Industry: Manufacturing

VR Training and Product Development

CASE STUDIES

Explore how we help businesses and universities deploy VR to accelerate learning and improve operating efficiency.

VR Safety Training

VR can improve EHS training outcomes for manufacturing operations as it offers a “safe place to fail” because you can construct virtual hazardous situation scenarios for line operators, technicians, and logistics personnel without interrupting site operations. This includes workplace orientation, first aid, fire safety, environmental safety, equipment safety, and more. Ford Motor Company has experienced a reduction in employee injuries by 70% using VR for safety training. EV car manufacturers are training employees and dealer technicians to safety navigate electric powertrains as they contain 300-800 volts of dc current.

VR-enabled safety training can help improve situational awareness and the responsiveness of manufacturing employees, resulting in a better work environment. Because VR leads to higher learning efficacy (because the training is “experienced”) manufacturing workers will be better trained and can take control of an unexpected situations quickly. This helps companies reduce financial loss, risk and injury or death to workers.

VR Skills Training & Retirement Transition

VR can accelerate skills training and cross-training because workers can practice MRO tasks anywhere, anytime without the actual equipment being physically present. PwC research suggests that 30% of US manufacturers are now using VR for training and/or product development. VR is also valuable for capturing and institutionalizing tribal knowledge from retiring Baby Boomers before their knowledge “leaves the building.”

VR doesn’t replace hands-on learning – it accelerates it because operators and technicians can spend tens (or hundreds) of hours of virtual task training in advance of laying hands on the actual equipment. Companies such as Intel are using VR and forecast a 300% ROI over 5 years, while Hyundai Transformers is using VR to increase training scores, worker retention, and recruitment of younger talent into heavy industry. BMW Group planners in construction, plant engineering, logistics and assembly are using VR to assess new production areas with production staff and test new processes in 3D. VR also helps improve training throughput as dozens (or hundreds) of workers can be simultaneously trained by remote SMEs without physical space limitations, travel delays, or availability of on-site SMEs.

VR Product Development

Virtual reality is being used to connect product design, engineering, and supply chain partners in new ways to accelerate product development cycles and reduce costs. 

Automotive makers have embraced VR in a big way as the BMW Group has been using mixed reality since 2018 for car design (including cross-border collaboration with its Seat brand in Spain). Ford’s virtual design center has been used since 2017 to immerse engineers in a virtual environment to quickly and easily improve the quality of early car concepts. Hyundai and Kia have partnered to use VR to reduce vehicle development time by 20% and development costs by 15%. The Renault Group has been able to reduce its 4-week concept visualization to real-time between design modelers and engineers.

Automotive is not the only success story as companies across multiple industries are reducing product development time and costs by using VR – and COVID travel restrictions have only accelerated adoption.