Metaverse for Industrial Automation

May 30, 2023
Metaverse for Industrial Automation

Post Author – Rajeev Sharma, Senior Architect and Competency Lead, Prolifics

The concept of the metaverse is becoming increasingly popular and widespread in the world of technology and innovation. “Metaverse” refers to a virtual world where people can interact with each other and digital objects in a fully immersive and interactive environment. While this concept has primarily been associated with gaming and entertainment, there are numerous applications for the metaverse in other areas, including industrial automation.

Industrial automation refers to the use of technology and computer systems to control and monitor industrial processes. The end goal is to increase efficiency, productivity, and safety by automating tasks that would otherwise be performed manually by human operators. The metaverse can play an important role in this context by enabling industrial automation systems to be executed, controlled, and monitored in real-time, regardless of location.

Let’s highlight some value adds and advantages of utilizing the metaverse in industrial automation:

1. Accessibility without physical presence

One of the primary advantages of the metaverse in industrial automation is that it enables workers to remotely access and control industrial processes from anywhere in the world. This can be particularly useful in situations where the industrial process is in a hazardous environment, such as a chemical plant or a nuclear power plant. With the metaverse, workers can monitor and control these processes from a safe distance, reducing the risk of injury or exposure to hazardous materials.

2. Effective training and collaboration

Companies can utilize virtual reality (VR) headsets instead of actual physical equipment to train employees and support staff. This enables them to perform an activity in the more realistic way without the time, risk, cost implications and physical environment. Real-time use cases (for instance – store robbery, repairing a break down, etc.) can easily be simulated and employees can quickly be groomed to address situations collectively, enhancing the overall collaboration.

3. Better analysis and insights

Metaverse can enable industrial automation systems to be more easily monitored and optimized. By providing a virtual environment where data can be visualized and analysed in real-time, workers can gain insights into industrial processes that may not be apparent from traditional monitoring systems. This can enable them to identify and address issues more quickly, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.

4. Impetus to fail fast strategy

Metaverse is the perfect ingredient to introduce agility in industrial automation. Manufacturers traditionally had been reluctant to adopt new technologies, but with the metaverse having capabilities like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (XR), they can safely try and experiment with the overall journey with a fraction of the cost and evaluate different permutations and combinations using synthetic data and AI capabilities. This quickly helps them to perform a “what-if” analysis and make a prompt decision on go or no-go.

5. Reliable smoke test before go live

Metaverse has the capability of executing simulations before the actual deployment. Technologies like digital twins facilitate a near real-time experience where not only the external functionality as well internal core features can also be validated and monitored to ensure they are in-line with the desired expectations.

At Prolifics, one of our offerings is the “Industrial Metaverse & Connected Worker Experiences.” The overall idea is to enhance work environment and experience for industrial workers with the help of smart devices, wearables, and connected tools. These, coupled with technologies like AI, Computer Vison, Internet of Things (IoT) and natural language processing (NLP), enable workers to access information, receive real-time instructions, fetch predictions, and collaborate effectively.

In conclusion, possibilities are infinite with the metaverse, and this is just the beginning. As the concept of the metaverse continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more applications for this technology in industrial settings, leading to further improvements in efficiency, productivity, and safety.

About the Author:

Rajeev SharmaRajeev Sharma is a Senior Architect and Competency Lead for the Prolifics Digital Experience and Intelligent Automation India Practices. Throughout his career, he has led several teams of varying sizes, and has been responsible for the design and delivery of various Enterprise products and applications. His strength lies in his ability to closely engage with clients, understanding their precise business needs, and translating them into robust software systems.