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The use of XR technologies in the maintenance of machinery and tools for metal working

The use of XR technologies in the maintenance of machinery and tools for metal working

The manufacture of machinery and tools for metal working is a complex endeavor. Different processes and trades are involved in this sector, such as milling, lathe, rectifier, foundry, welder, forger, etc. Operators need to know exactly how these machines work in order to carry out correct maintenance duties and extend their useful life. This is where XR technologies (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality) are of great help to operators

 

Training

Metal working involves the use of many machines and tools. Due to the significant savings in work and time that innovation represents for the daily activity of many companies, new models and machines are constantly being introduced into the workspace. However, this growth also involves that more time must be dedicated to training and machinery maintenance tasks. For this reason, it is important to look for a solution that helps companies train their employees quickly and at a reduced cost. Correct training will encourage proper use of machinery, and this in turn will reduce the number of workplace accidents and human errors, while extending the useful life of these machines. This will be the case if a good partner is chosen and the technology adoption strategy is appropriate.

Thanks to this tech, all the operator needs to do is put on a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality headset to be able 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 he wants virtually, and thus fully understand its operation. This new training system is being implemented in companies of all sizes. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality technologies offer companies many benefits:

 

Efficiency

It has been shown that operators who receive training with XR technologies acquire knowledge more quickly than with traditional techniques. The use of these innovative technologies makes workers more involved in the learning processes and knowledge is acquired more quickly than with other types of content.

 

Security and availability

By not training with real machinery, the number of workplace accidents is reduced and it is not necessary to stop a machine to explain how it works.

 

Trust

Employees who have been trained with VR are almost 300% more confident when applying the knowledge they have acquired. Training with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality gives them a great sense of security and also more precision when operating any machine. One important advantage that should be noted is that with this type of training, operators can repeat the processes as many times as they need without these actions posing a risk to the worker or the machine itself.

 

Concentration

Workers who have received training with VR achieve four times greater concentration than with other types of content. This is due to the immersion capacity that the worker experiences when putting on a Virtual Reality device.

 

Motivation

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

 

 

Maintenance with XR technology

Other advantages of implementing XR technologies in companies are that they make it easier for workers to carry out maintenance tasks. Thanks to these technologies, operators can “train” as many times as they need in Virtual Reality simulators. They can repeat the different processes that have to be carried out in the different maintenance tasks of a machine as many times as they require. Furthermore, 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”, the workers are prepared to carry out the correct operation of the machine and effectively solve any unforeseen event. In addition, virtual guidance helps companies to ensure that the operators use the machinery and execute the production processes as they have been defined, to guarantee the maximum level of productivity and efficiency.

 

Conclusions

One of the main features of the manufacture of machinery for metal working is that it includes many different machines and tools that evolve as technological advances do. However, the machines used also have a great durability. Thanks to XR technologies, companies, on the one hand, streamline the training of their employees, especially new ones. On the other, they facilitate maintenance work on machines and equipment. All this in a simple way and at a reduced cost. Investing in XR technologies contributes, without a doubt, to improve the level of productivity of companies and their customers, and differentiates some brands from others, since companies currently do not focus exclusively on their products, but also on the services they 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 taking place.