Industrial and manufacturing companies are ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing augmented reality (AR) into their operations. Organizations that have specific processes or require complex product components often find that implementing industrial AR optimizes operations across the entire product development cycle, reduces costs, and speeds up time to market.

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Industrial AR Adoption Rates

PTC’s 2019 research on AR found that 37% of companies would be implementing industrial AR in the first 6 months of the year, with an additional 31% of respondents following suit over the later course of 2019. With 4% already live, that indicated that nearly 75% of organizations have industrial AR live as of the end of 2019. Every respondent stated they had at least some plan to add industrial AR into their processes and only 5% said it would take them more than 2 years to implement.

Companies who delay their industrial AR implementation will quickly find themselves lagging behind their competitors.

Benefits of Industrial AR Implementation

Design: Improve Processes and Speed Up Time to Market

From the very beginning of product development, industrial AR improves decision making and design processes to get products to market faster. Designers can use industrial AR to see how customers interact with products to inform product optimization and modification decisions. All of which can be done before final prototyping is complete – significantly cutting down on physical prototyping costs. Industrial engineers can also use industrial AR to plan and optimize manufacturing processes. This technology helps ensure that manufacturing consistently produces high-quality parts.

Industrial AR helps to optimize design and manufacturing processes to keep costs low and product quality high.

Training: Reduce Costs and Improve Training Quality

Traditional training methods rely on shadowing experienced employees to get a comprehensive understanding of critical processes. Although effective, it is an extremely expensive and time-consuming method. Some organizations have limited training to reading materials and manuals with no hands-on experience in an effort to reduce costs.

Industrial AR is the win-win solution organizations need. It provides effective hands-on, real-world training without incurring high costs. Using this method provides a more complete transfer of knowledge and methodologies, while also providing more realistic experience in the appropriate work environment. Industrial AR training can be reused so the costs are also reduced on a per-employee basis compared to if each person had to shadow an individually assigned trainer.

Training is the most popular use of industrial AR in manufacturing organizations.

Work Instructions: Improve Production, Maintenance, and Service

Industrial AR can also be used to provide guidance once training is complete. Production workers can be quickly onboarded for new assemblies and operation instructions right on the shop floor. Maintenance teams can replace bulky manuals with AR experiences that improve work by minimizing downtime and unplanned delays. The field service team can also use it to help them complete jobs during the first visit with support and guidance from other team members. Completing this work quickly and effectively reduces costs internally and keeps customers happy.

Marketing and Sales: Support Outside Teams

AR can be used to support more than just the industrial and manufacturing teams – it can be used to support marketing and sales as well. Industrial AR has been used to shorten the sales cycle in almost every industry. Virtual showrooms allow customers to view products in real-world environments to speed up sales-decisions. Marketers can even use these experiences to curate marketing messaging based on customer interactions and use the imagery in marketing materials.

Industrial AR can shorten sales cycles and inform marketing messaging.

Selecting an Industrial AR Platform

Finding the right AR platform to support your organization is the key to success. Not every company that offers industrial AR platforms understands the specific nuances needed for your industry. Given the rate of adoption and need to deploy quickly, we recommend finding a partner that can help deliver value quickly and has lots of experience – like PTC.

You need an industrial AR solution that can integrate with your current technology stack and be customized to fit your specific needs. Without these elements, you could potentially cause service disruptions or slow down industrial AR deployment projects even further. The PTC Vuforia Suite includes the solutions you need:

  • Vuforia Studio: Allows engineers and designers to create AR experiences without any coding skills to show how products would appear in the real world.
  • Vuforia Chalk: Combine real-time communication with AR so expert technicians can help solve on-site engineers with complicated problems.
  • Vuforia Expert Capture: Create AR step-by-step guides for training and instructions to help engineers get their jobs done quickly and accurately.

Ready to get started with your next industrial AR project? Contact us.

Or for more information on implementing AR and other digital transformation technology into your operations check out some of our other posts: