Companies that embrace augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) and other technologies tend to pull ahead of those that don’t. If you’re looking for ways to implement these advances, you might wonder about the best methods to start using them. After all, you likely have several systems already in place.
The good news is you don’t have to reinvent every process in your factory. VR in industry perfects what you’re already doing, providing tools you might not otherwise have and helping train your employees and track the health of machines along the way.
How Can You Use Augmented and Virtual Reality?
In a recent report by eMarketer, experts predicted the number of AR users will reach 89.4 million this year and hit 110.3 million by 2025. Although not all those people are in industry, many are. As the general public continues to use AR and VR, tapping into their power for manufacturing makes sense.
Every industry is different. What works with VR and AR for one may not work with another. You have to first understand what is most beneficial to help your company grow. Here are a few amazing ways to apply augmented and virtual reality in industry. See which ones make the most sense for your business and make implementation a priority.
1. Create Better Processes
AR in industry might look like a workspace with a projector showing step-by-step instructions for a new employee. Perhaps some of the tasks completed by your staff are only done occasionally. It’s easy to forget all the intricate details in between. AR can give them a checklist to go through so nothing major gets left out.
VR in industry might allow your engineers to try a new method without actually implementing it. They can put in a headset and work on a machine or step onto a worksite to see how new things might look or work with what’s already there.
2. Improve Accuracy
One example of an industry that would benefit greatly from digitization is construction. Many companies have lagged in implementing new technology, but adding AR and VR tools can lower costs and speed up production. You can even improve safety for your crew. Around two-thirds of those surveyed expect digitization to increase in the construction industry in the near future. If you want to remain competitive, you should start adding things now to stay on top of the changes.
For example, you could add VR glasses where your foreman could see the projected layout of a finished project and ensure the footers for a foundation are correct.
3. Train Employees
Ongoing employee education is often an issue for nearly any industry you can name. It’s hard to keep up with new software and other changes. However, you can equip your workers to train easily with augmented and virtual reality. It will be more like a game, and concepts can be tested in a pretend world without real-life consequences.
Industries such as medicine may benefit greatly by using VR. They can try a new surgical procedure and practice until they perfect the movements.
4. Make Better Decisions From Afar
Is your business growing? Perhaps you need to set up a new facility on another continent. How can you tour a building without having to be there in person? Augmented reality in industry can let you tour a factory via a 365-degree video.
You can even plug in the machines you might like to place there or in an office setting and ensure everything fits how you’d like it to. Another option is to walk through as though you are actually there, utilizing VR in industry.
Augmented and virtual reality can save you time and money, as you won’t need to travel to see what might work for you. You can narrow down your options and then make a single trip to ensure everything is as it seems.
5. Offer Real-Time Support
Some manufacturers, such as automobile makers and appliance manufacturers, sell directly to the public or offer support for their products. One of the advantages of using virtual and augmented reality to provide real-time support is that the customer can download an app and walk through the steps to troubleshoot common problems.
Technicians can even take advantage of the technology by using mobile AR and VR to fix issues they’ve never encountered before. When competing with other brands, excellent customer service increases your chances of developing loyal customers.
6. Improve Quality
Manufacturing facilities often have trouble maintaining a predictable quality. Machines have a lot of moving parts throughout an entire assembly line. However, augmented and virtual reality can help with quality assurance and keep your customers happy. Many experts predict using VR in manufacturing will become commonplace in the near future.
Imagine combining the Internet of Things (IoT) with VR. For example, you get a text when a sensor notices a lot of shaking in one of your machines. You pull up the area and see where the problem is. Before going to the actual machine to repair it, you use VR to see what the most likely problem is, pull the parts you will need, and save time and effort before the machine ever breaks.
7. Practice Safely
Some industries are more dangerous than others. For example, fire and rescue services may deal with life-or-death situations. Having a chance to practice different scenarios may keep them from putting their lives at risk in the process.
Virtual reality lets people in different professions practice as many times as they’d like without real-life repercussions. This helps them gain confidence in their skills while keeping them safe.
Future Applications for Augmented and Virtual Reality Are Limitless
It’s easy to see how AR and VR work in industry today. However, additional applications will arise as the technology advances. Stay on top of new mobile devices, software developments, and news in your own niche so you know what to expect. Before you know it, you’ll implement AR and VR as seamlessly as you do a new material or training method.