We’re used to hearing about all sorts of new technology being used inside of cars. They have autonomous features and cameras that let us see in every direction, but the latest technology used by Volkswagen isn’t in its cars at all. They’ve started using 3D smart glasses at their plants to assemble cars.
Volkswagen completed testing of the new glasses during a 3-month pilot process at its Wolsfburg plant and are in the process of rolling out the glasses to all logistics personnel. Employees will be using the 3D glasses in the picking process, which will help improve safety and security during the production process.
Workers will get all the information they need sent directly to their glasses. This includes storage locations and part numbers, all of which will be sent to the glasses to show right in their field of vision.
They can then control the glasses and the information displayed with touch or voice control. Since they don’t have to touch the glasses, they can instead keep both hands free while they’re working. There’s even a built-in barcode reader to scan parts at the moment they’re taken from storage. Correct parts will show in green while incorrect parts will be shown in red.
Since some people might not be comfortable with the 3D glasses, VW isn’t requiring every employee use them right now. They’re being gradually phased into the production process so employees can choose to opt in and give the glasses a try. After a brief acclimatization period, the glasses are reportedly very easy to use and simply become a part of the process rather than an intrusion.
There are 30 employees making use of this 3D technology right now in different areas of the plant. Whether its windshields or drivetrains, someone with 3D glass might be putting your next VW together.
Employee feedback so far has been positive, so this will likely mark the start of a wider initiative. Although it’s still in the early stages and only at the Wolfsburg plant today, the plan is to roll it out to other plants and brands.