AR Insider: David Nedohin – March 25, 2020
In manufacturing, unplanned downtime can quickly translate to a cost of millions of dollars. Maintaining operational efficiency can be a challenge in even the most ideal of conditions, and in times of crisis, that efficiency can unravel.
As Covid-19 continues to spread, we are beginning to see its impact across many industries. Travel is actively being discouraged, and in some instances around the globe, outright banned. For businesses that rely on travel for smooth operation, the challenges of Covid-19 continue to be felt. And as companies like Apple and Samsung can attest, the various challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak have had a tremendous impact on manufacturing facilities.
We’ve heard from many of our customers about how they are no longer able to go on-site to address operations with their factories in affected areas. One customer in particular, who is a giant in the food and beverage industry, has a factory in Vietnam and is now using the remote assistance functionality of Scope AR’s WorkLink platform to maintain vital operations and keep the factory running during this volatile time.
Augmented reality technologies can be a new communication platform for organizations to capture and scale their knowledge without the need for experts to travel. Improvement in both software and hardware alike, have actually made this a reality.
AR remote assistance provides the ability to instantly deliver essential knowledge beyond borders, connecting experts in other countries with workers on the factory floor. Combine this with self-guided AR work instructions, and organizations with global presence can ensure that any worker will have best-practices right in their hands that are easy to follow, repeatable, and measurable.
Outside of the context of Covid-19, Scope AR customers have been able to measure a 50% or more reduction in downtime in manufacturing facilities from the use of its WorkLink platform. This is normally a welcome and valued gain for industrial enterprises. But given the current state of affairs, the value is even more pronounced. There’s an outsized impact when the alternative — flying in remote experts to the factory floor — isn’t just expensive but now prohibited.
The Covid-19 situation reminds us that in times of crisis we become even more dependent on technology to help us stay connected. We are seeing companies turn to AR and other collaboration tools to keep critical business operations moving forward. As we watch the situation unfold, I think we will see the need for more innovative ways to navigate the complex business challenges this outbreak is presenting. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention”: This could be enterprise AR’s chance to shine during these challenging times.