Volkswagen workers to use 3D smart glasses image

At carmaker’s Wolfsburg plant, logistics personnel have a new standard equipment to play with, 3D glasses, that are supposed to improve process security in production.

The 3D technology has many applications and can be very useful in different areas. The auto industry is following the trend, an example being the recent partnership between Volvo and Microsoft to jointly develop augmented-reality goggles to be used by dealers and customers to configure cars in three dimensions. Volkswagen also joins the trend and after a three-month pilot phase, workers from its Wolfsburg plant are now starting to use as standard equipment 3D glasses. More precisely, logistics personnel are to use these glasses for order picking, to further improve process security in production.

The employees that are using the 3D smart glasses can automatically receive all the information they need such as storage locations or part numbers directly in their field of vision, while touch or voice control allows an easier operation. As a general principle, users have both their hands free while they are working. The camera in the glasses is also used as a barcode reader, with the correct barcodes on parts removed from the storage location shown in green, while parts incorrectly removed are shown in red. Reinhard de Vries, Head of Plant Logistics at Wolfsburg, said: “Digitalization is becoming increasingly important in production. The 3D smart glasses take cooperation between humans and systems to a new level.”

The use of the 3D glasses is voluntary and the employees concerned are gradually being introduced to the new technology. After a short acclimatization period, new employees can then be familiarized more rapidly. Currently, 30 employees in various areas such as windshields or driveshafts are working with the smart glasses. In view of the positive experience obtained, other departments, plants and brands also plan to use the glasses.