APM Terminals Brazil Uses Augmented Reality to Train Workers
No, using augmented reality to train workers is not a science fiction! The HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) team at APM Terminals Brazil developed an augmented reality (AR) app for employees, contractors and visitors to download on their phones which provided video and 3D information about risks and safety operations in the terminal and office buildings.
For Global Safety Day this year, employees and contractors took part in an experiment to see if the new and developing technology could be used to teach safety measures across the operation in a campaign titled "Stronger & Safer Together".
After opening the app, users pointed their phone at stickers placed on a piece of equipment or on the floor or wall of an office building. Then safety information about the location or equipment - such as a reach stacker used to move containers around the terminal - was displayed on the screen, said Gabriel Fiorda Guarnieri, HSE Coordinator for APM Terminals Brazil.
In the case of the reach stacker, the app provided details of the safe distance to stand away from the machine while it was in operation. An animation showed the range of motion the machine was capable of and how much space it need to carry and stack containers in the yard.
Another digital marker on the ground — much like a poster — showed potentially unsafe areas at the entrance to the terminal area. Previously, the operational layout of some areas of the terminal were only available on paper. Now they can be accessed at any time via the AR app.
Working with a local contractor, the health and safety team developed marketing campaign materials that were accessed via posters and stickers with a graphic design that triggered access to the 3D information and safety training videos.
The markers and stickers functioned like QR codes, prompting the phone app to display the requested materials. The AR information was used during the Global Safety Day discussion sessions, meetings, interventions and pre-shift talks. Users could access the animations and videos through their cell phones all day and the system is still in place.
APM has joined organisations such as Boeing, DHL, and the U.S. Marine Corps in adding augmented reality to employee training to improve effectiveness. Market researchers estimate that overall demand for augmented reality will drive market growth from $11.4 billion in 2018 to $60.55 billion by 2023.