Virtual and augmented reality technologies are increasingly becoming popular among many manufacturing plants. Use of VR and AR technologies has enhanced training programs in factories by providing effective training of fresh graduates to bridge the existing proficiency gap in the industry.
Businesses that adopted VR and AR early have proven the value of technology when it comes to changing how future workforce are instructed, facilitating absorption and distribution of intellectual property, and knowledge from the retiring employees.
The Value of VR and AR, and its Impact on Companies
VR and AR demonstrate value when it comes to enhancing employee safety and productivity. For instance, some big defense and aerospace companies in developed countries utilized augmented reality to generate flexibility among their employees.
These companies have reduced the cost of designing guided job instructions by a huge percentage, cut down assembly time significantly, and managed to train new employees with increased efficiency.
Global factories specializing in the production of business technology-related products used augmented reality to link their field engineers with professional experts rather than providing telephone support or even service manuals.
This increased their first inaugural-time fix rates by approximately 70 percent while enhancing engineer effectiveness by almost 22 percent. Further, there was a massive drop in the time it took to solve customer problems.
Evolution in augmented reality has led to reduced training time and minimized the time needed to record job instructions.
Tackling Labor Deficiency in Manufacturing
Currently, manufacturers are experiencing a deficiency of proficient workforce. This predicament spans way before the world began experiencing massive levels of unemployment. Labor deficiency has been attributed to an expanding proficiency gap, economic development, and retiring employees.
Universal Robots opines that many new employees within the manufacturing sector are likely to work for an average of 5 years, a clear indication that while manufacturers may have the best talent, and they are not assured of a long-term engagement with their workforce. Positions with the highest influence on performance are often the hardest to fill.
For instance, technical roles played by proficient operators, control engineers, and machine technicians are crucial when it comes to executing digital revolutionary initiatives, broadening operations, and enhancing productivity. Additionally, they demand more investment for efficient training.
In-house training programs help create the ideal skills and nurture the talent that manufacturers require. While job shadowing, training manuals, certification, and evaluation processes are obsolete, some companies still use them.
Eventually, they end up spending more time with no significant results. Additionally, these methods hardly tackle the need to embrace a variety of learning styles such as aural, verbal, and visual.
Understanding VR and AR
Virtual reality generates ultimately engaging experiences. Rather than covering analytics and data to the actual world, virtual reality generates an artificial environment. Entrepreneurs can, therefore, pay a virtual visit to plants under construction such as gas or offshore platforms independently.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, revolutionizes information consumption strategies by covering analytics and digital content in the actual world.
For instance, visualize having an environment complete with manufacturing robots and capable of utilizing 3D and 2D tablets, eyewear, cell phone, documentation, blueprints, and drawings superimposed on both the machinery and plant floor.
Further, it can operator set-up, step by step operational direction, and convert instructions, processes, and workflows.
Evolving technology today enables experts to disperse instructions and communicate ideas to employees in the physical world by either place markings or drawing with their hands in the digital world.
This visual and interactive communication concept has been in existence before artificial reality and can assist employees to execute challenging and unfamiliar tasks with expert supervision. Further, it offers enhanced flexibility for retiring employees who are interested in working on remote or even part-time basis.
The process of engaging, instructing, and preserving the future generation manufacturing robot technicians is bound to be challenging. However, companies that adopt VR and AR will enhance onboarding and training of their workforce. Manufacturers should consider utilizing modern technology to fill the proficiency gap and guarantee a safe and productive evolution to the future workforce generation.