Applications of augmented reality: What are the potentials for the manufacturing industry?

Our CIO Christopher Bouveret answered this question in an interview with CODE_n.

Augmented reality is not only the technology that made animations in football broadcasts and Pokémon GO possible. It is also the technology where global economy impact will grow, from under 5 in 2016 up to 29.5 billion dollars in 2019. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? This growth will also be due to adaptions of augmented reality in the manufacturing industry. Especially with the rise of industry 4.0, AR holds great potentials for improvements in workflow, monitoring and efficiency. CODE_n got to the heart of it and present to you the applications of augmented reality in the manufacturing industries.

Supporting workflow in operative work

Augmented reality applications can increase efficiency in almost every area of operative work. Several cases and studies confirm an average productivity improvement of 32%. Sounds promising? Sure it does! Let’s take the assembly line as an example: Instead of reading long pages of instructions beforehand, workers can step right into the assembly process – aided by augmented reality glasses. While factories increasingly employ the latest smart, connected technologies, human workers remain central to factory performance and that’s a good thing. But where are the approaches to further increase their productivity? Efficiently delivering information to workers that enhances their performance – for example by using these glasses – is crucial. These give them the instructions as they go, saving time, effort and error potential.

There are virtually no limits to the use of this technology. There are scenarios where it even goes beyond the assembly process. CODE_n alumnus iTiZZiMO developed an augmented reality solution to simplify business processes. However, the development poses quite some challenges as Christopher Bouveret, CIO at iTiZZiMO, explains: “At iTiZZiMO, we have been working on AR and wearables for several years. We’ve been the very first company in the world with a fully integrated SAP solution for data guns in order-picking, where AR also plays a central role. The main challenge is represented by the advantages and disadvantages of the various hardware manufacturers and the suitability of certain wearables for industrial applications. In this context, central issues are the acceptance, ergonomics and wearing comfort as well as the performance of the different models, especially their suitability for AR use cases. To give an example: Google Glass or the Vuzix m100 / m300 are light and well-portable data gadgets, but not very suitable for AR use cases, when compared to ODG or Microsoft Hololens data gifs – although heavier and more ergonomic, but precisely designed for AR applications “. Have a look at iTiZZiMO´s video for an impressive augmented reality application in warehousing to check out how they mastered the mentioned challenges…

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