Unlocking the Value of Mixed Reality in Manufacturing

Johannes Kanis, Head of Cloud and Enterprise Business Group at Microsoft South Africa

Mixed reality continues to grow exponentially due to its ability to help businesses and their employees accomplish critical tasks faster, safer, and more efficiently. It also creates new ways to connect with customers and partners by blending the physical and digital worlds so they coexist and interact in real time.

This increases jobs for frontline workers in essential and growth-creating worker sectors, such as manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and education, and unlocks meaningful benefits for these businesses and industries.

Where value meets innovation

There is a growing body of research that illustrates the business value and benefits of investing in mixed reality solutions such as Microsoft Cloud and HoloLens 2.

A Forrester Total Economic Impact study found, for example, that technology delivered a 177% return on investment (ROI) over three years, improvements in employee health and safety, business continuity , customer experience and results.

It also addresses industry-specific challenges by enabling capabilities that help businesses become more competitive and innovative, especially in manufacturing.

Make the online customer experience immersive

Italian luxury goods company Salvatore Ferragamo, for example, used HoloLens 2 and the Azure cloud platform to transform its Tramezza Made-to-Order service to improve customers’ online experience. It makes choosing and customizing the Tramezza men’s shoe collection an immersive experience.

Customers can bring their shoe shopping experience to life as they navigate the dedicated cloud-based Azure Made-to-Order Tramezza web application by viewing the digital twin of the shoe on their screen and interacting with its precise 3D rendering to customize materials, colors, details and finishes

The company has already seen significant benefits in various areas:

  • optimizing the customer journey from an omnichannel perspective,
  • the simplification of purchasing methods,
  • better management of space in physical stores,
  • an increase in conversion rates, and
  • best customer service overall.

Revolutionize remote collaboration and reduce costs

Cosmetics company L’Oreal has also unlocked the value of mixed reality in its business. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and HoloLens 2, it modernized its manufacturing equipment maintenance procedures, enabled remote maintenance and reduced downtime, while improving worker productivity and accuracy. Indeed, employees can quickly learn complex tasks and collaborate regardless of their geographic location.

HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist solutions simplify installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and auditing, with remote expert assistance allowing employees in one location to see what their colleagues in another location watch in real time and share information. This ultimately avoids costly delays caused by machine downtime.

The time the organization spends diagnosing and fixing problems has been cut in half. The ability to share information and collaborate even when employees are physically in different locations has reduced operational and travel costs as well as improved efficiency, agility and flexibility.

The reduction in travel also came with an added benefit: contributing to the company’s long-term commitment to environmental sustainability and minimizing its carbon footprint.

Technology is increasingly one of the main ways in which organizations in the manufacturing industry meet their environmental responsibilities, and the introduction of mixed reality technologies such as HoloLens 2 in factories has the unique ability to help to create a positive environmental impact – while simultaneously helping to drive business value.

Increased speed and accuracy

Another company that has realized the business benefits of mixed reality is aerospace company Lockheed Martin, which saw a 90% increase in efficiency after investing in its mixed reality solution and HoloLens 2. The technology enabled processes more precise and efficient construction methods that have both lowered the cost and increased the speed at which he builds spacecraft as part of NASA’s Artemis program to return humans to the moon.

Remote assistance and guided work instructions also allowed employees to work more efficiently with fewer errors. In the past three years the company has used HoloLens on the shop floor, there hasn’t been a single mistake.

These improvements seep into day-to-day tasks, like assembling and installing crew seats and building the heat shield skeleton. For each manufacturing item, HoloLens provides a unique design, quality assurance, inspection, and test scenario.

Unlock the next wave of computing

Global use cases like this are part of an ever-growing pool of evidence to show that mixed reality has the ability to help solve current and future business and industry challenges, including the skills gap. , enabling simulated on-the-job training, optimize operations, efficiency, productivity and collaboration through real-time insights and visual guidance, and drive innovation to create business value.

As more businesses and industries begin to adopt and deploy mixed reality technologies such as Microsoft Cloud and HoloLens 2, and see the tangible benefits and value they can create for them, we will witness a new wave of innovation and even smarter ways of working. , learn and communicate.

The next wave of computing has arrived.

Email hololens@tarsus.co.za for more information.

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