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AR Technology Set to Revolutionise the Manufacturing Industry

Augmented reality technology is a useful and relatively new asset for different industries. Even though most people still confuse AR with virtual reality or VR, the two are completely distinct. VR headsets create a digital simulation where users can participate. However, augmented reality refers to technology that adds a digital layer over the real world, using visual aids, such as specialised AR glasses or other machinery.

Industries today are on the verge of adopting AR technology to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the items being produced. However, a few corporations are still reluctant to make considerable investments to buy AR technology, fearing insufficient returns. However, this particular form of technology shows clear potential, especially for businesses and manufacturing.

Projecting Digital Data on the Real World

Inside the manufacturing plant, augmented reality can help workers locate others on the floor. Often these factories are huge in scale and workers are dispersed throughout the floor. With the ability to locate workers whenever needed, working becomes more time effective.

Moreover, AR technology streamlines the entire production process, ensuring faster completion and cost-reduction.

Sharing Data Becomes Simpler

The manufacturing process may involve several teams from various parts of the world. Traditionally, sharing data, such as the progress of manufacture is difficult. Moreover, real-time data sharing is almost impossible through conventional means. However, with AR devices, teams can relay timely updates to others involved in the process. This leads to a systematic production line and efficient procedure.

For instance, Airbus utilised a Mixed Reality Application (MiRA) for the production of aircraft. The virtual mockups in the programme allowed for the technology to create 3D models of the planes, improving the convenience in designing and completing the actual aircraft. After implementing the MiRA technology, airbus reported that production staff were able to complete the construction of secondary structural brackets within three days, which usually took three weeks to build in the absence of augmented reality technology.

Maintenance

Picture a large furnace in the manufacturing plant. Workers have to manually check the temperature of the furnace to maintain the accurate levels needed for the work. However, when equipped with AR glasses, workers can in the near future gauge the exact temperature of the furnace, without resorting to a physical check.

This ability of AR glasses can help maintenance workers locate potential problems in the manufacturing plant before it becomes too critical. Maintenance at the right time can save companies plenty of expenses while preventing unplanned downtimes. Using AR, maintenance technicians can quickly determine which machines or tools need emergency repairs.

Training workers to use AR

One downside of augmented reality use in manufacturing plants is that companies would need to train the workers in its applications. This training can be costly and time-consuming. However, the benefits outweigh the risks in the case of AR. Corporations can produce goods quicker and ensure greater revenue generation. It remains to be seen how long it takes for AR technology to penetrate the manufacturing sector.

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