturing environments. These technologies are on their way to more widespread adoption.

Early adopters in the manufacturing industry are thinking innovatively about AR and VR. As they consider the future, they will use these potentially disruptive technologies to improve worker safety, accelerate new product to market, reduce training costs, and increase productivity. We’re figuring out ways to improve. Many believe virtual technology is critical to staying competitive in the manufacturing market.

Here are some examples of how some companies are using AR and VR to change their manufacturing and related processes, and how they are already benefiting from these technologies. Masu.

How VR technology will change manufacturing

Inventory control

Logistics company DHL was one of the first companies to adopt AR for inventory management. DHL customer Ricoh and the wearable computing solutions specialist collaborated with Ubimax to implement a “vision picking” pilot program in warehouse operations using smart glasses and AR. Graphics displayed on smart glasses guided workers through the warehouse, reducing errors and speeding up the picking process. The smart glasses recorded the necessary tracking data without the employee having to stop and enter the data into a computer. A pilot program proved that AR can add value to logistics, increasing the efficiency of the picking process by 15%. This technology has been implemented in his DHL warehouses around the world. [See related article: The Best POS Systems of 2024]

Vehicle design and manufacturing

VR is becoming an industry standard for major car companies. Joining automakers such as Ford, which has been using virtual technology since 1999, Hyundai is now implementing his VR and 3D digital tools when designing new vehicles and parts. VR allows designers to test models in specific contexts that mimic real-world scenarios. This was not possible with past clay models. Hyundai is currently implementing a VR design review system, allowing members of its team around the world to thoroughly review every step of the design and modeling process.

Using virtual technology can significantly improve cost, time, and quality. VR allows product designers and engineers to consider options that were previously too costly or time-consuming. For large companies like Hyundai, there is less need for employees to travel to complete designs in person.

Maintenance and assembly training

AR and VR can speed up new employee onboarding and improve employee productivity by providing more immersive on-the-job training. AR smart glasses that project videos, graphics, and text can visually guide workers step-by-step through assembly and maintenance tasks. For example, to begin a repair, all a worker needs to do is look at the mechanical part that needs repair.

Lincoln Property Company has been using virtual reality technology to train its HVAC repair and installation workers for several years. Despite the high price tag of VR, LPC believes that training is cost-effective as time, travel and material costs are kept to a minimum. Beyond the numbers, his LPC and other companies that have adopted VR training have found that participant engagement is much higher than with webinars and other online training options.

Employees tend to be impressed by virtual reality’s relative novelty as well as how it breaks up the routine of a mundane training session. They often describe VR training as “cool” and “fun.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has played an encouraging role in the development of the VR and AR space. There was a clearer need for ways to engage professionally, educationally, and socially, even in a remote and virtual setting. Employees attended his VR meetings and students took his 3D tours of the museum online.

factory floor plan

Virtual technology is also being introduced to factory floor planning, construction, and manufacturing exhibitions. In high-volume manufacturing, factory planning—where tools, equipment, and personnel are located—is critical to productivity and efficiency.

Engineering a new plant or modifying an existing plant includes design, testing, and trials. Unexpected delays or production line stoppages, even temporary ones, can be very costly. Virtual technology simplifies the process and significantly speeds it up. Virtual plants can be designed to test production flows and how workers and robots perform tasks before making changes to the physical world.

Even ergonomics can be tested and improved to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently on a new or modified line or plant. Early trials suggest that virtually planned floors can be completed in a fraction of the time, bringing new products to the line faster.

>> Click here for details: How virtual reality is changing construction

Improving worker safety

Although the overall safety of people working in manufacturing has improved significantly in recent years, even one injury or death is one too many. Improved safety is one of the benefits of virtual reality in manufacturing.

Virtual reality allows factory managers to simulate assembly line configurations and processes involved in production, allowing them to identify potentially hazardous situations. Virtual reality could also be used as a way to immerse employees in future workstations to understand task proficiency, movement, and feasibility. This could ultimately eliminate the risk of potential injury or death.

better developed product

The use of virtual reality allows for near-perfect assembly. Equipped with depth sensors, cameras and motion sensors, the goggles show the working environment, engineers and workers, instructions and how parts are assembled.

Some companies are using virtual reality to ensure that certain components are assembled properly. For example, defense and aerospace company Lockheed Martin has an entire virtual reality lab dedicated to product design and manufacturing. After using VR to build his F-35, Lockheed Martin realized that his engineers could not only work faster, but with about 96% accuracy. His lab is one of the largest of its kind, allowing engineers to evaluate the effectiveness, cost, and risk of designs and models in a low-risk environment. Similarly, a Boeing technician uses VR smart glasses that provide the necessary instructions for each wiring repair, reducing the amount of time he needs to do the work by 25%.

Investing in VR during the assembly phase can extend the lifespan of your product for your customers, improve functionality, and minimize customer service and repair costs later on. Virtual reality during development can also help you determine whether a project will be successful before you spend too much time and money.

VR and AR allow customers to virtually try out products before purchasing them. Companies like Home Depot and Warby Parker encourage customers to test the appearance of their products the way they will actually be used.

Is virtual technology here to stay?

It is still too early to know whether investments in AR and VR reflect a coming revolution that will forever change manufacturing as we know it, or if early adopters are embarking on a period of experimentation. . In any case, virtual technology in manufacturing is nothing more than hype.

The use of VR technology is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years. VR technology may also become available on all phones and devices. While adoption may be slow in some countries, North America remains the hottest market for VR, and adoption is expected to increase across Asia-Pacific markets. Although the use of VR is expected to become mainstream in the training sector, its growing popularity in commercial and professional applications is expected to trickle down to personal and recreational applications.

Companies like Google and Oculus have been at the forefront of bringing virtual reality to the general public, developing VR devices to expand virtual worlds and lower the cost of this technology. As you move from VR headsets connected to your computer to unconnected headsets and even VR smart devices, the possibilities for incorporating VR are nearly endless.

Imagine the new spaces that VR can move into. Treat your phobia sufferers through virtual immersion therapy, go on a virtual shopping trip to see what clothes are on your body before you buy, or cheer on your favorite sports team every day with the best seat in the house. It’s something to do. time. VR is already being used in some museums, so it’s easy to imagine this technology opening up the possibility of attending live events like concerts and conferences without leaving your home. Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research predicts that VR will add $18.9 billion to the entertainment sector over the next few years. Virtual reality technology also has the potential to change the landscape of journalism, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the story and draw their own conclusions more directly from the information and evidence presented.

To reach a world where VR and AR are the norm in all areas of manufacturing and life, the industry must first overcome exorbitant prices, lack of manufacturing competition, and post-use motion sickness-related side effects.

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