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4 Ways manufacturers can utilise the power of AR technology

Augmented reality (AR) in the manufacturing industry has been gathering momentum for some time, and its adoption is scaling at speed📈. It's predicted that there will be 1.73 billion augmented reality users on mobile alone by 2024 - that's impressive! 😲

The biggest AR opportunities lie in the manufacturing sector, and early adoption is key to success. If you operate in the manufacturing industry, you'll know how fiercely competitive it is, but with the help of AR, you'll be one step ahead of your competitors.

How can manufacturers adopt this revolutionary tech? Are there considerations you might be overlooking or haven't considered? Well, we're going to cover five different ways in this post. From semi-immersive training to rapid prototyping - and more.

We’ll cover:


Semi-immersive training

Do you need to train your workforce cost-effectively? Are you keen to simulate safety-critical and dangerous scenarios realistically? Look no further.

Employee training is important and probably a priority for your business. Especially if your factory or warehouse systems are constantly changing and innovating.

But how can you effectively keep employees engaged and motivated to stay up-to-date with specialist training? With AR, of course! AR can be a helpful and immersive way to boost employee engagement whilst providing invaluable training.


manufacturing augmented reality


AR is a fantastic way to train new employees and upskill existing ones through necessary procedures, protocols, and equipment. Technical training can be time-consuming, difficult, and compromise many factors for it to go ahead. However, AR training can be completed anywhere. 

This way of employee training is the most exciting and offers a realistic and dynamic simulation. There's no need to assemble equipment, organise a time or maintain facilities. With the click of a button, your employees can learn straight away.

AR has higher knowledge retention rates, it creates less dependency on personnel, and it's more enjoyable. Streamline your training and save time with the power of AR - it's a no-brainer!

The benefits:

  • Employee engagement.
  • Easier understanding of complex subjects and procedures.
  • Removal of fear factors - learners can make mistakes and be safe.
  • Easy accessibility.
  • No assembly is required.


Rapid prototyping

Competition in the manufacturing sector is overwhelming and fiercer than ever. Companies are under pressure to race ahead of their competitors whilst also producing innovative solutions efficiently and cost-effectively. But AR can make all the difference - in fact, it truly brings things alive!

AR can enhance something you already have and bring a whole new dimension to it. Whether it's a product design or a service you provide, AR enriches the creative process. Rapid prototyping can be used at any stage of the manufacturing process, it enables product tests to be achieved efficiently to create the greatest outcome. It's a visual and functional way of understanding how a product will work and what amends and edits are required. 

It's a process that does take analysis but it can be achieved rapidly by combining different components to complete an object. With the help of VR, prototypes are 3D and realistic, this aids the analysis process. Product designers can see, test and fine-tune designs, before building - this saves time and money.


augmented reality

Image credit: BMW Press.


Automotive companies have already adopted the power of VR for rapid prototyping. For example, BMW is using this technology for prototype engineering. Using VR has sped up their prototype process by as much as 12 months. Usually, the product design process may take multiple years. From prototyping vehicle sections and components to more complex dynamic production stages, VR has made all the difference. It's helped bring their ideas alive and streamlined their process for the future.

The benefits:

  • Streamlined product development.
  • Substantial cost and time savings.
  • ​​Labour-intensive phases are expedited.
  • Spot twice as many issues in 3D.
  • Safe risk-taking in the design process.


Streamlined logistics and data


88% of companies say they are using some form of AR tech in their operations. But why? 🤓

Order fulfilment, warehouse systems, and internal communications are tedious BUT, they shouldn't be. With the help of AR, complex tasks can be more streamlined and collaborative.

Using AR in manufacturing gives employees access to the information they need - any time. AR can help employees locate and scan products, see delivery statuses, sign off orders, and more. 

Are you operating off multiple screens? Are you completing checklists manually? Well, your systems are probably outdated. These traditional setups have limitations: size and screen resolution, 2D viewing, various hardware support, complex data entry, time restraints and more.

With AR, everything is different. Logistics are brought to life - your employees feel an immersive experience whilst successfully keeping complex and challenging tasks under control and organised. 

Having an organised logistics flow will free up the time your employees have, and then they can focus on other aspects of the business. 


manufacturing augmented reality


Data insights

Data insights are critical in manufacturing. Without them, you'll be providing services and producing products blindfolded😖.

Data is valuable and will guide and inform the next steps you take in your business. Data ultimately helps improve the quality of the end product or service. The insights gained can be used as an advantage - regardless if they're positive or negative. 

AR enables manufacturers to increase equipment utilisation (providing real-time updates on machinery), reduce costs and human-based errors, encourage process improvement and provide in-depth data insights. This is all achieved, with the click of a button wherever you are. 

Again, this offers collaborative working, enables all experts to find the information they need and a more streamlined way of working. If you're ready to make your operations more efficient and allow your employees to produce some of the greatest work possible (with no limitations), AR is key.

The benefits:

  • Collaborative working with minimal limitations.
  • Streamlined data entry and efficiency.
  • Access appropriate information at any time.
  • Reduce costs and human error.
  • Understand equipment utilisation and correct errors efficiently.


Machinery maintenance 

AR combines real-time data, analytics and sensors to analyse machine performance. To avoid machine failures, costly repairs, and downtime, AR cuts out the confusion and highlights faults before they become issues. 

The technology provided through AR is powerful, and it can enable employees to analyse the status of a machine by viewing a piece of equipment through a camera lens. You can access real-time overlayed information including temperature, points of failure, time predictions and more.

This'll save time and reduce repairs for the long term. Employees can also access all the data reports they need, track maintenance overtime, schedule services and keep check of equipment efficiency. AR enables workers to be one step ahead and save crucial time, whilst delivering the best results and maximising available repair budgets. Equipment maintenance has never been easier! 👏 👏 👏

The use of AR is increasing, more and more manufacturers are adopting its technological power, and the AR market will have unprecedented growth in the next decade. There's never been a better time to utilise the power of immersive experiences.

In this post, we haven't covered an exhaustive list. We've outlined four ways manufacturers can use AR quickly and effectively. AR has multiple opportunities, and the benefits it provides are endless.  After reading this, if you're keen to explore AR further or see where it might seamlessly replace some of your outdated current systems, look no further. 


Let us help you uncover how to use AR in your manufacturing business

We partner with B2B manufacturers to listen, think, create and innovate. We're a specialist digital growth marketing agency with a passion for helping world-leading manufacturers be leading businesses in their sector. 

We have the expertise and knowledge to help you utilise AR in the best possible way. Whether you choose to bring your marketing materials alive or demonstrate product development, we can help.

So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today. We'll look forward to hearing from you!



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