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Potential of Immersive Technologies in the Manufacturing Industry
FREMONT, CA: Despite the tremendous automation and its massive potential, there is a wide range of tasks unaffected from these advancements. Technologies like augmented reality (AR)and virtual reality (VR) are yet to be leveraged for their precision and efficiency.
Technologies have always fascinated the people. But smartphones have helped in propagating these technologies toward the general public. Technologies have also attracted the businesses that capitalized on consumers’ fascination for them. However, with consumer fascination wearing away, the companies are focusing inwards to develop business-specific applications. Immersive technologies thrive on their ability to enhance users’ experience and give them more precise information at the right time, thereby enabling these technologies to foster the manufacturing processes.
Need for Immersive Technologies in Manufacturing
With the introduction of immersive technologies, the processes are getting highly automated. Enterprises are moving toward concepts such as ‘lights out’ manufacturing. Lights-out manufacturing is employed in setups that need extreme precision with zero manual interference. Industries, where lights-out models are widely adopted, include refineries, food processing and packaging, processing plants, and mass manufacturing units.
Matching highly dynamic consumer behavior requires the manufacturing processes to be highly flexible yet equally intolerant to non-conformity. As of now, most of the processes still need some level of manual interference. However, with advancements in artificial systems and their ability to collect data and understand the patterns, it will be impossible for a human to match those capabilities. Thus, there is an underlying need for immersive technologies in manufacturing.
Production of goods requires a functional product design. Conventionally, two-dimensional CAD models are used for the purpose, but they are not so useful for three-dimensional products undergoing real-time production. A physical prototype is an alternative approach. Developing prototypes in the iteration is expensive and requires time.
With VR, the prototypes are conceived in three-dimensional space that can be tested in simulated environments until a design is finalized.
For agile manufacturing operations to match the changing public demands, quick yet precise decisions making capability is crucial.
Immersive technologies such as AR and VR expedite decision-making by collecting massive data, processing, and aligning the results thus obtained.