Illumination

Insights and trends on augmented reality and advanced manufacturing technology
27June2019

The Augmented Reality Analytics Tool Making Manufacturing Data More Accessible

The inspiration for our company’s augmented reality analytics dashboard, the Light Guide Systems Live Data Viewer, came from a desire to help manufacturing companies identify answers to common operational challenges and reach new levels of operational efficiency.

While our manufacturing AR technology was originally designed to collect a wide range of detailed metrics and valuable data points, our continued focus on innovation and customer success drove our team to push the boundaries in terms of how companies accessed and analyzed manufacturing data in real-time to make informed decisions that improved processes in a swift and efficient manner.

Manufacturing Data Visualization 

With the primary goal of making manufacturing metrics easily accessible, we knew data visualization would be an important element of our Live Data Viewer. With this key consideration in mind, we designed charts and graphs for multiple KPI categories that paint a clear picture of plant operations on multiple levels, including a granular view at the workstation or operator level.

Another exciting component of our Live Data Viewer is that the insights and information gleaned through this unique interface can be combined with other datapoints our AR technology collects, such as basic information like who is logged in to the system and when, along with custom fields that users can set up (whether a torque tool is operating at a specified tolerance each time it is used, for example).

A Closer Look at Cycle Times

Cycle time is one critical manufacturing metric that is inherently monitored and displayed within our Live Data Viewer. As part of this, our system breaks down complex processes into specific steps that make it easy to visualize and subsequently diagnose where, when and why problems arise in assembly, inspection or training processes.

Supervisors have the ability to enter shift targets so the system can track progress toward goals. Color-coded graphs then show at a glance whether the team is operating under or over target cycle times, allowing supervisors to quickly identify where bottlenecks are occurring within current processes and the cause for such slowdowns. With this level of information, potential issues can be addressed much more efficiently, and concrete feedback can be provided more effectively.

Quantifying Quality Control 

The Live Data Viewer also features a defects chart, which is ideal for quality control and inspections. In addition to monitoring how many defects occur—with clear visual indicators of what type of defect has occurred—custom thresholds can be established to ensure specified defects only occur a certain number of times before production is automatically halted to address the issue. This combination of analytical rigor and operational functionality is essentially unprecedented.

Operator Performance

The real-time nature of the information available through our Live Data Viewer allows operators to monitor their progress and use that information as a kind of self-challenge, gamifying their work in a way that promotes improvement over time.

The science behind gamification stipulates that, to be effective, a certain number of conditions have to be met, including things like immediate feedback, achievable goals, clear and comprehensible metrics that allow someone to “keep score,” etc. The LGS Live Data Viewer provides all of those elements, making it possible to turn virtually any manufacturing process into an opportunity for operators to strive for continuous improvement.

Achieving Unprecedented Insights in Your Organization 

Automated processes have long generated large quantities of data, but the ability to monitor what’s happening in a manual workstation—and the ability to visualize this volume of information in real time—is a true game changer. The benefits extend far beyond operator improvement and can even reveal surprising information related to logistics inefficiencies, machinery deficiencies and other potential processes that factor into overall performance. In short, manufacturers in a wide range of industries can evaluate performance and processes with precision, and make more strategic workflow adjustments that directly impact their bottom line.

Interested in learning more about our Live Data Viewer and how our team can help you collect and measure key operational KPIs more effectively? Send us a message!

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Brian Close

Brian Close

Brian Close is the Executive Director of Sales for OPS Solutions. Brian has over 10 years of experience managing sales, manufacturing and engineering operations including managing implementation of new manufacturing equipment and processes with processes and managing $20M+ portfolio of contract engineering projects. Brian holds a BS, Materials Science & Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a MBA from the University of Michigan.
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