Transform Your Manufacturing Operations with Mixed Reality

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to transition to remote operations and figure out effective ways to maintain their services and keep their teams connected. In April of 2020, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, shared: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security—we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.”

In this new age of digital transformation, finding new ways to innovate is of crucial importance. Therefore, Microsoft has incorporated augmented reality and mixed reality capabilities into its Dynamics 365 modules. Augmented reality adds digital information and objects to a real-world environment to enhance sensory modalities and provide a composite view. In comparison, mixed reality merges real and virtual environments to create new visualizations and inspire innovation and creativity.

Kautex Textron (Kautex), a leading automotive supplier and manufacturer, began using mixed reality right before the global pandemic began which gave them a major leg up on their competition. Kautex chose mixed reality to enhance its manufacturing operations because a company wide application for remote learning and training was not existent previously. Kautex leverages Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 which is mixed reality sunglasses developed by Microsoft that provides digital visualizations in a real-world setting.

Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 enabled Kautex to eliminate almost all travel during the pandemic while still maintaining communication with global experts for troubleshooting and quality issues. The HoloLens capability also allowed Kautex to remotely provide house customer plant visits to meet project milestones. HoloLens and mixed reality enabled Kautex to keep the safety of their employees as a top priority during the pandemic, while not sacrificing productivity or the quality of their products. Kautex noted major benefits such as reduced costs, quicker troubleshooting, decreased downtime and increased productivity when they incorporated mixed reality into their manufacturing operations. Continue reading to learn about some of the other major benefits of mixed reality and how they can be leveraged to enhance your manufacturing processes!

5 Benefits of Mixed Reality for Manufacturing Operations:

1. Data & Process Insights: Mixed reality in Dynamics 365 includes Microsoft Guides that provide important data metrics such as daily guide usage, device usage, average run time for a service, and employee performance data. The Guides provide data-driven insights to easily identify relevant instruction and improve on-the-job effectiveness. Your Guides analytics can be shared with your team within Microsoft Power BI. Power BI enables users to create interactive dashboards and reports for easy data analysis and actionable next steps.

2. Easy Adoption & Deployment: Mixed reality can be easily adopted in Dynamics 365 because it leverages a similar operating system to other Microsoft applications that most users are already familiar with. Remote Assist can easily be deployed and implemented as it requires no heavy lifting, and the hardware and software works out of the box.

3. Learning & Training: Mixed reality within Dynamics 365 provides step-by-step immersive instructions to train employees on how to use the tools in real work settings. The holographic technology of HoloLens guides employees through operational procedures to accomplish their work quickly and seamlessly. The mixed reality functionality includes a 3D toolkit with ready-to-use holograms so you could easily create content for initial training or instructions on day-to-day processes.

4. Adaptive Workflows: Leverage Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate services to incorporate new data into existing workflows. Create new and adaptive workflows with voice commands and spatial triggers to easily navigate across process flows. Leverage decision-trees in mixed reality Guides to adapt employees’ work based on the context of their training.

5. Enterprise Integration: Mixed reality within Dynamics 365 can be integrated across applications to support enterprise-scale operations and provide an end-to-end view of your operations. Using Dynamics 365 Field Service, users can easily assign Guides to technicians to complete a support request or installation. Using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, users can easily assign Guides to work orders for service and maintenance jobs. Mixed reality can also be used within Microsoft Teams to facilitate communication and ensure your employees are managing their projects with efficiency.

As our world continues to experience a massive digital shift, augmented and mixed reality will greatly expand in popularity, accessibility and usage. To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to start incorporating augmented and mixed reality capabilities in your business processes now to increase productivity and transform business success.

To learn more about the powerful mixed reality capabilities in Dynamics 365, please reach out to the BCS Team at sales@BondConsultingServices.com or schedule a free consultation.