Augmented reality (AR) is a type of computer software that superimposes digital objects or images into real-world surroundings, so that the virtual object appears to be part of the real environment. Some common uses of AR include video games, architecture and design, advertising and marketing, automotive manufacturing, cinematography and filmmaking, construction, and technical training. Mining is one of the industries which is expected to leverage augmented reality to improve operational efficiency. Operators in mines will have access to augmented reality apps through mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. These smartphone applications will help them with various tasks such as finding specific equipment or locations in the mine, checking maintenance schedules for machines on location, tracking their progress through certain sites or corridors in the mine, analyzing geology at different depths in a mine pit or ore body, monitoring waste processing activities at a site and much more.
Will augmented reality change the way mines operate?
The mining and metals industry is expected to see a diverse range of AR applications, potentially improving safety, productivity, and employee satisfaction, while also reducing costs. These improvements will depend on how mining companies successfully integrate AR into their organizations and budgets. At the same time, the widespread adoption of AR will also depend on the development of affordable and user-friendly AR systems that can be used by all employees. There are some specific areas where the use of AR will be particularly useful in the mining industry. One such area is finding and tracking equipment. Equipment maintenance and repair teams already use tracking systems to locate machines and equipment in specific locations, but these systems can be difficult to use, particularly for people with visual impairments. Augmented reality, by contrast, can easily superimpose a digital image of the equipment’s location on a user’s smartphone screen, making it easier to identify and track the machines. Check: https://nsflow.com/industries/augmented-reality-in-mining
How does augmented reality help improve workforce efficiency?
AR can be used to improve productivity in a number of ways. It can help workers find machines and equipment more efficiently, saving time and fuel. It can also be used to improve safety by showing maintenance crews where they can work safely. AR can also be used to track the progress of workers through mineshafts and tunnels, potentially increasing safety by reducing the risk of manual errors. For example, technicians can see exactly where they are in the mine, with annotations showing where they are on the map or in the distance from a particular machine. This can help avoid situations where workers believe they are at the machine, but actually are not yet there.
How does augmented reality help improve safety in the workplace?
Augmented reality has the potential to improve safety in the workplace because it could help to reduce the risk of human error. For example, it could be used to improve communication between maintenance crews and supervisors because workers could be able to see the supervisor’s position and annotations on the virtual location of the machine being worked on. This could help to prevent accidents from occurring due to miscommunication.
Can augmented reality be leveraged for other tasks in mines?
In addition to the above use cases, mining companies are exploring how AR can be used to support other tasks in their workflows. For example, AR can be used to help execute process improvements, such as using camera-based tracking to monitor and optimize material flows. AR can also be used to support geospatial analysis and visualization, including the creation of AR-enhanced maps and 3D models for use in engineering and mine planning.