In the next two years, nearly 30 per cent of the front-line workforce in manufacturing will reach retirement age. Traditional methods of formal training and on-the-job learning cannot equip workers with the knowledge and skills they need fast enough to fill the roles of retiring workers.
Manufacturers need solution to transform the training process and shorten the time to competency for new workers. It also needs to enable instructors and on-the-job supervisors to train employees without using significant amounts of their precious time.
Enter Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality training. The worker wearing the HoloLens headset follows step-by-step, visual guidance with tools in hand, learning by doing, without any time investment from an instructor or supervisor. Skills are transferred through practice in formal training or on-the-job guidance.
In our experience, this new learning approach reduces time to competency from a one-day workshop to less than 45 minutes. Extrapolate that productivity gain to the entire curriculum or on-the-job learning and the numbers begin to add up.
Microsoft’s Dynamic 365 Guides application for HoloLens also supports productivity gains in the development of training content. It requires no programming experience, and a simple course can be created as quickly as a PowerPoint presentation. Guides also supports 3D holograms which act as digital twins and can help to carry out more complex procedures. It even features time and motion tracking, which provides useful feedback for the learner and can be aggregated to improve overall processes.
The bottom line is that the traditional training methods are no longer as useful. They can’t keep up with the expected demand. This new, transformational use of mixed reality and HoloLens is the best solution to the problem.
Thomas Pratt is the president at CraneMorley
This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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