Heightened attention on the skills gap and finding ways to solve it has turned many companies towards Industry 4.0 technologies to solve training problems.
The difficulty is finding technology that seamlessly integrates training into current processes and doesn’t interfere with production.
Augmented Reality (AR) is enabling companies to simultaneously evolve workers’ skill sets and increase production. It is moving training programs from the computer directly to the production line.
LightGuide CEO, Paul Ryznar, weighed in on some of the ways that AR is solving the skills gap.
“Manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies have struggled with work development forever, specifically the costs of properly training their personnel and training variation; where people are trained differently depending on who trains them,” Paul noted.
Training programs have always been costly and difficult to manage. Any change, whether it be for a new position or a new process, creates the need for quick and thorough instruction. Often multiple people become responsible for training around the plant and each trainer has their own style. These slight differences can affect the consistency of products. Ultimately it could lead to increased error-rates, production time, or even safety hazards.
AR training programs guide trainees through every step of the process. Some AR software can even determine right and wrong bin picks and administer quizzes to test comprehension after training. Paul explained, “Because AR trains personnel on the very best practices right from the first cycle they run every time, the training becomes both standardized and consistent without variation.”
Part of the reason that training variation occurs is that one standard program can’t be run throughout an entire plant.
With AR, programs are easily deployed on an enterprise-scale. With a few clicks, supervisors can choose what systems receive or don’t receive information. When updates are made, the changes only need to be programmed into one system and then can be immediately implemented throughout the plant.
With AR, training programs don’t have to be separated from the floor. They can be combined with regular work instruction processes.
Some systems, like LightGuide, assimilate training and normal production. Guided steps eliminate the need for supervision, allowing people to learn at their own pace and produce error-free products without any formal background. The amount of guidance offered eliminates the skills gap, meaning anyone can learn any process.
This process doesn’t only benefit the trainees. As Paul notes, “The trainers can now perform more value-added work like assembling product or problem-solving.”
Plants can innovate on multiple levels by implementing AR training programs. While training in the factory becomes more effective, trainers are now able to spend more time planning the next steps forward. Productivity is increased, as well as efficiency and quality, making more time available to strategize for a better future.
To find out more about utilizing AR in your factory, contact us on our website.