How Virtual Reality will impact the manufacturing industry?

Today, manufacturing industries are trying to improve their competitiveness and efficiency by combining manufacturing per se with information technology, artificial intelligence, automation and many such latest technologies. Virtual reality is being used in product development processes in manufacturing industries as a helpful technology to achieve rapid consolidation of information and decision-making through real life, 3D visualization and experience.

Here are a few examples of how some companies are using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to change their manufacturing and allied processes — and how they’re already benefiting.

Logistics company DHL successfully carried out a pilot development testing smart glasses and AR in a warehouse in the Netherlands. In cooperation with DHL customer Ricoh and wearable computing solutions expert Ubimax, it used the technology to implement “vision picking” in warehousing operations. Workers were assisted through the warehouse by infographics displayed on the smart glass to speed up the picking process and reduce errors. The pilot proved that AR offers an advantage to logistics and resulted in a 25 percent efficiency increase during the picking process.

Ford was one of the automakers to go all in on virtual technology, beginning in 1999. In 2014, Forbes reported that the company used dedicated virtual reality specialists to lead the way for engineers to design and build entire vehicles, including autonomous vehicles, in a virtual environment. Today, Ford has a mandatory, multifunctional VR review for all vehicles before going into production.

With VR, designers and engineers have the ability to explore options that would have been cost- or time-prohibitive in the past.

Many studies point to a reduction in skilled workers available for manufacturing jobs and a growing skill gap.

AR and VR can speed the on-boarding of new workers and improve worker productivity by offering more immersive on-the-job training. AR-enabled glasses that project video, graphics and text can visually assist a worker, step by step, through assembly or maintenance tasks. All that’s required by the worker to complete a repair, for instance, is to gaze at the machine part to be repaired.

Software provider Upskill and GE Renewable Energy conducted a study using AR to assist workers in wiring a wind turbine. A GE Renewable technician compared first-time use of smart glasses powered with Upskill’s Skylight software against the traditional process for wiring of a wind turbine. The technician saw an immediate 34.5 percent productivity improvement using AR.

Virtual technology is being used for factory floor/layout planning and manufacturing trade events. In mass-production manufacturing, factory planning — where to place tools, equipment and personnel — is crucial for productivity and efficiency.

Engineering a new plant or altering an existing one involves design, testing and trials, and any unexpected delays or a production line shutdown, even a temporary one, can be very costly.

Virtual technologies can simplify and significantly shorten the process. Virtual plants can be designed to test production flows and how workers and robots perform tasks before changes are made in the physical world. Even ergonomics can be tested and refined to assure everything runs smoothly and efficiently in the new plant or altered line or plant. Initial trials suggest that a virtually planned floor can be completed in a fraction of the time, bringing new products to the line fast. Here’s one example that illustrates this type of virtual testing.

This post is written with help of article by Mr. Pamela Oldham

At we provide Virtual Reality product and solutions to manufacturing companies. We are working with leading manufacturing brands to solve few of above-mentioned problems and helping them achieve Industry 4.0

Keywords: virtual reality, virtual engineering, virtual manufacturing, virtual prototyping, cyber-physical system, virtual environment, virtual simulations, augmented reality in manufacturing, industry 4.0