2021/02/14 07:56:48

The support environment is greatly accelerated! !!

The support environment is greatly accelerated! !!

In order for companies to improve their productivity, each company has been actively introducing business support. Many companies are using dedicated devices to support their operations.

AR is now highly expected as a technology that solves many problems in the Japanese manufacturing and transportation industry.

In this article

What is AR? Technology overview and features
Examples of AR solutions in the manufacturing and transportation industry
What are AR devices and apps used for remote / work support?
How to actually introduce AR in the field? Introduction image, sense of cost, etc.
I will take up the point.

This is a must-see for companies considering the introduction of AR technology and those who work in the field, so please take a look to the end.

What is AR? Reasons why it is expected to be used in the manufacturing / logistics industry
AR has high expectations in the manufacturing and logistics industry.

First of all, let's firmly grasp the difference between the technology called AR and VR.

Overview of AR ・ Differences from VR

AR stands for "Augmented Reality" and is translated as "Augmented Reality".

Technology that projects CG images, videos, sounds, etc. into real space through smartphones, tablets, and AR glasses.

Since they are projected on top of the actual landscape, you can get a visual expression as if an image that did not actually exist was "expanded and displayed" in the real world.

On the other hand, VR (Virtual Reality) is called "virtual reality" in Japanese, and users can "enter" the virtual space by wearing a dedicated headset.


AR = Augmented display of information in the real world.
VR = Enter the fictional world.
In the manufacturing and logistics industries, AR is often used to improve on-site productivity, and VR is often used in training and education contexts.

1. AR / VR promotes DX and improves productivity

Currently, the trend in manufacturing and distribution sites around the world is the shift to "digital transformation (DX)" that digitizes the technologies and experiences that have relied on people and shares them with everyone.

Digital AR work manual
Realization of remote communication
AR / VR conversion of educational content
AR display of real-time work guide
AR is optimal as a tool for improving labor productivity and education costs in the field, and by advancing system development to realize AR / VR, the manufacturing and logistics industry will further enhance DX. It can be promoted.

The promotion of DX utilizing AR will bring about more efficient work and improved productivity in the field.

2. Explicit knowledge of skilled workers can be formalized

Especially now, the serious problems at Japanese manufacturing sites are labor shortage and successor shortage.

With the aging of workers and the decrease in the number of young employees, we are always worried about how to pass on our knowledge and experience to the next generation.

AR technology can also help solve those problems.

For example, when saving the work contents of a skilled worker as a manual

Shooting the procedure contents of skilled workers (2D or 3D)
Save in a form that can quantify the speed of hand movement and range of motion
Share the contents taken in 1 and 2 with AR as a manual and display them as 3D images
By performing this process, it becomes possible to "preserve and pass on tacit-knowledged technology."

In the Japanese manufacturing industry, where labor shortages are serious, AR will become an indispensable technology in order to inherit the skills and experience of skilled workers and maintain high product quality.

Work support / remote AR solution 3 patterns at manufacturing / logistics sites
Now that we understand that AR is an indispensable technology for the manufacturing and logistics industry in the future, we will explain the DX promotion pattern in the actual field.

1. Project work manuals and work guides on glasses and tablets in real time with AR

When you work with AR glasses attached, the manual and work guide will be displayed in real time in front of you while you are working in the field.

It is clear that the work efficiency changes significantly between the case of working while looking at the CG work guide displayed on the glass and the case of working while looking at the paper work instructions by hand.

It is also possible to make workers ready for action

By displaying the work procedure required for AR glasses and tablets in AR in this way, even workers who practice less often can operate on-site as an immediate force.

It will be very effective when dealing with products with different work procedures depending on the manufacturer, such as outdoor units of air conditioners.

In the handling and maintenance of equipment in factories with many work items, AR technology that can display manuals and work contents in front of you in real time is very useful for improving productivity.

2. AR provides remote work support with audio and video
The second solution will be a remote work support solution.

Managers and managers in remote areas give instructions to workers in the field.

