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How to use Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality in the maintenance of metalworking machinery

How to use Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality in the maintenance of metalworking machinery

The manufacture of metalworking machinery and tools is a complex field. Different trades revolve around this sector, such as millers, lathe operators, rectifiers, foundry workers, welders, forgers, etc. Professionals who need to know perfectly how each of these machines works in order to be able to carry out correct maintenance and extend their useful life. This is where XR technologies (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality) are of great help to operators. 



There are many tools and machines used in this sector and, due to the significant savings in labor and time that they represent for the daily activity of many companies, new models and new machines are appearing all the time to complement the existing ones. However, the growth of this sector also means more work and more time to dedicate to training and maintenance of machinery. For this reason, it is important to find a solution that helps companies to train their employees quickly and at a reduced cost. Proper training will promote the proper use of machinery, and this in turn will reduce the number of workplace accidents and human errors, while extending the service life of these machines. In this context, XR technologies are becoming the best solution for companies: they are simple to operate, they arouse the interest of operators who need to be trained and, in addition, they are affordable for any type of company, provided that a good partner is chosen and the technology adoption strategy is the right one. 

In this way, it is enough to put on a pair of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality glasses to visualize, for example, the parts that make up a turning machine or the steps to perform a maintenance operation on the machine. We can also simply use a smartphone or tablet to access the information. Thanks to these devices, the operator can work directly with the machine of his choice virtually and thus understand how it works. This new training system is increasingly being implemented in organizations. The benefits of using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality technologies in this context are many and important. 



It has been shown that operators trained with XR technologies acquire knowledge faster than with traditional techniques. The use of these innovative technologies makes workers more involved in the learning process and they acquire knowledge faster than with other types of content.  


Safety and availability  

By not having to work with real machinery to learn how to operate it, the number of accidents at work is reduced and it is not necessary to stop a machine to teach its operation.  



Employees who have been trained with VR have almost 300% more confidence when applying the knowledge acquired. Training with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality provides them with safety and also more precision when handling any machine. Here it should be noted that, with this type of training, operators can repeat the processes as many times as they need without these actions can pose a risk to the worker or to the machine itself. 


Those workers who have received VR training achieve four times more concentration than with other types of content. This is due to the immersion capacity that the worker experiences when wearing a Virtual Reality device.  


Users trained with VR are 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content. 



Maintenance with XR technology   

Another advantage of implementing XR technologies in companies is that they make it easier for workers to perform maintenance tasks. Thanks to these technologies, operators can "train" as many times as they need in Virtual Reality simulators the different processes that have to be carried out in the different maintenance tasks of a machine. But not only that. Augmented Reality allows them to visualize in 3D the manuals of any machine in order to understand its operation. In this way, with this "training" workers are prepared to carry out the correct operation of the machine and effectively resolve any unforeseen event. In addition, virtual guidance helps companies to ensure that operators use the machinery and execute the production processes as they have been defined, to guarantee the highest level of productivity and efficiency. 



If there is one thing that characterizes the metalworking machinery manufacturing sector, it is that it comprises numerous pieces of equipment and tools that evolve in line with technological advances, but at the same time are machines that are highly durable. Thanks to XR technologies, companies can, on the one hand, speed up the training of their employees, especially those taking up new jobs. On the other hand, they facilitate the maintenance of machines and equipment. All this in a simple way and at a reduced cost. Investing in XR technologies undoubtedly marks the level of productivity of companies and their customers, and differentiates some brands from others, since today's companies do not focus exclusively on their products, but also on the services they are able to offer. For this reason, the sooner a company begins to implement these technologies in its daily activity, the more competitive it will be and the more prepared it will be for the digital transformation that is already underway.