We tried out AR Package in a department responsible for maintaining equipment in a Toshiba Group factory. Within the department, it was normal for know-how to be conveyed through word of mouth. The department was struggling to create manuals and codified knowledge that covered its complex operations, and it found itself unable to devote sufficient time to training the next generation of department personnel.
Veteran personnel tried using AR Package to create AR content, and then inexperienced new personnel used the AR content to perform actual equipment maintenance. They found that the AR content enabled them to perform the work confidently, without requiring assistance. Even personnel who were creating AR content for the first time were happy to find that they intuitively understood the tools by using them and were able to create an AR operation manual of the entire series of complex operations involved in the work. The manual was visually easy to understand
Through the efforts by personnel to document operation manuals, we confirmed in an actual worksite environment that AR Package is an effective solution for both worker training and operation standardization.
Now let's look at an example from outside the Toshiba Group of how customers are using AR Package to create AR content and pass on skills. One company uses a variety of testing equipment whose operation requires both experience and skill. Previously, experienced operators passed on their skills by training junior operators one-on-one, using printed manuals with separate operating procedures for each and every device.
However, there was seldom time to provide training due to the everyday workload. Furthermore, when they did perform training, passing on skills took a tremendous amount of time and effort, because the skills to be learned were so advanced and involved making judgments and operating equipment while making inferences regarding the functioning of highly specialized equipment.
When they used AR Package to create an operation manual that leveraged the potential of AR, they found that even people operating devices for the first time were able to carry out the defined operations without the need of any assistance from experts. They were also very happy with the intuitiveness and ease of use, because instructions and other data were displayed immediately when a smart device was pointed at a target object with designated AR markers. They have also begun trying new techniques to create even easier to understand operation manuals, such as including videos.
The AR content the customer created themselves is improving the efficiency of skill succession and shortening training times, so hopes are high for using this technology with other test devices and for new employee training, as well.
There are also several global companies that would like to use AR Package as a digital manual creation tool for their overseas locations. Many manufacturers with overseas locations translate their Japanese manuals into the local language for use in their overseas plants. This translation takes both time and money.
AR content conveys things visually, which makes it possible to reduce the amount of text needed for explanations and to create manuals that are largely unaffected by language differences. This reduces the amount of translation that is needed, and can in some cases eliminate the need for translation altogether. Furthermore, videos, images, and figures can be used to clearly convey exact operation points and movements, helping reduce the amount of direct training necessary at sites. Not only does AR Package reduce costs and increase efficiency, but it also has the potential to accelerate business operations.