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Aerospace and Defense Manufacturer Eliminates Defects with AR Technology

Inside of a defense aircraft cockpit

As innovation soars and products become more technologically advanced, operators must keep pace with increasing variation and complexity. Especially for companies delivering mission-critical equipment to the front lines, products must be reliable, no matter what challenges manufacturers face.   

One of the top global aerospace and defense companies implemented LightGuide AR software to ensure standardization across a variety of complex processes. Following the implementation of LightGuide on a line with 17 variants of one product, visually guided workflows helped consolidate parts, which eliminated changeover per variant and resulted in zero assembly-related defects. Based on these positive results, this company has scaled the implementation of LightGuide on complex manual lines at multiple locations.   

On a line with 17 variants of one product, visually guided workflows helped consolidate parts, which eliminated changeover per variant and resulted in zero assembly-related defects.

 

The Challenge

The innate nature of aerospace and defense manufacturing is always to innovate and create the highest-quality products possible. With slim margins for error, this leading aerospace and defense company is constantly evaluating quality enhancements that serve to further error-proof critical manufacturing processes.  

This company also provides end-to-end solutions, resulting in immense variation. For example, an upcoming line will include 38 product variations, which needs intensely optimized standardization to meet its production schedule.   

 

The Solution  

To ensure focus on the task at hand and increase efficiency, LightGuide’s patented AR software was implemented to simplify complex manual processes, standardize work instructions, and decrease the cognitive load on workers and increase quality.  

Whereas most work instruction processes rely on paper or monitor-based work instructions, a key benefit of integrating LightGuide’s AR software is the real-time progression of work instructions during a process, which leads to real-time error prevention. LightGuide effectively transforms a complex process with multiple steps into a series of simple actions with singular tasks. 

LightGuide recognizes the different variations coming down the line through barcode scans. It calls program subroutines to identify what parts the operator needs and then directs them through the assembly process for that product variation. 

In addition to AR guidance, LightGuide also collects cycle time data for each step in the assembly process including build quality data from torque drivers. This information is then stored for future analysis and optimization. 

In addition to AR guidance, LightGuide also collects cycle time data for each step in the assembly process including build quality data from torque drivers. This information is then stored for future analysis and optimization.  

The Results

Using LightGuide’s AR software, this globally recognized aerospace and defense company consolidated parts at a station with 17 variations, eliminating changeover per variant. With a simple barcode scan, variants on the line were immediately identified and work instructions were automatically called to match that process. Since implementation, this company has had “zero assembly-related defects at that station,” and is able to make better, data-driven decisions due to LightGuide’s ability to collect real-time data from manual human assembly processes.  

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