Virtual Reality in Manufacturing: A New Dimension to Workplace Safety

With a digital platform that integrates virtual reality technology, manufacturers can rely on an immersive environment to create safer workplaces with speed and flexibility.

Ensuring manufacturing workplace safety becomes a growing priority in the industry today. As sophisticated as manufacturing facilities have become, they remain filled with heavy equipment, vehicles, chemicals and hazardous substances, which can severely impact worker well-being and productivity.

Virtual reality (VR) technology introduces a whole new dimension to workplace safety by allowing manufacturers to validate decisions in an immersive 3D virtual world before implementing them. VR has, for example, enabled Ford to reduce production line injuries by 70 percent.

“Things are constantly changing — the next new normal can come at any time. Manufacturers need to respond quickly to global disruptions and capitalize on new opportunities, and this requires agile reconfigurations,” said Prashanth Mysore, a Global Manufacturing Strategic Business Development Director at Dassault Systèmes.

How Virtual Reality Applications Improve Manufacturing Safety

VR’s key benefit comes from its ability to put users in a real-world 3D simulation of any given space. Manufacturers can begin improving workplace safety by applying VR to facility layout planning, worker training and operations.

Utilizing VR technology can bring a host of benefits to manufacturers, enabling them to:

  • Balance safety and productivity
    Through VR-supported layout planning and accurate 3D human models, manufacturers can balance workforce safety and productivity by virtually simulating their operations to swiftly gain insight into a decision’s impact.
  • Standardize training and best practices
    With VR-aided industrial training, workers in different facilities can learn from the same modules in a safe, interactive environment. Furthermore, VR allows manufacturers to capture best practice processes and share them across global facilities with ease.
  • Reduce risks in operations
    VR paves the way for better hazard perception and accuracy in operations by providing workers with viewable 3D work instructions and information specific to the product, process and workers’ skill level.

“It’s important for manufacturers to provide workers with the confidence to deliver work efficiently and safely,” said Adrian Wood, a Manufacturing Strategic Business Development Director at Dassault Systèmes. “It helps when they know that workplace safety has been validated even before they step in.

The Virtual Reality-Enabled Platform for Safer Manufacturing Workplaces

The answer to VR-enabled manufacturing safety lies in the ability to integrate VR technology with 3D modeling and simulation capabilities while performing swift and flexible safety analyses based on Occupational Safety and Health Assessment (OSHA) standards.

Manufacturers need to digitally capture their facilities and processes into a single virtual twin experience, which allows them to rapidly explore different configurations and make informed decisions that drive manufacturing workplace safety.

At the same time, manufacturers will benefit from enabling immersive experiences where teams in different locations can collaborate in the same VR session for training or safety planning purposes. Manufacturers also reduce equipment downtime when they can analyze machine data for predictive maintenance.

Most importantly, all of these digital capabilities must sit on an integrated platform for end-to-end visibility without requiring data conversion. Here’s where the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform comes in. Hosting the right advanced capabilities in a connected environment, the platform equips manufacturers with VR applications that help identify safety risks in the virtual world and minimize errors in the real world — ultimately supporting manufacturers to ensure safer and more productive workplaces.

Use the Virtual World for Real-World Manufacturing Safety

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