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TECHNOLOGY

Augmented Reality and the Chemical Industry

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Augmented Reality and the Chemical Industry


The application of augmented reality (AR) in the chemical industry can enable new employees to do better high-end maintenance and repairs of deployed machinery.

State of the Chemical Industry

The chemical industry enters a period of profound transition. 

Chemical organizations can use the COVID-19 driven economic slowdown as an opportunity to build lasting business strength by making informed and deliberate strategic choices about which end markets they focus on.

Businesses can grow earnings in different operating environments if they build a product portfolio that can withstand changes in macroeconomic trends.

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Source: McKinsey & Company

Augmented Reality in the Chemical Industry

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Source: Finances Online

A professor at the University of Rochester conducted an experiment, using an AR platform to demonstrate the working of a chemical plant. With cameras, projectors, computers, and a glass pane, the professor transformed simple coffee mugs to 10 cubic meter reactors and popsicle sticks to pipes connecting them. With the help of an AR software, the students were able to visualize real-life chemical reactions from within the four walls of their classroom. Augmented reality is changing the chemical industry. The example mentioned above, indicates the significance of using AR in the chemical industry.

Here is how AR can be used in the chemical industry.

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1. Augmented Reality is Training Employees

AR, with the help of image and video capturing devices, overlaps existing visuals with a programmed reality. The overlap can be used to converge real-time chemical plant environments with a programmed simulation to train and instruct new employees in the company. It is necessary that the new employees know their job well, especially in an environment as precarious as in a chemical industry. Handling hazardous chemicals, operational settings of boilers and reactors, and dealing with varying temperature, humidity, and pressure conditions, should be demonstrated in real-time to the new staff. AR technology can help with such demonstrations. By programming the reactions and the chemical operations on AR software, industries can execute training sessions through AR handsets or tablets, which will run the appropriate videos by detecting the plant in its view.

2. Augmented Reality is Assembling Complex Machinery

Another application of AR is the assemblage of complex machinery, plants, and reactors in the industry. Heavy machinery is usually a one-time investment and needs careful handling. Most of the heavy machines are exclusive to a single process or type of industry. For such machines, gaining an insight into the assembly arrangement is important. Wearable AR devices that offer instructions on the assemblage of chemical plants can be employed in chemical industries to help workers gain a better understanding of how equipment works.

3. Augmented Reality is Maintaining Heavy Equipments

Equipment used in the highly industrial sectors requires heavy maintenance. Relying on an expert technician for every minor fault or defect in a chemical plant is uneconomical. Besides, this can also lead to unnecessary delays in the manufacturing processes, if the technical support is not available immediately. To avoid such situations, chemical plants can invest in AR-enabled systems that offer DIY tutorials and videos to fix minor issues without expert aid. 

It is quite evident that the AR technology is altering the way we visualize and interact with the operations and management aspect in any business unit. Improving the precision and accuracy of the underlying infrastructure and algorithms can further refine most of the AR applications, still in the trial phase.



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TECHNOLOGY

How Data Analytics is Changing the Role of Employees

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How Data Analytics is Changing the Role of Employees


RPA and cognitive automation have pushed employees to assume creative roles as the mundane tasks are handled autonomously.

Big data in HR helps analyze trends, monitor performance, and dictate the course of action to follow in the future.

 Workforce trends are seeing a titanic shift toward automation led by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and cognitive automation, among other technologies. Although the process of automation in industries began a few decades ago, the pandemic and the competitive advantages have accelerated it further. It raises concerns about human workers losing their jobs during the transition and it’s true.

However, AI-powered data analytics has matured enough to provide insights into the employees and their roles in an organization. As automation is taking away repetitive tasks, employees are assuming more creative and decision-making roles thanks to the inputs from analytics of big data in HR.

How Data Analytics Is Changing Employee Roles in a Cognitive Automation Era

Cognitive automation and RPA are taking up mundane tasks as they adhere to rule-based and repetitive tasks in a high volume. It helps produce items from scratch in comparatively less time and without much error. Additionally, it gives a competitive edge to any organization as they can produce items in large quantities while keeping the cost less than half of what a low-salary worker would charge. It is the predominant reason why manufacturing jobs are phasing out and this has propagated to other sectors, including HR, IT, retail, etc.

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Data analytics has transformed the world of human resources and employee roles in organizations. As cognitive automation increasingly handles mundane tasks, employees are left with exploring their verticals and using their time creatively and productively. It has proven to be instrumental as employees can focus on value-added activities rather than punching in numbers in invoices or making transactional logs, among others. Big data in HR is crucial to be processed to make sense of the data. It analyzes the trends and behavioral patterns of the employees in an organization that HR managers can utilize to assign different roles or take appropriate actions.

Organizations use data analytics to ascertain employees’ performance benchmarks that use all kinds of data sources available. It can help human resources retain employees with higher productivity and progress ratios while reassigning or terminating those with the wrong skill sets in the company. Since tools analyzing big data in HR can track trends, AI can be used to find employees that might leave the organization for some reason.

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The data-driven approach is a great way to analyze employee performance that helps HR managers to decide on promotions and other salary-related decisions, thereby minimizing any events of nepotism and bias. AI algorithms can be trained to take out any biases from the pie and generate outcomes based on legit factors deemed paramount by the organizations, such as KPIs. 

Cognitive automation is eating up jobs that involve mundane tasks and this is pushing employees to assume creative roles in any organization. Big data in HR can prove instrumental in deciding the employees’ roles in this automated era that can help stay relevant to the job profiles they are assigned while ensuring all the performance benchmarks are ascertained in deciding the fate of the employees.



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