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When it comes to augmented reality, industry is one of the most promising fields of application. Companies are constantly looking for innovative solutions to improve the production process and make it more efficient and user-friendly, and AR presents numerous opportunities.
Created for entertainment, this technology is entering more and more contexts. What makes it particularly interesting is its interactive nature, which opens the door to a unique and unprecedented productive creativity.

Augmented reality and Industry 4.0: applications and benefits

The use of augmented reality in Industry 4.0 is perfectly consistent with the principles of the fourth industrial revolution. Starting from data accessibility.
AR revolutionizes the way information is accessed, used and exchanged. In fact, augmented reality itself is information that broadens users’ perceptive. This technology maximizes our perceptive experience, allowing us to interact with information.
Today we often talk about smart factories in terms of intelligent production based on the Internet of Things and Big Data. Such context fits perfectly with augmented reality. AR technology, in fact, has the potential to actively contribute to the success and transformation of industrial production processes.
Different studies * demonstrate the effectiveness of augmented reality in industry. In particular, researchers has studied the performances of two groups of industrial operators assigned to the same assembly or maintenance operations: one group with AR support and one without.
Researchers has observed up to 50% performance improvement when using AR solutions. It’s especially clear that augmented reality in industry helps:

  • Speed up industrial operations.
  • Increase production process efficiency.
  • Reduce error occurrence.

This, of course, translates into significant economic benefits for companies.

ESA and augmented reality in Industry 4.0

ESA has recently explored the potential of augmented reality in Industry 4.0. During the 2019 Industrial Software Forum in Milan, we presented a virtual labelling solution based on recognition and tracking algorithms aimed to improve traceability of prosciutto.
Thanks to video tracking and augmented reality, the ESA solution makes it possible to change the traditional marking process with a virtual label. In this way, thanks to two simple cameras and our Crew SCADA, information legibility, product appearance and productivity all improve.
Another example of the benefits and applications of augmented reality for the production process.

*Sources: „Augmented Reality Efficiency in Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study“ by J. Saaski, T. Salonen, M. Liinasuo, J. Pakkanen, M. Vanhatalo, A. Riitahuhta and „Evaluating the Benefits of Augmented Reality for Task Localization in Maintenance of an Armored Personnel Carrier Turret „by SJ Henderson, S. Feiner.