Jan 22, 2021

Audi: harnessing virtual 3D worlds for workplace learning

Audi
VR
Technology
Innovation
Georgia Wilson
2 min
VR
Automotive manufacturer - Audi - has developed a virtual 3D world for workplace learning and collaboration...

With the current global challenges facing organisations, virtual services have become more critical than ever before. “However, it is often the case that this happens at the expense of social interaction: meetings can easily seem impersonal, and participants’ levels of concentration decline over time,” comments Audi.

However with its newly developed - Audi Spaces - employees can harness the virtual 3D world for learning and work via their computers. Audi explains that the tool can be used for learning, training, coaching, consulting, digital collaboration and communication.

Everything you need to know about Audi Spaces

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Audi Spaces interactive 3D world copies the real working environment creating environments for media and social interactions in real time.

“With Audi spaces we are using the opportunities presented by digitalisation and providing employees with a tool that supports them in a world of work that is highly dynamic and is becoming more and more complex. The tool enhances the collaboration of teams across the boundaries of departments and countries. In this way we are making a contribution to the digital transformation of Audi,” commented Sabine Maassen, Audi Board Member for Human Resources.

Audi Spaces is said to be suitable for multiple applications and diverse groups. The technology has been described as a more relaxed and less tiring space for colleges to collaborate compared to video conferences, reinforcing the community feeling. 

In addition to collaboration and communication, Audi Spaces is said to open up new training opportunities, enabling space for meeting as well as access to conceptually and methodically planned training courses from the Audi Akademie. 

“Thanks to its integration into our existing IT and media landscape, Audi spaces can be used by all employees worldwide and also by external partners, and can be extended for new target groups in the long term. We, the project team, are delighted that the tool has become more and more popular since its roll-out and that new application scenarios are added every day. More than 4,000 Audi employees now take advantage of the new possibilities for virtual collaboration in some 200 events per month. By doing so, they also contribute to the further development of the tool,” explains Patrick Zöbisch, project manager for Audi spaces.

For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

SmartManufacturing
DigitalTransformation
DigitalFactory
ConnectedFactory
2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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