Digital technologies are increasingly becoming integral to an industry's growth and development. The term Industry 4.0 represents the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies; and includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud storage and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a "smart factory", whereby companies can model complex operational systems based upon real-time data from equipment and employees to streamline procedures.
Recently, sectors including aerospace, energy, pharmaceutical and automotive have applied the principles of the smart factory to more human orientated procedures - specifically in employee training and development. In a recent interview at the Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin, Prof. Henning Kagermann, President of the National Academy of Science and Engineering explained: "Agile working and “disruptive-creative innovation cycles” have been common practice in the software industry for a long time. In other words, the entire system is challenged every few months and therefore, you need to retrain your developers in new methods to stay at the cutting-edge."
At the Mobile World Congress 2018, Volkswagen Group presented its objective to use virtual reality helmets (VR) on a large scale at its 31 training centers located around the world. Training using VR technology is seen as a key use case for the automotive industry because it is regularly required to reinvent its products and review its production lines. Each workspace changes, creating a huge need for continuous employee development. In addition, the equipment used on a day-to-day basis is generally very expensive and operates at a 24-hours a day, seven days a week schedule; therefore, reserving a section for training is almost impossible.
With virtual reality, training can be done locally, and the factories do not have to stop. The module used by Volkswagen (based on the Innoactive platform) consists of creative tools that allow companies to design their own scenarios according to their needs; opening up a vast array of additional uses - whether it be for teamwork, process evaluation or team training. At the moment Volkswagen Group aims to train at least 10,000 people via VR technology in 2018, focusing on five key brands: Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Electron Beam Services are proud to be part of the manufacturing sector at this point in time, as many of our clients in aerospace and general engineering industries are going through this fantastic phase of technological development. Our company has equally been dedicated to staying at the cutting-edge of manufacturing techniques and standards. In keeping with this commitment, EBS have been ISO approved since 1994 and have recently attained approval to AS9100 rev D.
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