Addressing the Manufacturing Labor Crisis: The Role of Augmented / Virtual Reality

Traditional solutions such as increasing wages or enhancing the image of manufacturing often prove insufficient. It’s time to embrace technology as a savior, with Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) leading the change. 

How can Augmented/Virtual Reality help to address the Manufacturing Labor Crisis? 

1.  Experienced Workers Leaving Manufacturing 

The first dimension of the crisis is the departure of experienced workers from the manufacturing sector. These workers, many of whom have spent decades honing their crafts, possess a wealth of knowledge that is not easily replicated. This knowledge isn’t merely technical- it also includes an understanding of the organization’s culture, workflow patterns, and problem-solving tactics. The loss for these seasoned professionals leads to a substantial depletion of accumulated industry knowledge and wisdom, leaving a vacuum that’s difficult to fill. 

How can AR/VR help address this challenge? 

AR/VR technologies offer an innovative pathway to retain and transfer the deep-rooted knowledge and expertise of experienced manufacturing professionals. This technology allows retiring workers to create a detailed digital knowledge base, preserving invaluable industry insights. Simultaneously, AR/VR’s capacity to emulate real-world scenarios provides newcomers a virtual walkthrough in the veterans’ shoes, enabling a seamless absorption of the organization’s culture, workflow patterns, and problem-solving approach, effectively bridging the industry’s knowledge gap.

2. Difficulty in Hiring Replacements 

Secondly, manufacturers are struggling to hire replacement workers. This is due in part to a general perception of manufacturing as a physically demanding industry with relatively low wages. Additionally, many younger job seekers are more attracted to industries perceived as innovative, like tech, neglecting manufacturing as a potential career path. These factors have led to a shrinking talent pool, exacerbating the labor crisis.  

How can AR/VR help address this challenge? 

Manufacturers integrating AR/VR technology exhibit their dedication to innovation, transforming the industry’s perception and attracting a new generation of workers. The utilization of AR/VR in daily operations and training highlights the sector’s evolution beyond manual labor, painting a picture of a technologically advanced industry embracing the future. This fresh perception powered by AR/VR can attract more tech-savvy workers, effectively widening the talent pool and easing the hiring challenge. 

3. The Growing Expertise Gap 

Even when new workers are recruited, there is often a noticeable expertise gap. Newcomers usually do not possess the same level of technical prowess or the practical experience of the workers they’re replacing. This lack of experience can lead to reduced efficiency, increased errors, and a longer time-to-competence. Over time, this expertise gap can have a significant impact on a company’s productivity and bottom line. 

How can AR/VR help address this challenge?

AR/VR technologies bridge the expertise gap in new recruits, where traditional methods might fall short in transferring complex technical knowledge and practical experience. Offering immersive training replicating real-world scenarios, AR/VR accelerates the learning curve in a safe environment, reducing potential errors. Ultimately, these technologies enhance training effectiveness and efficiency, reducing time-to-competence and mitigating the expertise gap’s impact on productivity and bottom line. 

4. Challenges in Retention and Onboarding 

The fourth dimension of the labor crisis pertains to retaining and onboarding new hires. Onboarding processes in the manufacturing sector often require substantial time and resources, given the technical nature of the work. If not managed properly, this can result in new hires feeling overwhelmed and unsupported, leading to high turnover rates. Retention is equally challenging; keeping new employees engaged and committed in a competitive job market demands continuous investment in their professional development and workplace satisfaction. 

How can AR/VR help address this challenge?

AR/VR technologies are innovatively addressing onboarding and retention issues in the manufacturing sector. By streamlining onboarding with immersive, detailed training, newcomers can efficiently acclimate to their roles, reducing turnover. Simultaneously, AR/VR’s capacity to create ongoing learning opportunities enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. This commitment to development, facilitated by advanced technology, strengthens retention efforts, leading to a more satisfied and committed workforce. 

DELMIA Augmented Reality: A Game-Changer in Addressing the Manufacturing Labor Crisis

DELMIA Augmented Reality (AR) solutions can be a key ally for manufacturing companies seeking to address the labor crisis effectively. With a unique array of capabilities, this solution is designed to tackle each dimension of the labor crisis by providing enhanced, immersive experiences that drive learning, efficiency, and satisfaction. 

Here are some key capabilities of DELMIA Augmented Reality: 

  • Expertise Transfer: Enables veterans to document their skills for newcomers in the AR environment. 
  • Immersive Recruitment: Attracts tech-savvy talent by showcasing AR/VR use in operations. 
  • Interactive Training: Provides a realistic virtual environment for effective learning and skill practice.  
  • Interactive Training: Provides a realistic virtual environment for effective learning and skill practice. 
  • Engaging On-boarding and Retention: Creates interactive on-boarding experiences and demonstrates commitment to employee development for improved job satisfaction and retention. 

The manufacturing labor crisis, while multifaceted and complex, is not insurmountable. AR/VR technologies like DELMIA offer a beacon of hope, transforming the industry by preserving and transferring expertise, making the manufacturing sector more appealing, bridging the expertise gap, and fostering effective on-boarding and retention strategies. As we embrace this digital revolution, we can look forward to a robust and resilient manufacturing industry that not only survives the labor crisis, but thrives in it, emerging more innovative, efficient, and productive than ever.  

Read our Ebook to learn more about how AR/VR technologies impact the manufacturing crisis. 

Explore DELMIA Augmented Experience 

Embrace the power of augmented reality and revolutionize your manufacturing processes with DELMIA Augmented Experience. Experience the future of manufacturing today and unlock new levels of productivity, efficiency, and success. 

Contact Us to learn more about how DELMIA Augmented Experience can help your manufacturing process.