Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are often believed to provide digital and off-field technology solutions. Generally, they are perceived as a tool for marketing, digital branding, audience engagement, education, retail promotion etc. AR and VR can be used in several sectors and context from manufacturing to fire and safety operations. Yes, AR and VR can be applied for several such Field Service Management (FSM) based work.
AR and VR have a vast use case in this field. AR programs can be designed for product training, controlled simulations, emergency response and evacuation, remote access vision etc. AR/VR supports in cost reduction and saves man-power on these activities by enabling self-instructional images/videos. Apart from creating an immersive experience, it creates a personal walkthrough assistant for people out in the field.
Fire & Safety and Emergency Response (ER):
AR/VR can transform the way we respond to an emergency. In some cases, information on people trapped inside building can be checked via sensors and visual over-lays. For Fire & Safety evacuations, AR/VR provides instructional walk-throughs and directs to access points proving information on their current situation.
Building heavy machinery and ships are very time consuming and requires large volumes of handbooks to train, record procedures for cross-reference. Using AR to prompt tools and display the procedure to assemble them saves several man-hours and creates an almost-error free assembly of the products.
Inspection and Maintenance:
For some business as usual, AR/VR can reduce workflow time on inspection & maintenance and assist in detecting errors. Since 2011, Airbus has been using AR technology to improve efficiency in its quality control. Using its Supply Augmented Reality Tool (SART), Airbus employees can use visual overlay images on real systems to identify the faulty parts for repair. These kind of AR activities save time in creating an incident report and follow ups by enabling on-the spot solution.
Often, it takes time to locate the right aisle/stack whilst arranging or onboarding goods. In 2015, Logistics firm DHL tested an AR program to manage stacking at a Netherlands inventory. The pilot proved that AR ‘vision picking’ resulted in 25% increase in efficiency. The staff worked with VuzixM100 that used Ubimax’s xPick software to assist the task. Staffs reported faster and error free task completion using these.