carbon neutral: ZEISS aims to be carbon neutral by 2022. Removing the need to fly in FSEs has reduced ZEISS’ carbon footprint.
knowledge retention when training in VR, compared to 20% with video instruction.
of ZEISS' FSEs will use VR training over the next three years.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of microscope systems for life sciences, materials and industrial research, as well as education and clinical practice, ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions identified virtual reality (VR) as a global strategic key component of its training for its Field Service Engineers (FSEs). ZEISS partnered with realworld one to help them achieve this initiative.
Providing excellent support to customers requires consistent training for FSEs. In-person training carried a significant financial and opportunity cost due to travel expenses and time spent away from customers. This also presented a risk of equipment damage, with FSE’s only having minimal opportunity to interact with microscopes. ZEISS sought alternative approaches that could improve training outcomes, minimize expenses, and align with their mission to advance standards of care. Virtual Reality offered a centralized solution to achieve these objectives.
“We quickly determined VR would play a key role in helping us reach the goals we set for the service department over the next years. A more efficient way of training our FSEs through immersive technology improves our service quality greatly.”
By working with realworld one, ZEISS has developed a complete training environment that captures the interactivity needed to properly train FSEs. VR allows trainees to intuitively navigate the virtual workspace, take parts in their hands, operate tools, receive step-by-step instructions to disassemble and reassemble microscopes, view hidden components, and inspect granular details. Trainees can also visualize both scientific and physical interdependencies they wouldn’t otherwise see in the physical world.
Over the next three years, ZEISS believes that 80% of their FSEs will use VR training along with on-the-job training. ZEISS has seen initial success in the VR solution rollout across a diversely experienced group of FSEs and consistently collects feedback to improve its training program.
“We started VR training with products that FSEs were already familiar with and have moved on to slightly different products that require the same actions. We no longer need classroom training for these.”
The realworld one software platform offers users a suite of features that foster collaboration and flexibility across their virtual workspaces. By leveraging the multi-user function, teams can interact, communicate, and invite other users to join meetings in real time, regardless of their location. The CAN functionality enables users to preserve valuable data by recording and sharing their interactive virtual content, such as training sessions and product demonstrations.
Users who don’t have a VR headset aren’t restricted from the platform either. Using non-VR mode, individuals can access realworld one’s virtual environments and connect with other VR users through a complementary desktop application.
The platform also permits users to upload and share various filetypes, such as CAD files, PDFs, presentations, and images, in VR. Additionally, the platform provides support for numerous languages, thus enabling further global interconnectivity.
VR has enhanced ZEISS’s training flexibility by providing a consistent learning format applicable to both experienced and inexperienced trainees. In addition to streamlining the learning experience, immersive training offers a variety of other benefits:
“Trust was an important factor in choosing realworld one. We felt as if we were in good hands.”
VR’s scalability makes it easy for ZEISS to implement the technology in a variety of applications, and ZEISS is currently extending VR across the company to other departments. Its sales, marketing, and support teams will be able to use VR for content, product presentations, and training purposes. ZEISS is also working with realworld one to develop a VR showroom for clients to showcase its products. Expanding VR through these strategies will continually reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies for ZEISS.
Additionally, ZEISS is creating an information portal in VR with decision trees, fault trees, a spare catalogue, and more. Employees will be able to use the portal for on-the-job task assistance. Immersive technology continues to offer Zeiss numerous possibilities to streamline its operations and is quickly becoming a valuable tool for its employees and customers alike.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany, employing over 34,000 people worldwide.