As part of their lens manufacturing process, Luxottica has a cleaning station for all lenses before they make their way to getting cut and eventually placed into a set of glasses. In this cleaning station sit eight groups of two machines each. In front of each machine sits three trays with two lenses each, which all need to be placed into the machine to get cleaned and coated, with each machine holding three lenses at a time. Operators manage two machines simultaneously, meaning that they unload and reload one machine while the other machine is running and the operator moves back and forth between the machines.
Luxottica’s quality engineering department installed LightGuide on one group of two machines that provided projector-based augmented reality, projecting work instructions and highlighting the lenses that needed to get cleaned and loaded next as well as the ones that were currently in the machine in the correct sequence. This took the role of sequencing away from the operator and put it in the hands of technology. With LightGuide highlighting each lens when it was relevant and displaying to the operator exactly what they had to do, the operator no longer had to remember where they were in the process. Rather, they could focus on proper cleaning of the lenses, ensuring the highest quality products make their way to the coater, non-conforming products do not, and restocking their supplies during wait times.
The main challenge for the operator is keeping track of which lens belongs in which tray, which is difficult because the lenses often look almost exactly alike. Furthermore, the trays get removed as they are completed, which results in the trays that have lenses currently in the machine changing places on the counter, thus providing even more confusion for the operator. Lenses can get mixed up between trays, which presents an obvious issue as glasses require a high level of accuracy to be useful to the customer.