April 18, 2023

7  Steps to Deploy Augmented Reality Solutions In Industry

To successfully deploy an augmented reality solution, it is vital to consider some essential criteria. In this article, we’ll look at the key considerations to ensure a successful deployment of augmented reality in industry.
Avatar Wendy (Klotz) Mlynarek

Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming a must-have tool for industries looking to optimize manufacturing operations. It can help improve product quality, increase productivity, and enhance workplace safety and ergonomics. However, to successfully deploy an AR solution, it is vital to consider some essential criteria. In this article, we’ll look at the key considerations to ensure a successful deployment of augmented reality in industry.

1.   Choose the right use case

Choosing the right use case for an augmented reality solution is the first step to a successful deployment. First, it is necessary to diagnose the current situation and identify the objectives and expected gains from implementing augmented reality. Some use cases have already proven to be relevant in the market. Still, the maximum value that can be generated by augmented reality depends on the specific processes, problem areas, work environment, and cost sources of each industry. It is also important to consider current processes and constraints, such as available space and employee availability, to use augmented reality most efficiently.

To help you in your project, discover the top 10 use cases for augmented reality in the industry through our dedicated white paper.

2. Interaction and usability of digital data

An augmented reality solution must enable effective interaction with digital work instructions and go beyond a simple “3D viewer”. Using digital work instructions is one thing, but making them accessible, understandable, and easy to use is another. The operator must therefore be able to easily identify and interact with each work step provided in augmented reality in the workshop (picking point, screw references, etc.). Thanks to this, you will improve the quality, the speed of the tasks to be carried out and facilitate the decision-making.

3. Use the data collected

Ensuring your digital data is actionable to maximize utility is essential. Collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data can help identify trends, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement and provide production forecasts, helpful in planning future tasks and optimizing production operations.

Finally, effective interaction with digital data will improve communication between field technicians and engineering offices who can share information and data in real time, facilitating collaboration and decision-making.

4.   Solution deployment capabilities

Many augmented reality technologies do not go beyond the POC (Proof of Concept) stage because of their non-compatibility with industry processes. Therefore, choosing an augmented reality that can be deployed quickly in the plant is essential. In other words, an AR solution that is mature and stable allows you to maximize the ROI from its use. Before purchasing, it is essential to thoroughly research the AR solutions available on the market that can replace your existing tools and processes.

5.   Connection with IIoT and third-party technologies

The ability to connect the augmented reality solution with IoT (“Internet of Things” or IIoT for “Industrial Internet of Things”) and other third-party technologies can provide significant benefits for your plant, such as:

  • Connected screwdrivers can automatically apply instructions directly from the AR application with the pre-defined torque and feed it back with the actual torque to certify the conformity of the operation
  • Voice control module, which allows the further improvement of work environment ergonomics and offers hands-free operations
    It is, therefore, essential to choose an augmented reality solution that can easily integrate other technologies to maximize return on investment and make your operators even more efficient in the field.

In addition to integrating different data sources, connecting with other third-party technologies can also effectively automate some of your processes, help reduce human errors and improve the quality of your products. In addition, connecting with IIoT facilitates real-time monitoring, improving anomaly detection and preventing potential failures.

6.   Interoperability with existing information systems

Interoperability with your existing information systems, such as Manufacturing Execution System (MES), is also a crucial dimension in the choice of the augmented reality solution. End-to-end integration and digital continuity are key to providing a smooth experience, supporting data and information sharing, and contributing to global operations efficiency. In particular, when all information systems are connected for shop floor operations, operators can access all the information they need at the right time and perform their work more efficiently. But other departments, from the engineering office to the quality department and production supervision, will benefit from this capacity of the AR solution to interoperate and interact with the management systems already in place. As a result, decisions will be made in a more informed and collaborative approach between the different departments of the factory.

7.   Compatibility with hardware devices

Choosing a solution that can work with various devices and equipment (smartphones, tablets, or even augmented reality glasses) is vital. Indeed, the hardware configuration and the devices used are variable and determined according to the environment where the AR solution will be used. It also depends on the part, the specific process, and the ergonomics constraints. For example, smart glasses, well-known hardware in the AR field, are only relevant for particular use cases and work cells. Ensure the solution is compatible with various devices and choose the best configuration that suits your identified use case. You can rely on one of DELMIA’s experts on the subject.

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