Training and Troubleshooting
Because it allows workers to train at their own pace, XR is valuable for employee training and onboarding and promotes learning retention. In addition, XR can introduce manufacturing lines, construction sites, or unfamiliar procedures—which may be costly and/or have safety risks—to a new workforce in low-risk environments. Lockheed Martin, in collaboration with Azure Mixed Reality Services, reduced costs by 93% and shaved more than 7 hr off an 8-hr activity in its spacecraft manufacturing operations area, the XR Association reports.
Extended reality applications can play a valuable role in employee training and onboarding. Photo courtesy of Taqtile
Taqtile, an industrial XR solutions provider, develops strategies to train frontline workers through the digital platform Manifest. Kelly Malone, chief customer officer for Taqtile, says remote work setups during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated frontline workers’ need for support from remote working specialists. He maintains that “80% of the workforce, corresponding to 2.8 billion people, is deskless” and “this portion of the workforce has not benefited from the ongoing digital transformation advantages.
“A retiring generation is also taking accumulated years of institutional knowledge on equipment and processes with them, causing added burden on businesses to train the upcoming workforce,” Malone continues. “Immersive technology solutions address a growing need for training a next-generation workforce, which tends to have an affinity towards digital tools and data.”
Malone notes that MR tools have been used to allow employers to compress weeks of training into as little as three days. Case studies from various industries have shown an average 25%–30% increase in productivity with 46% faster task completion rates with the use of MR-assisted training (Deloitte 2019).
Manufacturers can also benefit from MR-assisted routine maintenance and line inspections with remote support options and material handling. Operators working to troubleshoot equipment or process lines can perform tasks by receiving step-by-step instructions through a mobile device or MR headset. This enables a workflow collaboration in a “see what I see” manner.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte to assess live remote support options, 84% of the 200 industry operators surveyed preferred remote live guidance through MR systems versus a standard video call, leading to 32% improvement in problem-solving during downtimes and 50% fewer errors (Deloitte 2019).
The Manifest platform integrates routine maintenance with step-by-step instructions and remote live support. For example, subject matter experts can guide operators to conduct a maintenance or trouble-shooting task with information displayed on a specific part of the equipment through MR headsets. Assistance can also be provided via previously constructed workflows. Operators can perform tasks by interacting with pictures, videos, and spatial indicators, such as overlaying 3-D digital ink or pointers over the physical space and overlaying sensor data from the equipment. In addition, evidence can be created to follow instructions during a routine maintenance activity. Internet connectivity limitations can be overcome by integrating offline operations with prerecorded instructions in the AR platform.