Globally, now, the emerging trend is to deliver quality and value addition to the deliverables to the demanding consumers. The need to stay ahead of competition, while at the same time keeping cost advantage, companies are adopting sophisticated technology such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. These technologies such as AR ensures efficient delivery of services across its entire supply chain, right from the start. Augmented Reality has been a game-changer for manufacturing companies by integrating service with production seamlessly, on real time, real world basis.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality can be defined as an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are “Augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.
In other words, AR enables digitization and integration of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements with the physical environment on real-time, real-world basis, using an array of AR platforms such as smartphones, glasses, screens, handheld devices, lenses, and head-mounted displays etc.
Areas of AR use applications
AR technology has been applied across several areas in businesses. Be it manufacturing or service sector, AR is prevalent in the service driven areas of a business. Employee training, repairs and maintenance, R&D, operation efficiency, installation etc. is some of the areas where AR is extensively applied. AR technology is being adopted across most sectors namely, manufacturing and production, marketing and advertising, healthcare, education, aviation, industrial safety and compliance, logistics, civil construction etc. AR applications have found its way for use for remote collaboration such as public safety and traffic regulation, military, navigation etc. AR application has ensured streamlining and integrating the entire supply chain processes, which in turn has ensured increased productivity even among newly-joined, inexperienced technicians.
Example 1.1 AR - An use analysis in service
How we use AR in real life?
Importance of AR in services
AR use by manufacturers enables them to enjoy cost and competitive advantage, as it brings about efficiency in services at all stages in their production schedules. AR, when used at the early stages of production, increased productivity and global economies of scale. By introducing AR in the service components of the entire value chain, enhanced specialization and effective coordination amongst the employees is achieved. AR in manufacturing companies integrates global supply chain management by enabling major improvements in the logistics services, which in turn has a direct impact on the company’s value chain.
AR for maintenance service in Boeing, with the help of AR-based solution known as Skylight, Boeing has been able to negate wiring errors and bring about speedy wiring replacement and repairs in their planes. Skylight, being a hands free device, enables their service technicians to see visuals of the aircrafts wiring. It assists them by giving detailed step-by-step guidance and commands for executing the services, while also securing their engineers expert advice remotely.
Example 1.2 AR application in ThyssenKrupp
An international elevator company, “ThyssenKrupp” uses Microsoft HoloLens technology for their service and maintenance wherein the technician projects the models image on his desktop using data glasses. This enables him to have access to all technical information and the elevator uses history even before he reaches on-site and run a diagnostics to identify the faulty component. In case of complicated issue, he can run a voice command in order to solicit additional expert support and guidance remotely. The built-in camera in the data glass enables the expert to view the exact faulty component/issue remotely and provide instructions to his colleague. The data glass ensures hands-free working for the technician, enabling error-free, accident- free working and this AR platform is controlled by gestures, voice commands and line of vision, thereby providing seamless integration of digital world with the physical world to work effectively and efficiently. By using AR, ThyssenKrupp has been able to reduce service time dramatically, and also the huge cost overlays, resulting in overall improved processes.
AR use customization in CISCO
With the help of its customized AR App, it allowed their technicians launch virtual demos straight from the devices by avoiding usage of physical manuals. This increased their installation efficiency by 30%, and the first time use accuracy by 90%. The advancement in sophisticated technology has brought about a revolutionary change in the service offerings, resulting in huge cost savings and improved performance.
Example 1.3 IKEA uses AR app
Swedish furniture retailer, “IKEA”, launched IKEA Place, an AR app that lets their customers to place their selected furniture inside /outside their home virtually on real time real world technology basis. Collaborating with Apple, IKEA’s app integrates the digital visuals onto the physical world which scales the selected products automatically in real world settings with near 100% accuracy. This makes it possible for their customers, on real time basis to view and experience their choice ,in order to make a purchase decision.
AR and cost advantage
AR, when deployed smartly into the entire value chain of service oriented companies, ensures better business health and a competitive advantage. This has also enabled increased level of quality services among manufacturing companies, thereby, ensuring better customer bonding and ensuing profitability.
AR in Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines introduced AR use application to render efficient service and maintenance for their aircrafts using Hololens. This AR technology enables the company to demo a scalable 3d visual of the entire engine that can be viewed from different angles for study. This enabled Japan Airlines to substantially reduce huge training costs of their expert engineers.
Being a mature and a tested technology, AR has brought about a total revamp in the industry processes ensuring operational efficiency contributing to substantial cost savings for the firms. Besides, AR ensures least disruptions to production schedules due to streamlining of processes and an increase in machinery uptime, which in turn gives a cost advantage to the firm.
AR use for employee training in Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)
JLR collaborated with BOSCH and RÈFLECT and launched their AR integrated training app for their employees. The app enables to train their new technicians without having to uninstall and reinstall the components in the vehicle dashboard. The AR platform is enabled on an iPod which is pointed to the dashboard. This enables the technician to get a real time visuals of everything that is behind the panel, be it sensors, connections, complicated network of wirings etc. Through this app, the new technician is able to identify the precise location of every individual component. This enables JLR to train their new technicians seamlessly, quickly and accurately while also cutting physical training costs.
AR use has changed the entire gamut of the processes in the supply chain, thereby, bringing efficiency, improved business efficacy and better revenues through cost savings. More and more manufacturing companies are adapting to AR as value ads in their service orientation. By enabling AR in service, manufacturing companies are able to seamlessly integrate the different legs of the operations and customer service with minimal errors and wastage. With the global market scenarios getting more and more complicated, along with intense competition, AR has paved the way for a remarkable shift towards efficient business processes, thereby, giving companies competitive advantage.
AR use in manufacturing and its advantages
Rolls Royce, the luxury car manufacturer, has its mechanics rendering the maintenance service on a Rolls Royce DART 510 Engine, wherein they are wearing a tracked head-display. This head-display assists the mechanic to view on his display screen the requisite information, manual and guidance for performing his services without errors. Which aspect of technology use is referred to here and how does this technology help in the services of this company?
Mrs Vijaya Subramanian has been associated with ICFAI for over 8 years as adjunct faculty. She has also worked with few corporate in the area of business development across diverse sectors.
She brings experience and subject matter expertise through her works. She has done similar faculty work with other institutions like St Loyola College, Hyderabad, NAARM etc. She was instrumental in introducing Insurance as a core subject as part of their graduate curriculum in collaboration with Insurance Institute of India.
She has several educational credits including MS in Risk and Insurance Management, MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.
Prof Subrahmanyam V Yeditha
Specialities: Quality Management and Accreditations, Project Management, Analytics, Curriculum Building, Content Development and Quality Reviews, Research in Micro learning aspects
Prof Subrahmanyam is known for his commitment to ensuring quality higher education in Technology and Management faculties. His focus is to integrate practice and theory in teaching and content building. He prefers to be with the learners closely to share the practical aspects of each of the concept as it is applied in real life and its need and advantages. He is keen to build new course curriculum to keep the learner contemporary and confident.
Prior to joining IFHE, he was a research scientist at Indian Space Research Organization; India, Corporate Education and Training Specialist at CMC Limited, Quality Head , Management Representative and Vice President at Danlaw Technologies Limited, Director of Aurora PG College.