FOCUS ON DIGITALISATION
AN EYE ON REALITY
New TUM research demonstrates that employees wearing Augmented Reality ( AR ) glasses work faster , but internalise less .
Using Augmented Reality and AI for design processes . ( Shutterstock . com ).
“ The researchers concluded that the greatest benefit from Augmented Reality technology is currently in sectors with a high cycle frequency in production , in which process optimisation has been completed or does not play a major role .”
Industrial employees can produce much faster if they are guided by Augmented Reality ( AR ) glasses . However , they internalise their tasks less than workers who are trained in the same way ; therefore , they can contribute less to improving production processes . These are the results of a new international study from the Technical University of Munich ( TUM ), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the
Mainz Centre for Mental Health in Old Age .
“ The insights can help companies to tailor augmented reality applications to their needs and to balance productivity and process optimisation ,” they explained .
More and more companies are relying on Augmented Reality in production because they hope for higher productivity and improved production processes . AR combines actual reality with a computer-generated reality . For example , AR glasses can guide employees step-by-step when assembling an electrical device by recognizing the individual parts and displaying the next assembly step .
Until now , however , little was known about whether companies ’ investment in AR devices was worthwhile and about the strengths and weaknesses of the technology in production .
Automotive engineer uses digital tablet with Augmented Reality for car design analysis and improvement . ( Shutterstock . com ).
Prof . David Wuttke
The productivity challenge
To close this gap , a research team from the Technical University of Munich ( TUM ), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Mainz Center for Mental Health in Old Age took up the challenge . They used field tests in a technology company to investigate how quickly employees took on new tasks with and without AR support ; explain whether the complexity of the tasks plays a role and discover how the use of AR influences the ability of users to suggest process optimisations .
“ Fifty test individuals were instructed in two new , different difficult tasks in the production of electronic devices . Half of them received the instructions on paper , the other group [ received instructions ] via AR glasses . Both groups then had to complete the tasks first with , and then without , guidance . In a second step , all participants were asked to make suggestions for improvement to optimise the production processes . These proposals were then evaluated by company experts ,” outlined the research partners .
The study showed that productivity in the manufacturing industry can be significantly increased through the use of Augmented Reality .
44 | sheetmetalplus . com | ISMR June 2022