Industry 4.0 technologies such as augmented reality (AR) are redefining the way that humans and machines communicate with each other. AR in particular enables humans to understand information faster by superimposing digital graphics, messages, and animations into their physical field of view. Within manufacturing environments, AR makes workers more effective and businesses more efficient by simplifying complex maintenance and repair tasks. Here are three benefits to using AR for maintenance, repair, and overhaul.
To meet specific production goals, manufacturers need to optimize factory performance. This requires performing routine machine inspections and maintenance—which workers traditionally complete using an old-fashioned pen-and-paper checklist. With an AR headset, digital step-by-step instructions are delivered with hands-free accessibility, enabling workers to complete inspections faster. Detailed, immersive AR experiences ensure that important parts don’t get overlooked, and that maintenance workers have the accurate, up-to-date product information they need to do their job.
When it comes to maintenance or repair tasks, inexperienced field service technicians often get tripped up by unfamiliar product configurations—with only printed service manuals to help them. Because of this, service organizations need to send more experienced technicians to remote worksites where a certain level of expertise is needed. However, this approach is expensive, tiresome, and inefficient on a global scale.
Using the telepresence afforded by AR, service organizations can enable inexperienced field technicians, via remote expert support, to navigate the most complex maintenance and repair tasks. Over-the-shoulder guidance from a seasoned expert helps junior technicians be more effective in the field, while also granting veteran experts a reprieve from having to go on site.
Augmented reality ultimately enables workers to perform maintenance, repair, and overhaul tasks beyond their current, non-augmented skillset. Service organizations leveraging AR have demonstrated reduced training times and increased first-time fix rates with this capability—making them faster, stronger, and more cost-effective. As the cost of hardware decreases and AR becomes a more accessible tool to businesses, manufacturing workers and service technicians will increasingly become more knowledgeable, skilled, and efficient.
To learn more about how manufacturers can use augmented reality to improve MRO, read this report from Engineering.com.