Automotive industry is huge. Every company carries out a lot of operations every single day with parts coming in and vehicles leaving the facility. It is a logistics nightmare or a dream, depends on how you look at it. And, of course, specialists have to be prepared for that. Audi uses virtual reality to teach its new logistics specialists.
The system has a couple of simple controllers also used for video games and a pair of VR glasses. It is actually very game-like – people get immersed in virtual reality, where they can manipulate containers or other components used in their work. This system teaches new employees all the most important packing techniques step-by-step in a very simple, safe and controlled environment. People learn about the equipment used as well as appropriate hand movements and IT systems involved in logistics operations. It is a quick and, as they say, fun way to learn, but another big advantage is mobility – this entire system fits in a suitcase and can be used pretty much everywhere.
They say it is like a video game and it really is. There are even levels to complete. While in the first level people are still getting extensive instruction, in the second one they have to act more independently. Instructor, however, has to stay by player’s side the entire time. This system also removes language barriers – new languages can be easily added and Audi employees can learn with Spanish or English instructions. Furthermore, the graphics used in this VR are specific to a location, but that can be easily adapted depending on the plant where the person is going to work.
It is not the first area where Audi is using virtual reality. In fact, this German automaker employs VR technology in many fields, such as sales, technical development and production. VR in logistics has been already tested with some encouraging results. Mirko Göres, head of the project, said: “After a six-month pilot phase, two process training programs are now in permanent use in CKD Logistics. We are now working with the training center in Ingolstadt and the Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt Plant Logistics to develop three additional VR training programs on the topics of pick-by-light, pick-by-tablet and pick-by-voice.”
Virtual technology industry is growing with new applications in science, education, gaming and manufacturing. Audi is known for its attention to employee satisfaction and ergonomics and VR helps improving learning process in this case.
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