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How can AR create the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow?

  • The manufacturing industry is suffering from a growing labor shortage.
  • AR technology can help tackle this challenge while building a workforce fit for the future.

There is currently a labor shortage in the manufacturing sector, whether due to a retiring workforce or difficulties in recruiting skilled workers.

Manufacturers are experiencing the layoff of their most skilled and experienced workers due to an aging workforce and economic factors putting pressure to encourage older, more expensive workers to retire. US Department of Labor in 2021 reported He said there are more than 425,000 open spaces for machinists and tool and mold makers across the country. This average age A mechanic is 53 years old and 90% of machinists are over 40. Many are therefore retirees, and decades of experience can be lost with every retired employee.

However, despite the demand for manufacturing jobs, the number of vacant, entry-level manufacturing positions continues to rise. In fact, US manufacture 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Manufacturers find it Finding talent is 36% harder Compared to 2018, although the unemployment rate is much higher today than it was in the recent past.

Why is it so hard to get hired?

As a result, there are more open positions than people with enough experience to get hired – and they don’t get that experience for a number of reasons. These jobs often require a hands-on, hands-on training program that can go anywhere. several months to a year. Additionally, with the ongoing digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, the skills required are changing and most of the workforce does not yet have them.

In addition, young workers have different expectations for work and career or simply a lack of interest in the industry. This lack of interest can be largely attributed to misunderstandings about production. Many recent college graduates view manufacturing as an industry reserved for people without a post-secondary education. In reality, there are many manufacturing jobs that require a college degree and some that require a doctorate.

A last study A study by the Manufacturing Institute showed that despite the perception of domestic manufacturing as increasingly important to the economy, many Americans are unaware that the industry is becoming increasingly hi-tech – which not only increases worker productivity but also provides highly advanced, transferable skills. .

One of the latest such technologies is augmented reality (AR). AR is a highly visual, interactive method of presenting relevant digital information in the context of the physical environment. It can connect employees and improve business results. Simply put, AR can democratize information. This is especially important because as experienced manufacturing workers age, their knowledge can easily be shared with younger, more tech-oriented workers.

AR technology improves what we currently see by integrating simulated objects and information into the real world. The use of AR in production enables new, revolutionary training methods where workers can learn and perfect tasks in virtual environments, thereby accelerating key metrics such as productivity time and resolution time. AR allows people to exist with one another regardless of distance, as it transcends the boundaries of the physical world.

Industrial businesses applying AR technology are increasing workforce efficiency and safety, improving operational performance, and reducing costs across the plant and field. Production professionals can capture step-by-step procedures and best practices as they work and then turn that information into reusable process documents, business aids and training materials, helping less experienced or entry-level workers get up to speed quickly and efficiently.

AR can provide critical information to production workers exactly when and where they need it. It provides a way to create and present easily consumable work instructions by integrating digital content into real-world work environments. Empowering the workforce with AR through better knowledge delivery, faster knowledge transfer, streamlined training methods, instant access to remote expertise, and enhanced customer experiences will change the industry when it’s most needed.

AR reshapes the way production workers acquire information and interact digitally with their physical environment, resulting in faster execution, fewer manual processes, and better decision making. Knowledge is intrinsically democratized as the wider workforce has easy access to the most specialist information for the business.

Experts believe the metadata warehouse will represent the next major computing platform and transform consumer experience and business models across industries.

Fashion brands are an example of this. Over the years, apparel companies have perfected the design, manufacture and distribution of garments to anticipate consumers’ wants and needs in accordance with seasonal changes. But today, most of their revenue has been surpassed by the $3 billion sales of digital cosmetics in Fortnite, which has cultural significance that extends to the physical world.

This is one of the economic opportunities of the metaverse – the possibility of “evaluating” digital content, creating a digital property framework for users. If repeated at scale and across sectors, entire industries will be reshaped by changes in traditional value chains.

However, the promise rests on the development of several key technologies, including augmented, virtual and mixed reality (collectively known as XR), as well as blockchain, connected devices and artificial intelligence. How should they be managed in a way that supports the economic positive aspects of individuals while protecting their safety, security and privacy?

The World Economic Forum brings together leading voices from the private sector, civil society, academia and government to address this definitive question. Over the next year, she will curate a multi-stakeholder community focused on metaverse governance and economic and social value creation.

It will propose regulatory frameworks for good governance of the Metaverse and examine how innovation and value creation can be strengthened for the benefit of society. updates Published on the World Economic Forum website regularly.

Forward looking: the future of manufacturing

Amid industry-wide skills shortage issues and a changing work environment, manufacturing organizations are finding AR to be critical for enhancing operational efficiency and productivity, as well as enriching the overall employee experience. AR can help narrow the skills and knowledge gap and ensure that all employees have the tools they need to succeed. As the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry continues, tomorrow’s workforce needs to develop and hone new skills today, and AR is making it possible.

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