ar manufacturing

VR and AR technology are no longer associated with Snapchat or Pokémon Go. This technology is being used today in healthcare, tourism, education and art and design.

Virtual Reality (VR), an advanced technology, places the user in a virtual environment or simulated space. Augmented Reality (AR) allows the user to view augmented elements or data in real-world space.

AR was valued at USD 14.7 Billion in 2020. It is expected to reach USD 88.4 Billion by 2026.

Manufacturing has started to use VR and AR in a variety of vital areas, but especially for:

  • Product development
  • Floor planning
  • Construction and assembly
  • Assistance and training
  • Inspection and Maintenance

5 Manufacturing Businesses That Used AR and VR

Businesses around the world have adopted AR/VR technology to speed up processes, save costs and increase productivity in manufacturing. Here are some examples of how top companies have used this technology.

Ford Motor Company

Ford has adopted VR to develop and design its designs. The Michigan-based company uses VR technology to experience the prototypes in Virtual Reality since 2000.

The Oculus Rift headset allows employees to enter the vehicle and feel the facilities. This was done to reduce the cost of making physical prototypes.

These virtual sets can be used by 30-40 employees, including engineers and designers.

Ford was able analyze more than 135,000 details from 195 prototype cars using VR technology in less than a year.

Jaguar Land Rover

JLR started using VR in 2008, and has saved over USD 8 million on vehicle development costs.

JLR’s virtual reality lab was dubbed “The Cave” by its users in 2010. It was the world’s most advanced VR facility. Engineers and designers can visualize the parts or entire car using the VR studio, even before physical prototypes are built.

Users were able to simulate the features from both the outside and the inside, and they could test them using several parameters such as space optimization, control, visibility, aerodynamics, crash analysis, wiring and piping, manufacturing and assembly processes, and so forth.

They were also able to use the VR studio to plan floor space in order not to have components clash and ensure customer comfort.

Jaguar XJRange Rover Evoque are two of the first cars to be built using JLR’s VR cave. This facility has reduced the development time of Range Rover Evoque by 2 years, compared to 3 years previously.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin produces and sells war machinery worth USD 43.34 billion annually. The planes are almost USD 100 million. Lockheed is not well-suited for errors and lengthy assembly and repair.

Augmented reality was used to fix and assemble machines in a matter of hours, instead of days. This was even with no top-of the-line technicians. AR glasses were used by engineers to repair or assemble parts of machines using educational software.

Epson Moverio BT200 glasses display an overlay of tasks to be completed by technicians using depth and motion sensors. 

Each step is explained to the technicians using commands such as where a bolt/cable needs to goand through what hole

The technicians can work 30% faster and with a 96% accuracy without needing to read a lengthy instruction manual.

Boeing Aerospace Company

Aerospace industry is not willing to tolerate any kind of error. 

Boeing used AR to allow technicians to see real-time 3D wiring diagrams in order to eliminate errors.

Before AR, technicians were more likely to become distracted.

They had to use 22-foot-long 2D wiring diagrams that they had to understand before performing any tasks.

AR allows them to see all the wiring in 3D space.  This made it easier to repair and maintain the aircraft.

Coca Cola Refreshments

Terrell at Coca-Cola believes in the use of emerging technology to lower costs.

 In 2017, Terrell implemented AR goggles at Coca-Cola in order to reduce costs, improve quality control, and increase efficiency throughout the supply chain.

“This technology has the potential to be a game-changer.” “This technology has the potential to change the game.” – Terrell director of operational excellence and Coca Cola Refreshments

AR software allows technicians to remotely perform routine audits, maintenance services, and troubleshooting. The AR software allows experts to navigate the facility and give instructions to technicians on how to complete tasks remotely.

AR has reduced the time and cost of Coco-Cola’s changeovers and significantly reduced downtime.

In today’s world, 2D is not sufficient. Augmented Reality and VR solutions for manufacturing industries are perfect. 

AR and VR are enablers in Industry 4.0, but they also prove that alternate realities can have a significant impact on actual numbers.

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