Why Does AR Work So Well in the Manufacturing and Logistics Space?

Augmented reality (AR) is an increasingly popular technology in the world of manufacturing and logistics. With its ability to superimpose digital images onto physical objects, it can be used to improve safety, reduce costs, and increase productivity in these fields. Read on to learn why AR works so well in the manufacturing and logistics space. We’ll take a look at the various benefits that AR brings to businesses and how it can be used in these industries.

Overview of AR’s prevalence in the manufacturing and logistics space

Augmented Reality technology is helping the manufacturing and logistics industries. It is used in warehousing, inventory management, assembly & maintenance, quality control & inspection, as well as employee training & onboarding. AR technology can provide real-time guidance and visual aids to workers, helps reduce errors or accidents, enables more informed decisions, and facilitates better quality control. It also helps reduce training time and costs, improves the learning experience of new hires, and provides insights into workers’ performance. AR can help to improve operational efficiency, accuracy, safety, and customer satisfaction.

Unlocking the benefits of AR in the manufacturing and logistics space

Innovation is a vital aspect of every industry, including logistics and manufacturing. The use of augmented reality (AR) is gaining traction in the manufacturing and logistics industries. With its ability to provide real-time data, AR can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve safety in these sectors. By understanding and embracing the potential of AR technology, companies in manufacturing and logistics can unlock a new level of productivity, accuracy, and safety for their operations. Here are four benefits it can offer.

Increased efficiency 

One of the most significant impacts of AR is its capability of enhancing operational efficiency. By using AR in manufacturing or logistics, companies can streamline their operations, identify errors quickly, and take proactive measures to address them. For example, the use of AR enables employees to access real-time information on specified tasks alongside their instructions. This, in turn, helps them complete tasks quickly, improve decision-making, and reduce any delay.. For example, the use of AR in logistics can take an employee through their entire picking process, giving them real-time feedback as they go through their processes.

Reduction of human error

One of the common problems that manufacturing and logistics companies face is human error. For instance, an employee could load the wrong package onto a delivery truck, resulting in delays and lost productivity. AR can help reduce these incidents by providing instant real-time information and instruction to employees. For instance, wearable AR devices such as an AR headset can display step-by-step work instructions taking an employee through all the steps in a manufacturing or logistics process. Additionally, AR helps reduce the time employees spend manually updating and managing documents, freeing up their time to do more meaningful tasks that positively impact the business.

Increased safety

Safety is a major concern in manufacturing and logistics. AR can enable workers to access real-time information on potential hazards in the workplace. For instance, a worker wearing an AR headset can receive proactive warnings alerting them about hazardous equipment, machines, or dangerous exposure areas. AR can also help remotely guide employees through complex procedures, reducing the need for human intervention and reducing the risk of injury.

Improved visualization

AR along with virtual reality allows employees to see virtual products in real-time and can help employees visualize the assembly process before production begins. Engineers or designers can visualize the final product and identify any design flaws or issues early. This also enables engineering teams to collaborate remotely in real-time, increasing collaboration and reducing the time to market.

How augmented reality is revolutionizing manufacturing and logistics space 

One of the most impactful technological advancements that have been changing the way manufacturing and logistics industries function is Augmented Reality (AR). AR is an interactive experience that enhances the real world by overlaying digital information onto it. Here is a look at a few ways augmented reality is used with manufacturing and logistics.

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Warehouse operations

Employees in warehouses can wear AR smartglasses as a way to streamline their processes and operations. By wearing smartglasses, employees get step-by-step instructions in their line of sight guiding them through their process while doing it. In warehouses, these are typically combined with scanners and QR codes to avoid any errors. For example, a pair of smartglasses will let a worker know to go to aisle 1A and ask the user to scan the QR code of that aisle to confirm they’re at the right place. Similar functions like countbacks help warehouse employees reduce their pick-up time and increase the accuracy of the picking process. AR technology allows for warehouses to streamline their process and increase overall productivity.

Product design

AR is also changing product design in the manufacturing industry. With the use of AR, designers can visualize new products in the real world in real-time, reducing the time needed for physical prototyping. AR also gives designers the ability to test and refine products by receiving real-time feedback on the performance of the product during the design process. Designers can also review assembly processes, identify bottlenecks in the production line, and visualize end-user actions, enabling them to optimize product design for mass production.

Inventory management

Managing inventory is a significant challenge in the manufacturing and logistics space. However, with AR, inventory management has become more streamlined and accurate. By using AR-powered systems, such as smart shelves, warehouse management along with warehouse employees can keep track of products in real-time without any human intervention. AR-powered smart shelves use sensors and cameras to monitor products as they move on and off the shelves. This helps keep track of inventory in real-time and also helps employees maintain stock levels. In addition, AR systems can send the details of goods that are running low or in stock directly to the logistics department, which allows for quicker and more accurate restocking.

How NewForge helps address AR technology challenges in the manufacturing and logistics space 

As AR technologies keep on evolving, businesses and industries need to keep up with these advancements to remain competitive. Augmented Reality (AR) technology revolutionizes the manufacturing and logistics space, by improving efficiency and accuracy. However, the adoption of AR technology hasn’t been a smooth ride for most businesses. NewForge has helped businesses address many of the obstacles.

Securing sensitive data 

AR technology is usually connected to the internet, which opens up the business to a myriad of cyber threats. Businesses in the manufacturing and logistics space deal with sensitive data, such as customer data, business strategies, and manufacturing processes. Therefore, there is a risk of hackers gaining access to this data when using AR technology. Thus, businesses need to put in place robust cybersecurity measures to protect their data from cyber threats. AR specialists, NewForge, takes security seriously and employs various measures to ensure the platform is secure for its users. These measures include data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. Additionally, NewForge complies with industry standards for security and privacy, such as ISO 27001 and GDPR.

Difficulty integrating AR with existing systems

Integrating AR technology with existing systems can be a considerable task for businesses. Existing systems were designed and developed using the traditional system, making the integration of AR technology challenging. However, NewForge prides itself on being a system integrator for its enterprise clients, eliminating the headache that typically comes with integrating new systems. From consulting and planning to hands-on training and deployment, NewForge takes care of everything. 

Lack of skilled personnel 

There is a shortage of skilled personnel equipped with the technical know-how to handle and maintain AR technology. The manufacturing and logistics industries are relatively complex, and the technology changes daily, which calls for a highly skilled workforce. As a result, businesses need to invest in training their employees to handle AR technology or risk not getting the full benefits of the technology.

For enterprise clients, NewForge provides an end-to-end solution to proactively and successfully resolve skills-gap challenges. The process includes planning and consultation, change management, deployment and training, and customer success strategy.

Unfamiliarity and resistance to change

Lastly, businesses are reluctant to adopt new technologies or ways of doing things, mainly because of unfamiliarity and a perceived disruption of operations.

As with any new technology, it can take some time for employees to become comfortable using AR. Therefore, businesses should provide ongoing education and training to support employees as they get accustomed to working with the new technology.

Additionally, having the right devices and programs that support AR will help ensure a smooth transition.

Augmented Reality is a powerful tool for transforming the manufacturing and logistics industries. Its ability to quickly parse data from real-world environments and interact with users in an immersive way makes it well-suited for roles such as quality assurance, assembly, and job task analysis. Moreover, its great potential lies in its ability to create intuitive user interfaces which allow for faster data acquisition and improved decision-making. As the technology continues to develop, it is important that further research be conducted into the efficiency gains AR can bring to manufacturing and logistics operations.