The automotive industry is definitely one of the most proactive industries when it comes to adopting new technologies. Auto manufacturing companies are always on the lookout for new technologies that will help improve their manufacturing process. Augmented reality in automotive manufacturing is not unheard of—major auto companies including Volkswagen, BMW and Hyundai have showcased their augmented reality apps in the market. Most auto companies, in fact, are piloting augmented reality across a variety of operations.
In this article, we are going to talk about some of the automotive companies that are using augmented reality to improve their operations, and understand the key ways in which augmented reality is helping them to improve operational efficiency.
Augmented Reality for Design and Prototyping
Design and prototyping is an essential aspect of automotive manufacturing. Many manufacturers are using augmented reality to overhaul this process and make it smoother for the teams in charge of it.
At Ford Motor Company, for instance, augmented reality is fully adopted to improve the efficiency of the design team. They are able to create 3D models of cars or parts using AR, and this eliminates the need to build every single design prototype with clay. This way, it is easier to make changes and improve designs in a timely manner.
Augmented Reality for Complex Assembly
Another important way augmented reality in car manufacturing is helping to make things efficient is the way it simplifies the process of car assembly. Bringing a car to life involves putting together thousands of individual components.
Though automation helps to a certain degree, this important aspect of automotive manufacturing depends more on human labor. It can be very challenging, considering the fact that each model of automobile is different and has its unique assembly instructions.
Volvo has improved the efficiency of their assembly workers by providing the assembly instructions with augmented reality.
Employee training is an important aspect of an automotive manufacturer and augmented reality is helping to improve this process. Company engineers and other workers need constant training to remain updated with relevant information, and AR can be helpful in this regard. The use of augmented reality in training within the automotive industry also enables different teams in different location share knowledge about new ways to get things done, and this is part of continuous training.
Augmented reality can also be very helpful in the maintenance of automotive manufacturing equipment. Many companies are already making things easier for their maintenance teams by empowering them with augmented reality solutions.
Mitsubishi has adopted augmented reality to streamline and improve their maintenance process. Their maintenance workers use AR glasses to ensure that they have the right manual when carrying out routine maintenance of manufacturing equipment. They can even enter inspection results with their voice, making the whole process more efficient.
For Quality Assurance
Augmented reality in the automotive industry can also be adopted for quality assurance by manufacturers. Porsche has been doing this since 2016 at their plant in Leipzig. In their own case, the solution combines AR and cloud. Employees in this department use tablets with AR capabilities to compare how an already assembled vehicle matches the original design. This helps to ensure that the models shipped to the customers are of the highest quality.
Augmented reality in the automotive industry has a promising future. The technology is helping manufacturers in tremendous new ways. From design and prototyping to quality assurance, the technology reduces cost of production and makes things to move faster. This improves the overall efficiency of the production process significantly.