With estimates suggesting up to a quarter of skilled industrial workers are approaching retirement, manufacturing and service companies are facing an impending skills crisis. On top of that, traditional methods used for training and upskilling workers are not meeting the mark. To combat these challenges, companies are turning to augmented reality (AR) solutions for training.
Augmented reality provides experiential and immersive experiences that place trainees into real-world environments to help them learn. Training can take place using a variety of applications, from smartphones, computers, AR headsets, or other connected devices.
Augmented reality training provides a great alternative to traditional training in many industries but offers perhaps the biggest advantage to jobs that have manual elements and those involving complex machinery. Dive deeper into why today’s companies are choosing to leverage augmented reality as a valuable workforce training technology.
Traditional classroom-based learning methods contribute to poor knowledge retention and only 12% of workers apply skills from this type of training to their jobs. One of the major advantages of AR training is that it immerses employees in whatever they’re learning. Employees are actively engaging with the information they’re taking in – significantly increasing the amount of knowledge they retain.
The engaging, interactive nature of AR training doesn’t just mean more information is retained – it takes less time to train new employees. It can halve the time it takes to get new frontline workers productive, which offers the additional benefit of decreased operating costs.
The realistic virtual simulations offered by AR gives trainees the opportunity to practice their skills in real-life scenarios, better preparing them for carrying out tasks on the factory floor. Interactive AR work instructions also contextualize on-the-job guidance which improves accuracy and cuts down on human error.
Providing step-by-step 3D work instructions and remote guidance through AR helps employees understand processes faster and more accurately. Implementing augmented reality helps manufacturers to improve KPI's as new workers develop skills faster and senior workers become even more effective and responsive.
As manufacturing becomes increasingly sophisticated and the pace of change gets faster, keeping the workforce upskilled is a growing challenge. With a skills crisis looming, it’s no surprise that manufacturers are looking at innovative ways to train and empower the workforce. Augmented reality is rightly getting a lot of attention, having demonstrated that it can significantly improve employee training and promote knowledge transfer between old and new employees. Promising to have new employees ready for the factory floor more quickly and effectively, augmented reality training may well prove the solution to manufacturing’s skills gap.