VR Applications in Manufacturing

Although virtual technology has been present for more than 50 years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have just lately been prevalent in manufacturing settings. The technologies are already well on their way to becoming more widely used.

Early adopters in the manufacturing sector are using AR and VR in creative ways. They are thinking about how to use these potentially disruptive technologies to, among other things, enhance productivity, decrease training expenses, improve worker safety, hasten the release of new products to market, and so on. Virtual technology is viewed by many as crucial to maintaining competitiveness in the industrial industry.

Here are a few examples of how some businesses are utilising virtual reality to alter their manufacturing and related processes—and how they are already reaping the rewards of doing so.

Maintenance and assembly training

There are fewer individuals available for industrial jobs, according to numerous studies, and the skill gap is widening. According to a 2015 report by Deloitte, 2 million of the 3.5 million manufacturing positions that are open in the U.S. over the next ten years will go unfilled due to a lack of competent people.

By providing more immersive on-the-job training, AR and VR can hasten the onboarding of new employees and boost employee productivity. Using video, images, and text projected via AR smart glasses, a worker can be led visually through assembly or maintenance chores. For example, all the worker needs to do to finish a repair is to look at the machine element that needs fixing.

In order to help workers wire a wind turbine, software vendor Upskill and GE Renewable Energy undertook a productivity study. A technician at GE Renewables compared the initial use of smart glasses that were powered by Upskill's Skylight software to the conventional method for wiring a wind turbine. With AR, the technician's output increased by 34.5% right away.


Factory floor planning

Manufacturing trade shows and factory floor planning both make use of virtual technologies. Factory layout, including the placement of employees, tools, and equipment, is essential for efficiency and productivity in mass-production manufacturing.

Any unforeseen delays or a production line stoppage, even a temporary one, can be exceedingly expensive when designing a new plant or making changes to an existing one. The procedure can be greatly sped up and simplified with virtual technology. Before making changes in the real world, virtual plants can be created to evaluate production processes and how humans and robots carry out their duties.

To ensure that everything goes smoothly and efficiently in the new plant, altered line, or factory, even ergonomics can be examined and improved. Early tests indicate that a practically planned floor can be finished in a fraction of the time, hastening the introduction of new products to the line.


Inventory management

In a Dutch facility, the logistics business DHL successfully tested smart glasses and augmented reality. It employed the technology to develop "vision picking" in warehousing operations in collaboration with DHL customer Ricoh and wearable technology solutions authority Ubimax. In order to expedite picking and lower error rates, workers were led through the warehouse by images that were displayed on the smart glass. The trial increased picking efficiency by 25% and demonstrated the value added that AR can provide to logistics.


Vehicle design and build

Beginning in 1999, Ford became one of the first automakers to fully embrace virtual technology. According to a Forbes article from 2014, the business hired specialised virtual reality experts to pave the road for engineers to design and construct entire cars, including autonomous vehicles, in a virtual world. Ford now requires a multipurpose VR study for all new vehicles before they enter manufacturing.

Cost, time, and quality all improve significantly when using virtual technology. Product designers and engineers can now investigate possibilities that would previously have been too expensive or time-consuming.


Improved worker safety

Even while factory workers' general safety has considerably increased over the years, even one injury or loss is too many. By enhancing safety, virtual reality is revolutionising the manufacturing industry.

Managers of manufacturing facilities can model assembly line layouts and production processes using virtual reality, which enables them to spot potentially hazardous circumstances. In order to record an employee's task proficiency, mobility, and feasibility and ultimately eliminate the danger of potential accidents and/or fatalities, virtual reality may also be utilised to immerse workers in a future workstation.



As you can see, virtual reality is employed in manufacturing in a variety of ways, all of which offer benefits. Due to its adaptability and practically infinite alternatives for creating virtual spaces, VR can be utilised as an additional testing platform, a workshop, a meeting room, or an exhibition stand. Virtual reality has the potential to make manufacturing safer, more rapid, precise, effective, and less expensive.

The industrial industry is currently using virtual reality in a variety of methods. We believe that by utilising VR-based apps, industrial enterprises may gain a substantial competitive edge and enhance the productivity and safety of their daily operations.