While the concept of gamification isn’t new, the degree to which it is being applied in manufacturing environments is a relatively recent phenomenon.
With the right tools and platforms, gamification can spur employee development, boost recruitment and retention and drive higher revenue. It’s a way to not only preserve and share insights and expertise from the best operators, but also help the training and onboarding process for new employees. Clear and consistent metrics provide a way for managers to set goals and effectively evaluate employees, while also allowing employees to evaluate themselves—and to set personal goals for improvement. The engagement and motivation that comes from gamification can improve efficiencies, boost morale and enhance outcomes.
But how does it actually work, and how do you add those engaging, immersive and motivational gameplay elements that make for outstanding gamification?
Gamification requires interactivity, and platforms that provide users with more control and draw them in with participatory elements will consistently be the most effective. Leading manufacturing augmented reality (AR) solutions now use projection technology and new tools to essentially transform the work space into an experiential space.
The best gamified experiences are extremely simple and straightforward. Clear instructions, goals and direct real-time feedback (that clearly establish the link between actions and outcomes) are all important for creating a true interactive experience.
The right interface is critical for gamification. In manufacturing, mobile applications often choose a wearable AR solution, while assembly stations are likely more suited to a built-in projection AR system.
One of the key features of gamified engagement is inspiration, and the key to motivating operators is to give them a reward. That reward can be as simple as a light or a sound affirming a correct step, or metrics presented as “scores” and work instructions consciously designed to allow for self-improvement.
Capturing essential analytics and presenting comprehensible metrics to users in a clear manner in real time is critical to gamification. It not only helps identify opportunities for improvement, but also is the crux of operator motivation and managerial insight into performance.
The best gamification technology platforms are flexible enough to be deployed in a range of different circumstances and used by several different operators, while also designed to be customizable and “improvable”—capable of being deployed at scale for new applications or growing operations.
The best examples of gamified platforms make it easy for users to enter the flow state, commonly referred to as “being in the zone.” A flow state allows you to capitalize on a combination of relaxation and focus to elevate performance. Gamification that is more engaging and intuitive makes that flow state more accessible, improving and extending periods of focus and productivity.
A profitable future
As groundbreaking AR platforms continue to open up new gamification possibilities, manufacturers are taking note. Innovative tools like 3D sensors allow for automated data collection, and new platforms deliver clear and compelling feedback to users in real-time. The high degree of interactivity and incentivized engagement that these tools and tech deliver bodes well for an industry embracing a wave of transformational digital innovation. In other words, the rules of the manufacturing game have changed—and that’s a very good thing.
If you’re interested in learning more about enterprise augmented reality, and how it can be used to gamify manufacturing processes in your organization, please send us a message.