Efficient Plant March 2018 - 10

feature | industry views

AR/VR

Gary L. Parr
Editorial Director

Is at Your Doorstep
PIONEERS ALWAYS TAKE a beating, and Google's Google
Glass augmented-reality (AR) product was the groundbreaker
that got punched in the gut-and face. While the company
stopped selling the devices to the general public in Jan. 2015,
the technology lived on. Now, thanks to companies such as UbiMAX GmbH, Bremen, Germany (ubimax.de), it's standing on
the doorsteps of manufacturing facilities around the globe.
The same can be said for virtual reality (VR), a technology
that quickly went from geek toy to gaming device to serious
design/training/maintenance/operating tool. A quick look into
just about any industry sector will uncover all types of applications where VR is being used on at least an experimental basis.
Manufacturing, both discrete and process, is right in the thick
of it because, it could be argued, plant operations can benefit
most from both technologies on a multitude of fronts. The great
thing is that AR/VR technology doesn't need to be proven. That
work has been completed. The next step is adoption, which is
happening rapidly.
Research released in 2016 by consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP, Arlington, VA (pwc.com), indicated that
more than one in three manufacturers were expected to adopt
AR/VR technologies by 2018. All indications are that the

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| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

research findings were correct, and, by the end of the year, we
may discover that the projections were conservative. More than
70% of respondents also indicated that the technology would be
at least moderately important to manufacturing competitiveness
in the next three years (4.2% extremely important, 18.3% very
important, 50% moderately important, 27.5% not important).
The way technology progresses these days, there is little doubt
that the moderately-important group has shifted significantly to
the very- and extremely-important categories.
What areas are the biggest targets? The top five are:
 product design and development
 virtual assembly/improved process design
 safety- and manufacturing-skills training
 maintenance, repair, or operation of equipment
 data and information access.
In other words, every important area in today's plants.
But where will the impact be greatest? What are knowledgeable people in the industry seeing today, and what do they see
for tomorrow? To gain some insight, we asked the obvious
question: Where do you see augmented/virtual reality having
the biggest impact on manufacturing and why? The answers we
received are enlightening.

MARCH 2018


http://www.ubimax.de http://www.pwc.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant March 2018

Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover1
Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover2
Efficient Plant March 2018 - 1
Efficient Plant March 2018 - 2
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Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover3
Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover4
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