Mixed Reality (MR) for Supply Chains

The pandemic has forced many operations to significantly increase workplace safety and leverage technology even more to stay open. Virtual technology allows for less physical interaction and tools such as Immersive Mixed Reality (MR) offer a fully immersive experience that brings virtual objects into the real world or one which blends the physical world with the digital one.

What is Mixed Reality (MR) for Supply Chains?

MR allows industrial designers and logistics operations the ability to conduct real-time 3D visualization and CAD for design. According to a recent article by Supply Chain Management Review, some organizations report minimized errors using MR through instructions overlay, remote assistance, and better planning and visualization. This has resulted in a more than 40 percent increase in productivity in some instances. MR technologies provide significant time savings to the plant build process through an optimized decision process, which positively impacts the entire OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act).

Supply Chain Management Review goes on to state,

“These bottom-line improvements are made possible because of the greater efficiencies MR offers. The technology offers a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment that allows designers and engineers to interact with product builds by a person. That person then becomes a central part of this virtually created world in the form of a hologram, or is “immersed” within the production with the capability to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions in real time.

How Logistics Providers are Overcoming MR Challenges

However, many firms are also finding new challenges in employing newer MR technologies. Enterprise-grade high-quality MR platforms require both performance and scale. Manufacturers that deploy these gain a rich repository of existing complex 3D CAD/CAM models created over time.

As these virtual environments become richer and larger, the repository continues to increase. This cycle is repeated for each of the different MR hardware platforms, making it difficult for any manufacturer or business to move from experiments and pilots to full scale deployable solutions, thus stunting the speed of innovation and effectiveness.

Many organizations are overcoming this great challenge by leveraging new solutions offered through cloud-based (or remote server based) MR platforms powered by distributed cloud architecture and 3D vision-based AI. These MR cloud platforms provide the desired performance and scalability to drive innovation in the industry at speed and scale.

Industrial enterprises, manufacturers and supply chain outfits today are experiencing the next wave of technology innovation that will fundamentally alter the way they operate. This transformation is primarily driven by merging of the digital and physical world to create a better, smarter and more efficient way of operating. Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies are playing a pivotal role in this transformation.”

We will likely see many supply chain managers turning to creative technology solutions such as MR as we continue to emerge from the impacts of COVID-19.

At APICS Milwaukee we’ve been helping supply chain professionals advance in their careers for over 45 years with access to expert instructors and globally recognized certifications. We are the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping over 160 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities.   

Let us help you advance your supply chain career in 2020! Starting in September, APICS globally recognized supply chain certification instructor-led courses will be available in the Milwaukee area for in-person and virtual for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD. Learn more…

Join us on August 20th for THE VALUE OF APICS MEMBERSHIP AND EDUCATION: INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR! For additional information, contact us via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org or via email at: [email protected]