Augmented Reality. Some of these days, I feel as if I’m living in an alternate reality. I’m attending two company conferences, about to go lift weights, practice some on the guitar, and never leave the house. The joy of virtual conferences is that I don’t have to choose between Las Vegas and Boston to attend a conference this week (like that would be hard…). Shifting mental gears quickly helps keep me young.

One of the conferences was Vuforia Live. This is a PTC acquisition putting the company into the AR race. Given the PLM original side of the business linked with the ThingWorx IoT side of the business plus the Rockwell Automation partnership, this combination should lead to some innovative and useful solutions for customers.

PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann led off the event talking about his enthusiasm for the potential of AR calling it IoT for humans. Why AR? Because humans don’t come with an Ethernet port. Seriously, he sees AR as empowering frontline workers.

In short:

I think workflow enhancement is a key digital benefit—if done thoughtfully and intelligently as Cal Newport has detailed in his new book, A World Without Email. The new product out from Vuforia, Instruct, can be such a key tool.

  • New Offering from PTC’s Vuforia Enterprise AR Suite Empowers Front-line Workers to Accurately and Efficiently Complete Inspections and Document Relevant Insights in Real Time.
  • Vuforia Instruct SaaS Offering Enables OEMs to Simplify and Accelerate Authoring of CAD-Based AR Work Instructions.

This is the news release:

From the stage of the Vuforia Live Virtual EventPTC announced the release of Vuforia Instruct out-of-the-box offering from the Vuforia Enterprise Augmented Reality (AR) Suite.

With PTC’s Vuforia Instruct, enterprises can leverage 3D CAD data to easily create, deliver, and scale interactive AR work instructions

The Software as a Service (SaaS)-based offering, available on the PTC Atlas platform, empowers original equipment manufacturers to extend the value of the digital thread all the way to their front-line workers. With Vuforia Instruct, enterprises can leverage 3D CAD data to easily create, deliver, and scale interactive AR work instructions, enabling them to optimize inspections for Quality and Field Maintenance use cases.

“We are thrilled to be working with PTC and Rockwell Automation to bring AR to our customers and see tremendous opportunity to use 3D work instructions to address critical inspection steps within our maintenance, repair, and sanitation processes on our packaging equipment,” said Alexander Ouellet, Innovation Engineer, Harpak-ULMA Packaging. “The enhanced work instructions created with Vuforia Instruct enable us to upskill our customers’ employees, and even our own technical staff, on intricate procedures in mission critical environments. AR technologies will help our customers reap significant productivity gains by enabling them to improve the accuracy and timeliness of complex, manual processes.”

Approximately 67% of manufacturers are still utilizing manual paper processes for inspections. These existing methods are often error-filled, difficult to transcribe, and costly – ultimately becoming barriers to continuous improvement. Such inefficiencies can result in poor product quality or experiences, cost millions of dollars per year, and lead to loss of brand reputation, market position, customer satisfaction, and revenue. Vuforia Instruct enables companies to eliminate reliance on paper forms by delivering contextual visual guidance and references to front-line workers with built-in, real-time inspection feedback to capture critical insights.

“Vuforia Instruct enables organizations to transform the way they create and scale work instructions to their front-line employees,” said Michael Campbell, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Augmented Reality Products, PTC. “Leveraging existing 3D CAD data, organizations can now guide employees to exactly where work needs to be done and provide them with detailed instructions for critical inspection procedures in context. Such enhancements are critical to industrial organizations looking to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce unplanned downtime.”

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