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The Power of Industrial AR to Reduce Manufacturing Scrap and Rework

In industrial production, scrap is the enemy of profit. Waste, rework in production, defects and quality deficiencies lead to complaints, product recalls or claims under warranty and guarantee as well as customer service costs.

According to Forbes, product quality with defects can cost manufacturers up to 30% of total revenue. 

Reducing rework with the help of AR

Augmented Reality (AR) offers powerful new ways to reduce scrap and waste by helping to minimize the potential for human error. AR uses a process known as computer vision to navigate objects and blends precise step-by-step instructions and guidance about the device or part being machined. Manufacturers use AR to use digital displays to place information on physical objects in the worker's field of vision.

AR solutions such as Vuforia can integrate IIoT and thus call up real-time performance data for a machine that is currently being set up, operated or maintained. Employees receive an optimized insight into the condition, performance and operation of the machine in question and can expand their current skills with this knowledge. This reduces the risk of errors and the resulting post-processing costs.

Lack of skilled workers leads to more scrap
Products are becoming more and more complex, production processes are globalized. This puts workers and processes under pressure. Skilled workers are retiring, workforces are aging. Fighting the resulting skills gap, the so-called “skills gap”, is an enormous challenge.

The reduction of the “skills gap”
AR has an important role in closing the skills gap in the industry. Digital work instructions accelerate on-site training. This enables new employees to learn their work tasks more quickly and to adapt better to changing processes. With AR tools, new specialists learn more effectively, training costs and times decrease, and the probability of errors when starting work is reduced.

Lower probability of errors in process implementation
The introduction of new processes is a great challenge and the potential for errors is high. This is also because traditional paper instructions are often a source of misunderstanding. This is particularly true when setting up individually configurable devices or in situations where instructions are communicated across noisy work environments. AR-based, digital instructions reduce the scope for errors and misunderstandings. This means that the executing employees can complete new tasks more precisely and safely the first time. The reduced susceptibility to errors in turn leads to a significantly lower amount of rework.

Economic effects of reducing rejects and rework
By reducing and eliminating the probability of errors, AR can increase the efficiency of production and drastically reduce the waste of material and time resources. In one example, a high-tech manufacturer is using AR to reduce rework and scrap in production by 25%. In his case, this results in a saving of $ 15 million per system. The same manufacturer succeeded in cutting training time by 40%, reducing the time it takes to create documents by 50% and reducing unplanned downtime by 28%.

As a result, margins have improved significantly and operating costs have been significantly reduced. Capital that was previously destroyed by the accumulation of scrap and rework can now be used for productive investments.

“Do you have any questions on the subject or would you like a non-binding consultation on how your company could look like? Please feel free to contact us. Our specialists are ready for you. "

Yours Jürg Schulthess
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Read the full original PTC blog post here.

Author: Leah Gourley
Leah Gourley is a Digital Content Marketing Specialist based out of PTC's Boston office. She enjoys creating and sharing content surrounding the latest technologies that are transforming industries, including augmented reality and the industrial internet of things.