Customers expect and demand high-quality products. In order to live up to these high expectations companies employ quality inspectors to ensure that final products meet the quality criteria.
While quality inspection is found across many different industries, let’s focus specifically on the manufacturing world.
What is the current process?
Typically, quality inspectors have physical or digital prints of what they need to inspect. The inspectors frequently reference these prints in order to make sure that the product was manufactured as intended. They are responsible for checking hundreds of components and welds along with many other items on the manufactured product.
If the product was manufactured as intended than it has passed the inspection and will be sent out. If the product was not manufactured as intended, then it will be sent back upstream for rework.
How Effective is it?
Quality inspectors do a great job with the tools that they have available, but just how effective are the current methodologies?
Let me provide you with some examples from the auto industry in 2018: Toyota had to recall nearly 1 Million vehicles, General Motors had to recall 1.2 Million, and Honda had to recall 1.4 Million. The common problems were related to the engines, power steering, and airbags.
For all areas across the manufacturing industry when faulty products are passed it is going to be very costly for the manufacturer. Purchasing companies reject shipments, products are recalled, and warranty expenses occur. Not only are these very expensive for the manufacturer, it also greatly damages their brand reputation and relationships.
Why Mishaps Occur In Quality Inspection?
As we mentioned earlier, the quality inspector is responsible for checking many different items. In order to remember all of thee items they frequently have to reference their prints. This causes them to have to shift their attention or they have to try to correctly remember the next item.
Overlooking a step or incorrectly approving a component is something that occurs frequently. This results in faulty products being approved for use.
How Can Augmented Reality Help?
With AR, an inspector is either able to see a digital twin of the product or 2D images located around the product that is being inspected. The inspector is able to pass or fail each component, which then causes the next step to sequentially appear right after one-another and does not require the inspector to shift their attention.
This greatly reduces the overall inspection time and improves product quality, brand reputation, and the companies overall bottom line.
Every inspector working for a company that deploys this inspection process will see the exact same steps. This reduces training time and the skill level needed to be proficient at this job, which is especially important during this time as we have fewer skilled workers in the industry as a whole.
Data is also captured along every step of the way allowing for inspectors to review their overall job performance and allows companies to easily review supplier’s parts and materials.