The performance of manufacturing is essential to a company’s supply chain. Some of the issues manufacturers face today are incorrect order entry, complex machinery, and training. Microsoft’s newest manufacturing technology, Augmented Reality on the shop floor, can increase efficiency, reduce cost, and provide employees with optimal tools to execute their job better.
What is Augmented Reality?
Amongst the many technologies driving enhancement and production is Augmented Reality. By definition, “augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology” ). AR provides the ability to view the real-world landscape with additional enhancements to the object you are viewing. For example, while viewing a car engine, AR can display which parts of the engine need maintenance and can even show the user how to repair it visually. This is not to be confused with Virtual Reality, a completely web-based environment, such as a video game or a 100% digital landscape.
How Microsoft is using AR
Microsoft is leveraging technology in several ways and continuing to find new opportunities in augmented reality. One piece of technology they are working on is HoloLens. This product truly exemplifies the utility and innovation that AR is capable of. In RSM’s video Digitally transforming the factory of the future, the device is used to see an issue within a motor. The issue can be seen within the motor, and the maintenance history log can also be accessed. The ability for any shop floor employee to visualize and access data about machinery can save hours. New employee training could also be expedited and provide hands-on experience while reducing errors. This device is a massive win for the manufacturing workspace.
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