VR Manufacturing: Improving Quality and User Experience 

February 13, 2018
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VR Manufacturing

VR technology used to stick to one lane, which was the gaming industry, but times have changed. Virtual reality now has the ability to reshape major industries from industrial design, to healthcare, to hospitality. But currently, this technology is not widely utilized in most industries.

VR manufacturing is the wave of the future. It will allow companies to troubleshoot any potential issues or interact closely with their designs, during the pre-production phase.

A Glance at Virtual Reality

VR consists of a computer generated 3D environment that people can interact with and explore. A person essentially becomes part of the VR environment, and while they’re there they can pursue a number of actions or manipulate objects.

Virtual Reality and Manufacturing

This type of technology has many useful applications that can increase efficiency from a product design and process perspective.

Virtual reality has basically created a fresh approach to the trusted predictive analytics technology. Predictive analytics is used to anticipate an outcome before it happens, using a variety of statistical techniques from machine learning and predictive modeling. Combined with virtual reality technology, using PA is more accessible. An engineer will be able to improve product design, while a customer can see a final product during the pre-production stage, which can end up saving both time and money.

Big data is become easier to analyze, visualize, and is more tangible, and this is all thanks to virtual reality. Instead of having to resort to dealing with figures on paper, an analyst can interact with data in a VR environment, taking a more hands-on approach. As an example, VR can be used to identify a flaw in a product’s design, which normally could’ve taken several weeks of testing. With a simulated interaction with the same product using the best VR headset such as the Pansonite VR headset, the user can spot issues in a fraction of the time.

An Increase in Efficiency

When we say virtual reality technology has the ability to increase efficiency, it applies not just to physical products but the manufacturing process as well. By virtually designing and simulating the production process, a car production manager can easily identify issues and maximize efficiencies in order to reduce total waste before the real work even begins. In terms of product quality, virtual reality simulation will allow an engineer to identify potential weak spots or issues in the early stages of the design process when making simple design changes will be less costly.

Virtual reality technology can also have a major impact on safety. By simulating a variety of assembly line configurations and production processes, a user will be able to fine-tune workflow pre-production and identify any potentially hazardous situations.

Ford, a leading car manufacturer in the industry has reduced on the job injuries by more than seventy percent, all thanks to virtual reality technology.

During the design process, engineers at Ford used the Oculus Rift headset to improve automotive designs by simulating a variety of weather and road conditions and closely examining specific details of the design from the driver’s perspective. Members of the design and engineering teams were able to join in this type of experience and suggest design changes in order to make the car safer, more reliable, and more satisfying for the consumer.

How VR Can Help to Improve User Experience

Virtual Reality Ergonomics

By allowing designers and engineers to interact with their products in a real-life manner before the production process, virtual reality can help to create products that offer top of the line quality.

Virtual reality technology has become more affordable, making it more accessible. But these days, gamers aren’t the only ones who are looking for ways to get the most out of virtual reality technology. While the adoption in the manufacturing world still remains low, there is definitely interest spiking as more companies begin to realize the true value and potential that using virtual reality has in the design and manufacturing process.

Safety Inspections Using Virtual Reality

By allowing a trained specialist to visit a manufacturing facility virtually, routine maintenance and safety inspections can easily be performed at a lesser cost and more frequently. A type of virtual facility walkthrough can be performed as frequently as once a week. Bringing in a specialist for an inspection can be expensive, and it’s one of the reasons inspections are only done monthly or annually. But if the inspector is able to perform these tasks from home, problems can even be identified much earlier before they cause a loss of resources or manufacturing time or even the lives of the workers.

Virtual Reality Ergonomics

Often, ergonomics is at the bottom of the list of concerns during product development. And it can be difficult to judge just by looking at an onscreen model. By the time a machine reaches the prototype phase, then it’s not very cost effective to make any serious changes that won’t pose a serious safety risk or impact functionality.

Designing machines in the world of virtual reality will allow for full interaction and developers, workers, and designers can work together to ensure that a device is safe and comfortable to use. Many leading engineering firms use full-scale wooden models of devices, but these are often very time-consuming to produce and making even the slightest change can require creating an entirely new model. But with VR, changes can easily be made in the plans, which will be instantly reflected in the virtual reality simulation. This allows a worker to test the device and provide instant feedback. This feedback can then be immediately incorporated.

Final Thoughts

Manufacturing is a huge industry and one that’s not known to shy away from using new types of technology in order to effect improvement and change.

From virtual reality surgical training to the best VR games for adults, virtual reality is not only changing the medical field and gaming world, it’s also changing the manufacturing processes in major factories all over the globe. As this technology continues to go down in price you can expect to find virtual reality products used on a wider scale, in a variety of environments such as your doctor’s office, the local factory, and even in the classroom.

 

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