Augmented reality (AR) remote assistance is enabling manufacturing businesses to connect their industry expertise with their entire organization in a more efficient and scalable way. This emerging technology is helping manufacturers and service organizations to decrease onboarding time, lower machine outages, and improve employee productivity. With the looming skills gap, manufacturers need to find ways to spread their hard-won expertise throughout an entire organization.
Augmented reality remote assistance is a technology that enables offsite experts to visually guide and collaborate with employees on the floor on demand. The original concept of remote assistance was allowing technicians to take control of a user’s computer or mobile to assist them through a maintenance repair or diagnosis. Augmented reality remote assistance takes this concept one step further. By allowing the remote technician or expert access to the user’s field of vision, they can visually annotate the scene in front of the user. This can be used to conduct fixes or maintenance work or give ad-hoc assistance.
There are a number of other benefits:
Lower operational costs: You can reduce the time it takes to repair and resolve an issue. This saves staff time, lowers machine downtime, and reduces travel costs. This also means companies don’t have to repeatedly send their key experts on site.
Decrease onboarding time: These apps allow fewer experienced technicians to train more new employees. By having access to on-the-job training from the beginning, new employees become confident and competent in their roles much faster.
Improve worker safety: Employees who do not have access to expert mentors or are trying to remember complex practices from a notebook are more likely to make mistakes. Augmented reality remote assistance apps grants employees access to expert knowledge whenever they feel unsure of a process or procedure. This reduces the likelihood of worker injury.
Augmented reality remote assistance apps enable more hands-on, on-the-job training to train and retain new employees more effectively.
As manufacturers recognize that this technology pays for itself as a result of increased productivity and decreased downtime, they are scrambling to find an app that is right for their organization. Below are several aspects you should be looking for in your augmented reality remote assistance apps.
The application must be easy to roll out, implement, and use throughout an entire organization. The remote assistance app should be compatible with Android and iPhone devices so you don’t have to invest in specific devices for your workforce.
Introducing new technologies to your workforce can come with a transition period, with some employees naturally resisting a change to the status quo. If the app is easy to use, it will make the uptake of the technology much smoother.
When a remote technician annotates a particular part in the user’s field of vision, the annotation must lock onto the reference point. Without this capability, the experience will be confusing for the user and frustrating for the remote technician.
It can be difficult for either a user to describe their problem or a technician to describe a solution if the camera is always moving. Both sides should be able to pause their view and draw annotations to create step-by-step instructions.
Augmented reality remote assistance is quickly becoming the new normal in the manufacturing workplace. If you’re considering using augmented reality remote assistance apps to connect your workforce, learn more about how it can be used in your manufacturing organization.