IoT and AR in Industrial Manufacturing: How to Unleash the Power of Data

AREA member RE’FLEKT published an article last week detailing how the merging of Augmented Reality and Internet of Things enables enterprises to format their data and optimise procedures, saving time and reducing costs in the process.

Gartner reported that from 2016 to 2018, the number of IoT devices increased from 6 billion to 11 billion, and is expected to reach 20 billion by the end of this year. With the advancement of IoT, companies can use these platforms to collect large amounts of data to monitor industrial performance. Each stage of production provides the following information:

  • Status Data: a manufacturing robot is working
  • Location Data: the position of a product in the production line
  • Automation Data: the temperature as regulated by a sensor

AR converts IoT data into relevant information for employees, supporting operation, maintenance, and performance. This increases efficiency and reduces error rates, making optimal use of limited skilled workers. AR leverages “dynamic data” such as:

  • Warning signals
  • Capacity indicators
  • RPM readings
  • Temperature readings

The article discusses two industrial use cases for AR: medical device manufacturing and pharmaceutical production, and assembly line in industrial manufacturing. In the first use case, AR can visualise dynamic data such as air filtration or room temperature in the operator’s field of view, using a mobile device or smart glasses. This visualisation allows the medical operator to:

  • Monitor changes – the impact that an adjustment has is immediately visible
  • Take action immediately – as problems occur, they can be addressed
  • Forsee problems before they occur – issues can be avoided in advance

In the second use case, errors can be extremely costly, as even a minute of downtime costs up to $22,000 in the automotive industry. An AR data display therefore helps manufacturing workers with:

  • Diagnosing errors – the nature and location of malfunctions on machines are immediately visible
  • Performing maintenance and repair – having relevant information in direct view makes equipment servicing and fixing errors easier
  • Equipment monitoring – values are shown at the machine instead of on complex dashboards

The article concludes by recognising that combining AR and IoT maximises their potential. A BCG survey has revealed that 80% of businesses already working with either AR or IoT believe that combined solutions will become widespread in their industry in coming years.

Read the full article here, and see RE’FLEKT’s AREA member profile here.

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