AR Training For Manufacturing

AR can be an incredibly valuable tool for training, especially in manufacturing. AR training and implementation can boost overall productivity in manufacturing.

AR training for manufacturing can contribute to boosting overall production in five ways:

  • Bridge the skills gap
  • Decrease errors
  • Maintenance
  • Quality Production
  • Timely Assembly

According to an ISACA survey, Augmented Reality (AR) consumers across five different countries rated AR for training as one of the top three applications of AR to improve quality of life. 69 percent of people surveyed believe that AR can help them learn a new skill for professional development. In the manufacturing industry, the average tenure of a new employee is five years. With a high turnover rate, need for consistent training, and a subsequent skills gap, manufacturing companies run the risk of reduced production. Observing these statistics in tandem with the skills gap in manufacturing, we can infer that AR training and implementation can help boost overall production in the manufacturing industry. 

In this article, we will discuss five ways that AR training can do just that.


1. Bridge the skills gap

Traditional training in the manufacturing industry relies heavily on training methods or materials such as manuals or handbooks, instructional videos, and employee-shadowing. While these traditional methods have a place in a holistic training approach, they can slow production time and quality if not supplemented with technology-based training. For example, human training errors or low training manual fluency can cause time delays, production mistakes, or even injury. 

In addition to that, some of these training methods do not have interactive capabilities, which can yield mixed-results based on the employee’s learning strengths. This is where AR training for manufacturing is different.

Using AR, companies can provide a training experience that is independent, visual, and interactive. Simply put, AR allows employees to view the workplace or a piece of machinery in real time with superimposed digital training elements. This allows employees to interact with the environment while experiencing step-by-step audio/visual instruction, alerts to mistakes or incorrect movements, and digital identifications of different parts of the machinery.

For example, Jaguar-Land Rover implemented AR training app for technicians that allowed them to observe elements behind a vehicle’s dashboard without removing the dashboard itself. Technicians could view the vehicle’s wiring and locate parts through this app. This type of training was implemented to quickly train new technicians, cut down training costs, and maintain production pace.

2. Decrease errors

AR can prevent errors in production as well. Control Engineering conducted a case study on a large technology manufacturer in the United States and reported a 20 percent increase in overall efficiency and an increase of 67 percent for first-time fix rates. If employees can use AR to help conduct equipment or quality checks without consultation of a guidance manual or engineer, they learn to assess and solve issues in a successful and timely manner.

In addition to equipment or quality error, AR training can also aid in injury prevention. When training employees on potentially dangerous or complicated machinery, the use of AR can make training both safe and efficient. For example, if employees can observe a piece of machinery and learn its uses before interacting with the equipment, this can reduce the possibility of mistakes, reduce the chances of slowing production, and even reduce injuries in the workplace.

3. Maintenance

If AR can be used to conduct quality checks, AR can also be used to upkeep timely and effective maintenance with manufacturing machinery. For example, if a machine encounters an engine failure, AR can alert employees to operation times or points of failure, and then lead the employee to perform procedures to safely shut down the machinery, remove the engine (or failed piece of equipment), and then instruct the employee on how to replace and start-up the machine. As aforementioned in the case study above, AR increased first-time fix rates by 67 percent.

4. Quality Production

Since timely maintenance can be conducted thanks to AR, sequentially, production downtime decreases and production increases. Production increase is not beneficial if the product does not meet quality standards though. AR can be used to assess quality production as well.

Porsche began testing AR in their manufacturing facilities which used highly sophisticated lasers to scan finished products and compare them to the company’s quality requirements. Porsche employees then used tablets with AR-generated overlays to see if products met these standards or if they needed further inspection or work.

5. Timely Assembly

Overall, AR allows employees and production lines to work faster. For example, AR glasses that use technology to overlay images onto real world work can allow engineers or technicians to see renderings of bolts, cables, part numbers, and instructions on how to assemble the product.

This process can decrease, as mentioned above, the possibility of human error and allow production to move along smoothly with minimal flaws.

Take Your Manufacturing Training to the Next Level with AR

69 percent of people believe that AR can help them learn a new skill. As discussed above, AR can be used to do exactly that within the manufacturing industry and more. It is a vital instrument in correctly and safely training employees, bridging skills gaps, maintaining equipment, and boosting production for manufacturing companies.

Contact us to see how Roundtable can help your company use AR for performance improvement and training.