Having adopted Augmented Reality (AR) to successfully train over 3,800 salespeople during Covid-19 lockdowns, Royal Enfield is now planning to implement Nasdaq-listed PTC’s AR tool, Vuforia Studio, more widely throughout their business in the coming year.
The Chennai-headquartered, Indian multinational motorcycle manufacturer is currently exploring the use of knowledge-focused instruction training through AR in their production facilities. Royal Enfield has so far used PTC Inc’s AR tool more extensively for process-focused training.
The world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production also intends to add process instructions to drive efficiencies in areas like engine production lines. While this wouldn’t replace training materials completely, it would facilitate a more valuable, effective training experience.
In 2020, before the Meteor 350 motorcycle launch, Royal Enfield began planning a significant sales training event to teach sales teams and Royal Enfield dealers in India about the features and options included in the new bike. About 3,800 people planned to attend the event, however, Covid-19 became a roadblock, as all offline events were cancelled.
Ninad Shende, Training Program Manager on the Customer Experience team, and Adrian Marshall, Manager, CAD, and AR from Royal Enfield, began exploring ways to offer an engaging experience that maximized learning retention and understanding. They decided to leverage image-based AR to create a more dynamic, interactive experience that would accompany the planned presentations and lectures.
Speaking about their experience of using AR during the pandemic, Ninad Shende, Training Program Manager said “It was difficult to drive learning engagement over a virtual classroom and AR helped us achieve that. The dynamic learning experience was appreciated by participants and regional business managers— it led to better retention,” said Shende.
“It was such a fast transition taking what we had and repurposing it. We were able to do it all in-house,” said Marshall. “If we’d outsourced it, it would have been a huge additional cost. We were able to save costs, deliver it quickly, and get great results. It was a win,” added Adrian Marshall, Manager, CAD, and AR, Royal Enfield.
As long-time users of PTC’s industry-leading CAD software, Creo, Royal Enfield recognized they could leverage that investment to create robust AR experiences with Vuforia Studio, part of the Vuforia Enterprise AR suite.
Dhirendra Kulkarni, Senior Director for Solution Consulting at PTC, said: “Leveraging Vuforia Studio, Royal Enfield had the flexibility and adaptability to change their plans and go live within a month. With the sales team no longer having access to the physical bike, they switched from a model-based AR experience to one that was image-based. So instead of tracking the physical bikes, the application would track images delivered electronically to attendees.”
To offer an engaging experience that maximised learning retention and understanding, Royal Enfield envisioned an experience that enabled sales teams to interact with the Meteor motorcycle during the training event. Vuforia Studio, an award-winning AR Solution Suite which transforms existing 3D CAD models into immersive, dynamic AR experiences, and Creo Illustrate were used to create an animated AR training experience within a month.
The AR experience, using advanced Model Target technology, allowed users to click on different parts of the motorcycle to view details about key features, watch videos describing the technology, and more. Royal Enfield recognized that this tool, in the hands of the sales teams, would facilitate the knowledge transfer of complex subjects and help them to better understand and retain relevant information about the new bikes.