AGCO Puts Google Glass to Work

Google “Glass” wearable headsets, now known only as Glass, have revolutionized tractor assembly in AGCO Corporation’s tractor plant in Jackson, Minn. Using the headsets, factory workers are able to quickly check and verify assembly procedures and protocols by simply tapping and swiping the headsets.

Before their use, workers often had to refer back to computer screens or tablets, often located 15’ or 20’ away from where they were assembling equipment. That took time and was more prone to error as workers moved back and forth. Now, with Glass, AGCO has also been able to do away with $3,000 computer tablets used in the inspection of the custom-built tractors.

“We found the greatest value from using Glass has been in the assembly and quality areas, through the easy and quick hands-free access to the instructions and checklists necessary to assemble our individually designed tractors,” says Peggy Gulick, AGCO’s director of Business Process Improvement.

For AGCO, having accurate protocols close at hand is critical because each tractor moving down the assembly line is custom ordered with different models of Challenger and Massey Ferguson intermingled.

Glass has allowed assembly workers to scan the tractor’s serial number, and immediately call up a manual, photo or video for help with assembling or installing parts, hydraulic lines or wiring. They can also use voice commands to take notes and leave them for the next shift.

With the use of Glass, the company has seen a 25% reduction in production time for low-volume, high-complexity assemblies, a 30% reduction in inspection times, and 3-fold reduction in training time. 

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