Some companies, such as Boeing, use augmented reality (RA) to facilitate the work of their employees. According to the company itself, this technology has increased productivity by 40% and reduced the time devoted to the production of cabling by 25%. Ford, for its part, uses virtual reality (VR) to identify (thanks to the capture of movements) and then improve the actions carried out by engineers in the assembly plant with the aim of reducing accidents. The result has been a reduction of 70% in employee injuries and 90% in ergonomics problems in the workplace.
The reality is that Boeing and Ford are not the type companies. Capgemini has explored the implementation of these technologies in the industry and has expressed the conclusions in the report Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations. Prepared from interviews with more than 700 executives from the automotive, industry and services sectors, future prospects are found. The majority of respondents (53%) believe that the so-called immersive technologies will take between three and five years to be implemented widely in their companies. 50% of the companies surveyed that have not already incorporated these technologies into their processes say that they will use them in the next three years.
On the other hand, 82% of companies that already use RA or RV ensure that the advantages of these technologies meet or exceed their expectations. That is, those who try them keep them. In this category would be the examples of Boeing and Ford.
The countries that are taking more seriously the use of these new techniques of assistance to production are the USA, China and France, according to the data collected by Capgemini. The consultancy estimates that the total disbursement in the US in these technologies for 2018 will be about 6.4 billion dollars of the 17.8 billion expected worldwide.
Companies detect four priority areas of application in the industry:
- Design and assembly VR and RA can be an effective tool to digitally experience the design and operation of assets, as well as to test and make model changes before completing the final design.
- Immersive training These technologies allow the employee to be immersed in a safe and guided environment in which to operate and make decisions in a controlled manner.
- Inspection and quality control. The immersive technologies facilitate a faster inspection of the components through the superimposed visualization of information.
- Repair and Maintenance. Watch videos tutorials and manuals, offer remote expert assistance, visualize components and specific functions by skipping physical barriers and superimpose in real time images with instructions on the pieces are some of the applications of these technologies in terms of repair and maintenance.
It is clear, in any case, that the immediate future of these technologies is more promising in factories and assembly lines than among the general public.