XR in Manufacturing Case Study: PBC Linear and Magic Leap

Bridging the talent gap with augmented reality

XR in Manufacturing Case Study PBC Linear and Magic Leap - XR Today News
Mixed RealityInsightsNews Analysis

Published: May 25, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

In the manufacturing industry, extended reality is quickly emerging as a valuable tool for not just the ideation and creation of products, or business collaboration, but also training and development. In this environment, where a highly skilled workforce is crucial to ensure continued productivity, efficiency, and safety, exceptional training can often take years to effectively deliver.  

Fortunately, XR could offer a solution, providing companies with a powerful way to deliver hands-on educational experiences to professionals, wherever they are. PBC Linear, a leader in the development of intelligent systems for factory automation and manufacturing, discovered the benefits of extended reality themselves, after searching for a way to enhance their recruitment and retention strategy.  

Working with Magic Leap and Taqtile, PBC Linear created an immersive solution for delivering and distributing expertise to frontline workers.  

Empowering Teams with AR Solutions 

According to Tim LeCrone, the Director of Manufacturing Engineering at PBC Linear, the company was facing significant problems providing new employees with the guidance and support they needed to thrive in complex roles. Delivering expertise to new team members was complex, particularly as senior staff left the business, taking their knowledge and guidance with them.  

Fortunately, PBC Linear’s leadership team recognized an opportunity in the augmented reality world. The company began experimenting with the capabilities of Taqtile’s content platform, Manifest, using the ecosystem to capture and distribute information to frontline workers. The platform provided the company with the resources required to deliver valuable content to employees on the front line, while Magic Leap’s headsets enabled staff members to access information in real-time, hands-free.  

A team of engineering interns created 106 templates to document complex manufacturing processes, allowing staff members to access AR content for step-by-step, guided work instructions. The whole project took less than 6 weeks to complete, with no need for custom development or programming.  

Improving the Transfer of Knowledge 

Using the Taqtile Manifest platform on Magic Leap headsets quickly solved many of PBC Linear’s initial challenges with training and guiding its workforce. However, the company also found themselves experiencing a number of unexpected benefits too.  

For instance, the new technology ensures PBC Linear can provide new workers with the confidence to manufacture products within as little as 3 days. Alternatively, traditional methodologies often took approximately 3 weeks to deliver the same results.  

Because it now takes less time to train new workers, the company is also benefiting from reduced downtime among machines, and increased productivity. The new AR technologies are also having a positive impact on costs and yields, allowing PBC to save more than $100k a year on scrap and “redo” costs, due to fewer mistakes on the manufacturing floor.  

LeCrone noted Taqtile Manifest and Magic Leap has allowed his company to improve quality, support new staff members with better training, and accelerate performance. What’s more, it’s even helping the company to solve their recruitment problem, attracting a wider range of new staff members to the PBC Linear talent pipeline.  


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