Sustainable development is for certain the biggest challenge of the 21st century. In 2022, the United Nations published an Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age and established that: “Digitalization has the potential to help transform society and business models to a more sustainable and equitable world but only if there is a conscious and deliberate effort to steer it in that direction.” It is more than urgent to face these environmental and societal issues, especially in industry which is a major business sector. Virtual reality (VR), and more widely innovation, can help build tomorrow’s industry in a more sustainable and ethical way.
Industry: a polluting and arduous sector of activity?
It is no surprise that industry is the most polluting business sector. In Europe, manufacturers are responsible for 22% of greenhouse gas emissions. In France, more than 100 million tons of CO2 are released each year due to this human activity. The industrial sector causes air pollution, with the evacuation of toxic fumes, but also soil pollution because of waste discharge. In addition, there are other less systematic impacts, such as overproduction or frequent team travel.
From the human point of view, it is known that industry is an arduous sector. This is what 81% of young people think according to an IFOP survey. It is true that some jobs in the industry cause health problems. For example, it is known that 79% of recognized occupational diseases in the metal industry are related to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). In short, the industry suffers from a rather bad reputation. However, it is possible to build an industry that respects both people and the environment.
IFOP Survey “Les jeunes et les métiers de l’industrie”
How can virtual reality help build a more sustainable world?
Immersive technologies, including virtual reality, are a great tool for the business world. In the industry, they have benefits for training, design and maintenance. On the subject of environmental impact, VR can provide solutions to industry.
Choose remote interventions to minimize business travel
In many areas of activity, business trips are still very frequent. This is the case in industry, especially when a company is globalized and has employees all over the world. This involves many trips by train, plane or boat. Using virtual reality can avoid the multiplication of these travels. At SkyReal, we offer immersive remote collaboration solutions for the design, testing and client presentation phases.
The maintenance stage can also benefit from the advantages of virtual reality. When there is a technical problem on a site, an expert can intervene remotely, even if he is 10,000 kilometers away. The operator on site wears a VR headset and the expert, with the screen return, can see what he sees. The expert can then guide him through his gestures in a very precise manner. In addition to reducing costs, less travel means less fatigue and stress for employees.
Meeting within SkyReal between 5 users, who can discuss, check and modify decisions thanks to the solution.
Reduce waste related to industrial production
It is a fact that industry produces a lot of waste. This is mainly due to the large numbers of test phases required in an industrial project, which usually involves the development of a prototype. To reduce the waste associated with the production of test products, manufacturers must switch to virtual prototyping. In an interactive and immersive environment, engineers can design, build and correct a prototype, while visualizing it in 3D. With SkyReal’s solutions, you can design prototypes in virtual reality.
Training teams can also contribute to waste production. Companies tend to innovate in learning tools, which are ultimately not or hardly used. SkyReal believes in the dematerialization of many professional activities, including training. Virtual reality provides a wide and varied educational offer. Buying high-performance VR headsets is a profitable and sustainable investment for companies.
Towards a better working environment with immersive technologies
Sustainable development concerns both environmental and societal problems. In the industry, the human being can be quickly put aside in favor of mechanization and productivity. How can virtual reality help achieve well-being at work?
Innovation, a development tool for the industry
According to INSEE, 67% of company managers in the manufacturing industry say they are having difficulty recruiting. How to make the sector attractive to candidates? With innovation, the industry of tomorrow has the key to attract young recruits. The integration of virtual reality within industrial companies is a way to offer an innovative working environment and to promote new jobs.
Answering the new needs of employees is essential for the development of industries. Since the Covid health crisis, many companies have implemented remote working. It has become a strong societal demand that the industry cannot ignore. 70% of French people want to be able to continue to work from home. With its solutions, SkyReal helps foster this innovation in the workplace.
Training in VR: a tool for well-being at work
One of the ways to integrate virtual reality in the working environment is with training. 47% of French people consider professional training as a confidence lever. For a manufacturer, offering a varied and regular training program with innovative tools, allows employees to increase their skills.
Virtual reality has undeniable advantages for industrial training, as it allows practice in real-life environment simulations. Thanks to better support, operators are more at ease, more efficient and gain in confidence: it is a virtuous circle. SkyReal helps European industrial companies in the valorisation of their teams with immersive and customized training contents.
Improving workstations with virtualization
Taking care of teams also means providing them ergonomic and risk-free workstations. Virtualization of production lines prior to their installation helps to prevent potential risks and accidents. On one hand, dangerous elements can be identified and better secured.
On the other hand, employees have the possibility to learn about new machines or operations in advance, allowing them to understand them with confidence. As a result, they make fewer mistakes during production. Providing better preparation to employees through virtual training that gives them the right to make mistakes reduces the risks.
In the end, environmental and societal problems are important issues for SkyReal. At our level, we are trying to transform the current society towards a more sustainable and ethical world. We believe in the power of immersive technologies and virtual reality, and we are not alone. In the report quoted in the introduction, the UN is very interested in digital twins. It sees in this technology the possibility of monitoring the activity of our planet, and in particular the risks and threats that threaten it.
While the project is appealing, the United Nations also mentions the need to develop more efficient tools to capture and organize real-time data. At SkyReal, we are working on solutions that address these needs. Gaia allows to manage complex projects by collecting and visualizing data, and to make the right decisions with several people by analyzing the risks in real time. The solutions already imagined by the actors of virtual reality such as SkyReal, have a role to play in the construction of the world of tomorrow.