Virtual Reality in the Manufacturing Sector – Two Sides of the Same Coin
As virtual reality is breaking the stereotypes, it is simplifying complex processes in manufacturing. And, with manufacturing being a sector where every second is valuable, and even the tiniest mistake in design or layout can cost hundreds of dollars, VR has become an integral component for manufacturers. Using VR technology, manufacturers can replicate new production lines, design solution which they can present virtually in a realistic way, optimize the maintenance process and train the employees in an immersive environment. VR is empowering a technician working in a paper manufacturing plant to virtually visit a boiler and understand what’s going on remotely. The technician is thus prepared to face the situation during the on-site visit.
For the manufacturing sector, VR is a boon in disguise, which is shaping the future of smart factories and offering a bountiful of advantages including.
From Ford to BMW, auto manufacturers are riding high on VR to solve their complex design issues. Developing a new vehicle from the ground level can cost anywhere between $2 billion to $5 billion. Therefore, to curb the research and development cost, auto manufacturers across the globe are integrating VR in their processes. Designers and engineers are using VR to test how different components of a car look when assembled without actually assembling in real-time. Companies are even mocking up the cabin of a car and exposing it to traffic, road and engine noise to know how the actual trip would sound in the car. VR is bringing a revolutionizing change in auto manufacturing.
The Food industry
Virtual reality is enabling multi-sensory experience and changing the way food manufacturing is done. VR is playing a crucial role in determining the successful build and design process. A virtual walk-through helps in identification of design issues even before the plant is built. Also, manufacturers can engage with the equipment supplier, which ensures smoother operations in the facility. It also enables the manufacturers to prepare for potential food audits, thereby ensuring the highest quality of food. VR helps in visualizing the movement throughout the facility and manufacturers can make changes to accommodate people and ensure proper process flow.
Equipment manufacturing companies who supply machinery to other manufacturers such as the chemical industry or pharmaceutical industry have started to gain traction from using VR in their processes. Using head-mount displays, these companies are recreating their manufacturing lines in the virtual world, which helps in locating faulty equipment before the product reaches the client. Without wasting time, the companies can tweak changes in their design and deliver quality products.
In the coming years, the virtual reality experience is likely to become more realistic. VR is no longer science fiction because it’s not leaving the manufacturers guessing about the potential issue with a particular part. Instead, the part can show and inform the manufacturer if the working is under the prescribed tolerance levels. VR is the future of the manufacturing sector, and it’s likely to witness an exponential growth in the coming years.
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