April 3, 2023

The Augmented Operator: Supporting Shop Floor Challenges

Grouped under the “Augmented Operator” concept, these technologies bring real value to the digitalization of operator workspaces.
Avatar Wendy (Klotz) Mlynarek

Immersive technology such as augmented reality is improving the efficiency and performance of manufacturing shop floors, employee skills ramp-up, and worker satisfaction. For example, these solutions facilitate complex tasks that traditionally require an effort to interpret related documentation and reduce the risks of errors. In addition, it helps retain a company’s “tribal knowledge” when employees retire and increase the skills ramp-up of new operators.  

Grouped under the “Augmented Operator” concept, these technologies bring real value to the digitalization of operator workspaces.

What is an augmented operator?

Solutions using augmented reality improve the performance and productivity of operators in the field. With augmented reality, operators have real-time information, tools to automate repetitive tasks, and systems to make the right decisions at the right time more quickly. AR-driven technology guides assembly and visualization for quality inspection and control. In addition, it contributes to worker safety and satisfaction.

How advanced technologies enhance the operator’s role:

  • Augmented reality overlays digital information on the real environment to help operators better understand production processes and make more effective decisions
  • Sensors collect real-time production operations data and identify opportunities for manufacturing process optimization
  • Artificial intelligence analyzes the collected data, predicts potential problems or optimizes production parameters
  • Cobots or robots automate specific repetitive tasks, free up operators to focus on more complex tasks, and increase cycle time and efficiency

The Augmented Operator is a concept in constant evolution, with more and more companies wanting to put it to use in a context where labor is becoming increasingly scarce and where industries are looking to increase their productivity to remain competitive.

Skills development for operators

The industry relies heavily on the skills and know-how of technicians, who are true experts in their field. It’s why it’s necessary to keep current resources that coexist with new ones to enable operators to become more efficient and increase their skills. To accomplish this, it is essential to integrate them from the beginning of digital transformation projects, selection of use cases, POC phases, the choice and integration of equipment in the work environment, or the adaptation of processes. These new technologies redefine the operator’s role and place in the future factory. Thanks to the digitization of processes and the implementation of digital tools, current and new employees can quickly take control of their jobs. Operators become operational more rapidly on lines subject to new or variable configurations.

Thanks to the DELMIA Augmented Experience solution, operators can take full advantage of this combination of software and hardware, which brings previously unattainable computing power. Moreover, they can reproduce a given operation without getting tired and especially without risk of error. Finally, humans bring their creativity and ability to think about complex problems. All the ingredients are combined to guarantee full Human-Digital collaboration and improved performances.

Moving toward a more autonomous operator

Much more autonomous, the Augmented Operator takes more initiative and makes informed decisions thanks to qualitative data collected with digital tools. This collaboration between the technician and the digital technology helps reduce quality errors and non-conformities and to achieve “first time right.

As such, more and more companies are equipping their technicians with mobile devices to support them in their daily work. Via tablets, hololens, and other objects connected to the company’s system, they have access to important information regarding their mission and benefit from viable support.

The benefits of the augmented operator

Implementing the Augmented Operator in your plant can bring many potential gains:

  • Better productivity with the technology tools used to augment the operator can automate specific repetitive tasks and provide real-time information to help operators make more efficient decisions
  • Reduced labor costs by automating certain tasks and reducing human error, the operator can reduce labor costs for the company
  • Improved product quality with technology tools used to augment the operator can enhance the accuracy of production processes and reduce human error.
  • Safety Improvement to help reduce the risk of accidents related to fatigue or monotony by providing assistance or alerting operators to potential hazards on the production line
  • Flexibility that makesit easier to perform specific tasks, even in different areas, which helps the company be more responsive and adapt to production changes
  • Improved Work Experience with automated tools that assist in completing specific tasks, thus making work more enjoyable and less stressful


Augmented reality solutions help make operators efficient and perform tasks more safely and accurately. This increased efficiency helps companies improve their competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing labor costs.

The Augmented Operator is a strategic response to the expectations and challenges of industries. These AR-driven solutions support technicians and enhance their skills, make them more efficient, and increase the quality of their work. It places them among the key elements of the company’s strategy.

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