Using collaborative VR technology for Lean Manufacturing Training: a case study

Nous reproduisons ici les premiers paragraphes de l’article d’Alexandra Badets, Vincent Havard, Killian Richard et David Baudry paru sur



Research on the application of virtual reality (VR) to training has shown VR environments could contribute to the acquisition of procedures with minimized risks, costs, and timing. In the field of Lean Manufacturing (LM), VR can improve decision making in factory layouts. However, in the field of training, no evidence yet existed that VR immersion could communicate LM concepts as well as physical immersion. This project aimed at comparing both the process of learning a procedure and the transfer of LM concepts, on manual workstations, with the same process in a VR environment. The results confirm VR is a time gaining, cost reducing, easily accessible tool to train operators on procedures before onsite training. They also show that for an optimal appreciation of assembly procedure issues in the VRLE, increasing interaction fidelity and improving physical simulation would give students a better appreciation of Equipment and Materials issues.

1. Introduction: context and project goals

Higher education and in-company Learning Environments are evolving, to answer recent technological and organisational evolutions, to train students and workers to master the tools of Industry 4.0. CESI is a French multicentre higher education and vocational training institution. It delivers Engineering degrees, as well as vocational qualifications, including in the fields of Industrial Organisation and Performance. Lean
Manufacturing is taught in several of CESI’s vocational training degrees, in line with industrial companies’ wish to reduce production costs, manage delays, and waste (Abidi et al. 2016). CESI’s teaching methods are student-centred, situated, active pedagogies and skills-based, learning by doing approaches (Badets, 2016; Ageorges et al. 2014). This led to the implementation, in one of its training centres, of manual workstations, allowing Lean Manufacturing (LM) students to immerse physically in a simulated production line, using a “learning by doing” pedagogical approach where students have to detect LM problems in an assembly line, taking on the role of an operator, or an observer.

The expertise of CESI’s research laboratory, LINEACT, is two-fold: it both enquires the future of manufacturing – use of digital twins, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies (Havard et al. 2019) – and the impacts of digitally enhanced learning environments on learners. With this dual perspective on Digital Innovation both for Companies and for Learning, the benefit of this paper is that it is a cooperation between researchers from both fields. In this context, a collaborative VR environment, based on a specifically designed framework, was developed, to investigate what such immersion could contribute to students’ integration of
LM concepts and compare how working on manual workstations or on a VR simulation might affect how students grabbed these concepts. The simulated production line aiming at assembling children’s bikes, two learning objectives underlay the training sessions concerned: learn the assembly procedure, but also detect problems and suggest improvements on the assembly line, according to LM concepts.

This paper synthesizes the project goals, based on previous related works (part 2), and then unfolds the research protocol carried out (part 3) and its results (part 4).


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À propos de l'auteur: KAÏNOO Formation & Industrie