Since the research in Augmented Reality (AR) has yielded breakthrough physical prototypes, like the Hololens glasses appearance of Microsoft in 2015 and Lenovo PHAB2 Pro device of Google in June 2016, the race of discovering novel applications has begun, and the supply chain in the manufacturing industry and it’s logistics is one of the fields that this technology can lead a new revolution.
Many companies of Supply Chain software and hardware development are focusing their efforts in order to obtain new products and services related with the application of AR devices, trying to redefine the current processes and integrate with the most advanced automation technologies.
The main impact of augmented reality glasses on the supply chain is that they enable users to accelerate and streamline processes, reducing costs and even allow greater safety. This AR device expands the information of what is in our environment, a for example, simple glasses could provide to the operator, for example, all the updated information on the location of items, routes, registers and revisions of changes of location, information that is readable in bar codes or the planning of the storage through the forecast of the space that needs the items, quickly detecting the free spaces in the warehouse.
Also, the use of AR will allow the collaborative work between operators and robots, enabling the user to map out the robot’s path and having a real time communication for orders and incidents.
To sum up, this technology will allow the space optimization and at the same time to integrate the logistic and production plans with a higher or strategic level, including information related to macro and micro economics, weather forecasts and supplier information of demand.
Lluis Mesquida, Manager Consultant, Leyton Spain