AR glasses are often equipped with a camera,

Projecting the hands of field workers through a camera onto the PCs of employees in remote areas
While watching it, send work instructions and advice
It will be introduced in the form of.

Realize smooth remote communication even under corona with AR

Nestlé, which has factories all over the world, actually uses AR to provide remote support for its bases.

Especially when movement is restricted by corona, the merit of being able to support remote areas in real time with AR is immeasurable.

Not only can production efficiency be improved by having skilled workers and support staff give instructions to on-site workers, but education costs can be reduced and quality can be maintained by consolidating support groups.

While remote work has become commonplace with corona, the need for remote support using AR will continue to grow.

3. Reduction of accidents by displaying alerts in dangerous areas
It is a "solution that automatically notifies the danger with AR glasses when an employee enters a dangerous area where an accident occurs" at a manufacturing site where there are many accidents and disasters.

By projecting the fact that it is a dangerous area on the AR glass, employees can inevitably see the information and prevent accidents.

It is also possible to raise workers' awareness of safety by displaying accidents and disasters that may occur at the site in AR.

The above video shows the flood damage caused by heavy rain visualized by AR.

Hazard maps can be used to predict the damage caused by floods in a specific location, but if AR makes disasters "visible" in this way, disaster prevention awareness will become even stronger.

AR provides the best solution for the most important issue of security.

AR device used for work support and remote instruction
To take advantage of AR in the manufacturing and logistics settings, you need the right devices and applications.

So, let's take a look at the AR devices used in the actual field and their use cases.


"HoloLens 2" is an AR / MR device developed and sold by Microsoft.

It is a stand-alone device with a CPU, GPU, various processors and sensors built into the main unit, and realizes MR (Mixed Reality) technology, which is a further development of AR technology.

By using HoloLens2 in the field of manufacturing and logistics, you can smoothly handle complicated work contents.

For example, Toyota Motor Corporation uses HoloLens 2 for inspection and repair of automobile maintenance.

With the introduction of HoloLens2, not only work procedure manuals and repair manuals are no longer required, but also parts and maintenance points inside the engine are displayed by 3DCG, which greatly improves work efficiency.

We have achieved results such as improving productivity, standardizing technical skills, and improving proficiency.

In addition to improving on-site productivity, AR can also be used for training, so Toyota Motor Corp. is promoting the introduction of HoloLens 2 to dealers nationwide.

HoloLens2 Price / Purchase Method

Price: 422,180 yen (tax included)
* HoloLens 2 is sold separately, and is available in three types: "HoloLens 2 with Remote Assist", which is a monthly package that includes a mote assistant tool, and "HoloLens 2 Development Edition", which is for developers.

2. Vuzix Blade

"Vuzix Blade" is an AR device developed and sold by "Vuzix".

Unlike HoloLens2, it does not have a camera or sensor on the main body, and it is classified as a product called "smart glasses" that focuses on "projecting CG information on the glass".

However, Vuzix Blade has made the device smaller and cheaper by that amount.

Although not as powerful as the HoloLens 2, the Vuzix Blade has the potential to dramatically improve work efficiency in the field of manufacturing and logistics.

The above video is a scene where Vuzix Blade is used for picking work in the warehouse, but the aisle number and shelf number, as well as the list and location of items to be picked are displayed on the lens of the device, and the work process can be done in real time. You can work while checking.

Since AR lenses and smart glasses are attached to the head and both hands are free, it is also a big point that it does not interfere with normal work such as forklift operation. I think there are many sites where the Vuzix Blade function is sufficient for normal business support.

How to buy and price Vuzix Blade

Price: $ 999.99 (about 108,000 yen)

3. Google Glass
"Google Glass" announced by Google in 2012 and made a noise all over the world.

Eventually, the general release was canceled, but in 2017, we started selling the new Google Glass for corporations, "Glass Enterprise Edition".

The new Google Glaas, released for corporate use, has already been introduced to aviation manufacturing, transportation, heavy equipment manufacturers, etc. and has achieved great results.

