How virtual and augmented reality enhance assembly training?
Currently, unemployment, at least in Poland is particularly low, so rising turnover of employees in production plants is a real issue. This affects the need for increased involvement of trainers. The process of implementing a new employee often means blocking or slowing down the production line. This contributes to lower productivity.
Latest KPMG International “Global Manufacturing Outlook” research shows that for most industrial companies, the strategic goal is to keep up with technologies. This is reflected in the recently developing Industry 4.0 trend. It aims to seek higher efficiency by processes digitization. For the same reasons, more and more enterprises are looking for opportunities to optimize employee training with XR.
VR technology in practice
Thanks to Virtual Reality (VR) we are able to enter any virtual space required by the assumptions of the training process. This technology allows you to generate a virtual work environment that is reminiscent of the real production plant. It can effectively support training processes. Virtual reality training increases the human capacity to absorb knowledge. This translates into a higher level of competence before even starting work. It also allows you to avoid possible costs associated with property damage. VR training programs can be integrated with external tools, for example with a web platform. This way trainee’s performance can be recorded and his progress constantly monitored.
VR turns out appropriate for creating and maintaining training programs in the industrial sector. Wrench VR game, which perfectly simulates the assembly of car modules is a great inspiration in terms of what visual quality can be achieved. A similar program used for training purposes will allow the employee to be taught real products assembly process.
Simulation of manual nuances
Working close with production companies, we learned that recreating the product’s construction in VR is not the only issue. Exact steps of assembly and performed hand movements are equally important. Typical VR controllers often lack required level of motion detail. With help of Manus VR gloves now we can transfer hand movements to the virtual world. We can manipulate virtual objects in a more natural way.
Virtual reality allows for better management of knowledge, its transfer and effectively supports the teaching process without blocking the production line for the duration of the training. VR technology provides the employee with training in controllable conditions and lets practice behavior in emergency situations. Particularly in the case of dangerous work, the employee should be trained in the most life-like environment.
VR assembly training already works in the Volkswagen Group
VR technology is more and more appealing to manufacturing companies. The German automotive concern Volkswagen Group launches training for 10,000 employees in the field of production and logistics this year using virtual reality. For this purpose, the company is in the process of developing around 30 training simulations. The company is hoping to significantly increase effectiveness of training. This is not the first use case of VR in employee training, but it is the first case of such a large scale implementation.
Smart glass as an aid on the production line
Augmented reality (AR) is often confused with virtual reality (VR), where a 3D image is all computer–generated. AR is a new technology with great potential. It combines the real environment with virtual objects on top of it.
Thanks to its ease of use and computing capabilities, augmented reality is becoming a tool of choice for production plants. It serves as a training tool, but also as a personal computer operated almost hands-free. AR also provides interactivity in real time and allows the freedom of movement. This technology enriches environment we look at with useful information, so we can work faster and make less mistakes.
Smart glass allows instant access to technical documentation, instruction, checklists, pdfs, specifications. It can read a barcode or QR code. Smart glass can also help to verify if the task has been performed correctly. All this is possible with a touch of a fingertip or completely without hands. Some smart glass devices can be voice-controlled where noise reaches up to 95 dB. The solution can be useful both during training and day-to-day work. This technologies have already been used by companies such as Boeing, GE, AGCO and others.
Preparation of a comprehensive training program
Giant Lazer works with clients in the manufacturing industry. Company provides training applications simulating any industrial conditions and work tools. We are developing an IndustryXR training platform. This product enables trainers to prepare their own VR and AR assembly training programs without the need for programming.