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6 benefits of augmented reality in the industry

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Today, augmented reality is more and more present in the digital transformation strategy of manufacturers. As stated in our special AR guide, it fits perfectly into the Industry 4.0 era and intervenes at different levels, each with its own advantages.

Thanks to this technology, the old paper instruction sheets are gradually being replaced by digital instruction sheets displayed in real time to guide field operators step by step.

Defect detection assistance, improved production rate, increased safety for your factory and your teams, increased productivity, reduced cycle times and, above all, reduced costs… the benefits are numerous!

Thus, AR allows the industrial sector to gain in effectiveness and efficiency while reducing errors and the additional costs generated, but it does not stop there…

1- Augmented reality to increase productivity

Use AR to improve your industrial performance

AR is a solution whose effectiveness and value to the industry is more proven than ever.

Indeed, when you use this technology in your factory and production processes, there are many gains you can make in your quest for operational excellence.

In addition to the fact that it allows you to be more effective and fast in each of your tasks (assembly, inspection, maintenance), such a solution gives you the ability to be more efficient since the processes are optimized and your operators are accompanied by digital instructions.

Your teams become more efficient, can identify non-conformities faster and drastically reduce errors and related costs. In fact, operations are performed correctly by having the right information in the right place at the right time, assigned to the right person.

To summarize, whatever your industrial performance, it will be optimized thanks to:

  • Faster learning curve for new operators
  • Reduction of inspection time (at Diota it is up to 84% reduction of inspection time measured at our customers)
  • Reduction of your cycle times and reporting
  • Automatically updated reports and documentation
  • Better traceability

2 – Improve quality through AR

It helps to reduce your non-conformities

The detection and reduction of non-conformities is one of the main objectives of the teams in charge of inspection and quality.

As we all know, the slightest error can be extremely costly and leads to a series of time-consuming corrective actions, such as

  • Correct identified defects
  • New production runs
  • Several additional quality controls
  • Possible additional logistical costs
  • Generate dissatisfaction for end customers

Very often, a detected non-conformity or error implies more time to devote to the handled part which can even go as far as stopping the production in order to identify the origin and solve the identified problem. The challenge is to be able to detect errors as early as possible in the process in order to avoid late detection and the need to stop production. This is a major challenge, especially when you want to be part of an operational excellence strategy.

An augmented reality solution would allow you to anticipate these errors. With an AR tool, quality control information is contextualized and localized to simplify the inspection process. Operators are guided through each inspection point using 3D data imported directly in the field and superimposed on the part to be inspected, allowing for efficient validation of product conformity. Errors are precisely localized, which also allows the application of the right corrective and repair actions. Diota solutions are already helping many industrial customers in the identification and efficient reporting of defects in production.

But the best way to reduce quality problems is to avoid assembly errors in advance. With AR, via the contextualization of work instructions and their display in the field making them intelligible, the operator is effectively guided to achieve the “right first time”.

3 – (Re)conciling the field with the digital

The goal? Creating phygital 4.0 factories

Implementing a digital and/or robotic solution in your plant has many advantages and can provide an immediate ROI. However, care must be taken to adopt the right approach to ensure the success of your digitalization project.

As we discussed in our article on Operator 4.0, choosing digital tools may not be well received by your field technicians who may feel threatened on their own jobs. But don’t worry, to remedy this you need to involve them from the start of the project, by integrating them in the choice of the use cases and the relevant solution, and ensure their training. Indeed,  the aim is not to “replace” them but to reconcile the two Worlds and to find a balance where machines and humans collaborate to build the operator of the future.

4 – Develop the 4.0 operator by boosting skills development

Integrating AR solutions in your factory can positively affect another area: team training!

Indeed, the simple fact of using this technology will contribute to the training of your operators and accelerate their increase in skills. Using digital work instructions projected in the field or visualized through a tablet or augmented reality glasses, your field teams receive the right information at the right time and become operational more quickly.

It is proven that using a virtual world facilitates the assimilation of the information communicated but also its application in the field. This way, your operators develop much more intuitive gestures allowing them to become more autonomous and to respond well to possible issues. In addition, it also facilitates the memorization of the information that you transmit to your teams.

This is why integrating an augmented reality solution fits perfectly into a training strategy because it facilitates the transmission of knowledge within your company and develops your operators’ autonomy more quickly thanks to its more intuitive content.

5 – Safer and more comfortable work environment

Better security and fewer errors for your industry

Augmented reality technologies can also contribute to improving the safety and comfort of your factories. In complex assembly operations or maintenance actions, they are major supports to take into account many risk factors and allow to detail faults with a better accuracy than any other resource (documentation or technicians).

  • Comfort: the variety of hardware configurations compatible with augmented reality solutions allow to adapt to the workstation, with hardware allowing to work hands-free, avoiding also numerous return trips to the office… A saving of time, energy and therefore comfort for your teams.
  • Technician safety: Your operators are better guided and accompanied step by step with alerts displayed in AR at the right moment of the process if necessary.

As a result, the risk of human or technical errors is reduced and your delicate and potentially dangerous processes are better understood by your field teams.

6 – Optimize documentation, traceability and reporting

The solution for a better industrial traceability

Getting the right information at the right place at the right time can be complex. If you use manual inspection methods, you must have already encountered one of these problems:

  • A lack or break in the collection of field data
  • Documentation that is not up to date and too complex to use

Using augmented reality in your plant can positively impact your traceability. If the AR solution you select offers “as-built” data collection capabilities in the field, along with automated reporting, you gain full visibility into the assembly and inspection processes throughout your product production and distribution chain.

At Diota, we help industries to optimize their traceability with innovative digital solutions such as Digital-Based-Operator, thanks to automatic data collection directly from the field following quality control. With the capabilities of such a solution, you have the power to conduct documented inspections for internal traceability purposes but also for better communication with your customers.

digital continuity loop

In summary, Augmented Reality has many advantages in industry

    • Augmented Reality helps achieve operational excellence (getting it right the first time)
    • AR solutions brings rapid ROI by improving your quality, your deadlines, your productivity, etc.
    • AR improves your traceability and contributes to the collection of data that will feed the digital twin
    • It encourages the development of your operators’ skills
    • It contributes to the reduction of your cycle times by reducing your assembly and inspection times

Thus, with augmented reality as a reinforcement of your manufacturing processes, you will be able to considerably optimize your performance. All you have to do is identify the right use case!

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[Guide] 4.0 Project: ask yourself the right questions before you start!