Whitepaper – The Effects of Augmented Reality on Human Performance

Roger Richardson | 07.26.16

The Effects of Augmented Reality on Human Performance

The Bottom Line Up Front: Using Augmented Reality (AR) to provide work instructions to assembly technicians causes an instantaneous human performance enhancement (HPE).

  • Direct build-time speed increases by factor 3.5 times
  • Standard deviation is less than one-third of doing the same task using traditional methods
  • Errors are reduced by 92%.

For a wide array of assembly tasks, a high-quality AR system can provide an instantaneous 70% reduction in the costs of value-added work, with no risk to your assembly and no installation down-time on your production line.

DSC has installed AR systems on many aircraft production lines. AR is a complicated subject and applies in different ways to different types of tasks. To the uninitiated, the application of AR seems daunting and risky. We often hear “I can see that AR is better than traditional methods to convey complex information – but how much better? I need a number.” For quite some time we have struggled on how we might answer this question with sufficient fidelity without compromising any of our non-disclosure agreements.

We recently realized that we had been thinking about it all wrong. Because AR is commonly applied to rather complex assemblies, we had always envisioned that any fair comparison between AR and traditional assembly methods would, of necessity, need to be complex. Upon deeper reflection, we realized that is not true. The test only needs to be a very strictly controlled experiment where an identical task is performed by a large number of people in two ways (with and without AR), with accurate measurements of time and errors. The use of AR is the only difference between the two trials, so the difference in the measured values of time and errors represent the human performance enhancement caused by AR. The critical factor being measured is how information flows from the engineer to the technician – not what is contained in that information. That last statement is key to understanding how to apply the results of this experiment to an actual production process where

That last statement is key to understanding how to apply the results of this experiment to an actual production process where DSC has installed AR systems on many aircraft production lines. AR is a complicated subject and applies in different ways to different types of tasks. To the uninitiated, the application of AR seems daunting and risky. We often hear “I can see that AR is better than traditional methods to convey complex information – but how much better? I need a number.” For quite some time we have struggled on how we might answer this question with sufficient fidelity without compromising any of our non-disclosure agreements. We recently realized that we had been thinking about it all wrong. Because AR is commonly applied to rather complex assemblies, we had always envisioned that any fair comparison between AR and traditional assembly methods would, of necessity, need to be complex. Upon deeper reflection, we realized that is not true. The test only needs to be a very strictly controlled experiment where an identical task is performed by a large number of people in two ways (with and without AR), with accurate measurements of time and errors. The use of AR is the only difference between the two trials, so the difference in the measured values of time and errors represent the human performance enhancement caused by AR. The critical factor being measured is how information flows from the engineer to the technician – not what is contained in that information. That last statement is key to understanding how to apply the results of this experiment to an actual production process where

That last statement is key to understanding how to apply the results of this experiment to an actual production process where complex and critical assembly is taking place. The performance enhancement is coming from how the assembly instructions were transferred into the mind of the assembler – that is the only difference between the two trials. As it turns out, how information is transferred makes a HUGE difference in how quickly and comprehensively it is understood by the receiver of that information. To achieve these remarkable gains in productivity – how you transfer the work instructions from the engineer to the technician really matters. The consequences are enormous. The best part of all – the workers are not working any harder than before to produce over three times more product. All of the gains are purely from improved efficiency.

Download the full Case Study here

 

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