AWE Europe: The benefits of AR in industry come in two digit numbers

By 27th October 2017Blog

Augmented Reality World Expo AWE Europe was held in Munich in October. Steresocape’s team visited the expo where all the latest solutions, applications, software, hardware, cases, and pilots were showcased under one roof.

Here are the team’s key takeaways fresh from Munich:

“Industrial AR –  the numbers speak for themselves”

The two digit numbers for productivity improvement, cost or time savings that industry giants like Bosch, Coca-Cola, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and Siemens were presenting were simply impressive.

  • Coca-Cola cut down training time for field workers from 4 weeks to 2 weeks using AR
  • Lockheed Martin’s assembly workers accuracy rate improved to a full 100% with AR.
  • GE Aviation reported 8-12% increase in mechanics’ efficiency for critical engine maintenance tasks.
  • Siemens Power and Gas used AR to train new workers in 45 minutes when it used to take a whole day with traditional training methods.

90% error correction, 30% reduction in assembly time in manufacturing and warehousing, 30-50% reduction in inspections, 50% travel reduction for field engineers in insurance and construction, 20-50% reduction in training…. Just stop and think what this brings to the bottom line – when sometimes even a 1% improvement in maintenance efficiency can bring cost savings worth over 200 million euros annually, like it does in aviation industry!

Jani Leskinen, Key Account Manager

“The devices get smaller and lighter and the benefits get bigger”

Who wants to look like Robocop every day at work? Hardly anyone, at least I don’t! The acceptance problem has been a reality with industry AR and VR. That’s why it was very pleasing to see in Munich the wealth of new hardware and devices for both AR and VR that were smaller, lighter and easier to use.

  • VRGineers’ VRHero 5 headset comes with high-quality 5K resolution displays and 170 degree field of view.
  • The new smart glasses from Epson only weigh 69g, not much more than a pair of normal eyeglasses.
  • Our partner Daqri was also presenting its new smart glasses with remote expert function.

Of course, the acceptance problem can’t be solved with just devices, no matter how light or convenient they are. But with devices that are comfortable to wear and have well designed interfaces and functionalities that really add value to the worker himself as well as to company we’ll see great benefits coming from AR and VR.

Jussi Korhonen, Software Developer

 “The global leaders are already presenting the results from their pilots”

It was interesting to see not only the American companies but also some European leaders like Audi, BMW, Bosch, and Siemens presenting projects with very impressive results.

  • Bosch presented 15% time saving in its car service workshops using AR solutions.
  • GE Aviation gained substantial improvements in how mechanics performed critical engine maintenance by using AR; errors reduced, efficiency and product quality improved, worker compliance increased and job satisfaction was higher. The savings are counted in millions of dollars.
  • Siemens created an AR tool to make wind turbine hub inspections more efficient and more effective. The inspections were done 40% faster with AR.

In terms of technology the presentations contained no big news for us. However, what was prominent was the fact that most of the industry cases presented in Munich were still pilots. An indication that the global leaders are working hard to be ready to reap the profit when the time is right. Also indicating that the time to do the pilots is now.

Some big companies like Bosch with its Common Augmented Reality Platform (CAP) and Boeing with its Boeing Augmented Reality Kit (BARK) are already taking the next steps. They are piloting customized industrial AR solutions in their own research labs and trying to standardize them in their own processes and in their stakeholders’ processes. Have you started your pilots yet? If not you’d better hurry up!

Ferhat Sen, CTO

Read more news and thoughts from AWE Europe from Jani’s LinkedIn post.

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