On the other hand, it is the use in the medical field that is particularly benefiting from remote and support systems that use AR technology.

Doctors spend a lot of time filling out medical records and creating referral letters after a medical examination, but by introducing Google Glass in the medical field,

Automatic medical record creation while the doctor is interviewing
Remote assist
This has brought about an introduction effect of saving an average of 2 hours a day.

Clinicians can spend that much time treating patients and for themselves. AR technology is making a big contribution to improving productivity in the medical field.

How to purchase and price Glass Enterprise Edition 2
Price: $ 999 (about 110,000 yen)
* Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is not sold to the general public. Google Glass is not sold independently to corporations, but is provided as a set with dedicated solution services tailored to each company.

Work guide at the manufacturing site AR case study: BAE Systems
BAE Systems, a British aerospace company, uses AR to train technicians on the shop floor.

As mentioned earlier, BAE Systems uses HoloLens for work training and on-site work guides.

While looking at the equipment and work at hand, the 3D model manuals are superimposed and displayed in AR to improve efficiency.

Compared to working while flipping through a paper manual, AR training, in which the 3D model is displayed directly on the parts that you are dealing with, has reduced the conventional training cost by more than 30%.

Work support AR application introduction example at the distribution site
"DHL", a logistics lawyer that handles international transportation, mainly uses "Google Glass" introduced above as a picking support tool.

Employee work guides have been moved from paper work instructions to AR glasses.

When a worker wearing Google Glass scans a task, the product, location, amount, etc. to be picked are displayed in AR.

All you have to do is move to the shelf according to the instructions and take out the specified product.

Not only did the picking work time be shortened, but mistakes were drastically reduced, greatly improving overall productivity.

Work support / Remote support AR application / system introduction image / cost
So far, we have explained AR solutions as DX promotion tools for manufacturing and distribution sites, but when actually starting a project,

What kind of process and schedule should be used?
How much will it cost
I will explain that point.

Project progress image

As an example of the progress of the project,

Current business understanding
Definition of development requirements
(Prototype as needed)
Implementation of PoC
Transition to this development / introduction
It can be decomposed into the process.

Each task and development schedule is as shown in the figure, but there is a great deal of uncertainty in the effects of improving work efficiency and cutting education costs by AR (it is difficult to know in advance how much it will actually be improved).

First, develop a prototype at low cost (about 1 to 2 million) and perform PoC at the actual site.

In addition to measuring the effect numerically, after identifying the points to be improved by PoC, if cost effectiveness can be expected, add a budget and implement this introduction.
The flow is desirable.

Display of work manual (case without system development)

If you do not develop a server or system by hard-coding work guides etc. in the application, of course it depends on the amount of development and the richness of the content,

PoC: About 1 to 2 million
This introduction: about 3 to 5 million
Software development is possible with.

The concern is that all the work manuals are displayed in the application, so

Heavy capacity and slow behavior
There is a limit to the number of manuals that can be imported into the device
That is the point.

Construction of remote work system

When developing a remote work support / communication infrastructure, server-side development including communication infrastructure is essential, so a minimum cost of "+10 million" will be required.

Therefore, the best way to proceed with a project that minimizes risk is

Perform PoC with about 1.5 million prototypes and quantify the work improvement volume of AR you want to implement
Develop AR glass application (or minimum PC application) with about 5 million
Full-scale introduction including system development with a budget of 10 million or more
3 steps are assumed.

* If the content you want to achieve or the cost-effectiveness after introduction is clear, you can start from 2 or 3.

AR work manual / remote support AR solution development company

X garden Co., Ltd., which operates this media "XR-Hub", is developing an AR / VR consulting and development business "XR-Hub DX" for the manufacturing and logistics industries.

Labor productivity has peaked
I want to realize distance education and remote work instructions under the corona
I want to improve business efficiency
If you are in charge of a company that has such needs, please feel free to contact us for the first time.

AR is gradually being introduced as a solution for optimizing the workforce in the manufacturing industry.

Although it has become common overseas, its introduction will accelerate further in Japan in the future.