Five of the top ten all time, worldwide box office earners are superhero movies. 

We are three decades into the Modern Age of Comic Books, yet superheroes are as popular as ever. Avengers: Endgame just broke the record of highest grossing film of all time.

The truth is, superheroes are cool. They are exceptional, empowered and supremely talented. They transcend the laws of nature, and offer us an escape from our not-so-heroic-or-exciting everyday lives. We all wish we could be a little more like them…

And with modern digital technologies, it’s becoming possible.

On the shop floor, new technologies are transforming every aspect of manufacturing work. Technologies are integrated to assist workers in their tasks. The “augmented worker” has enhanced abilities and performs exceptionally — like a superhero, we would say.

Let’s look at how augmentative technologies are turning shop floor workers into some of our favorite superheroes.

The Flash

With the Speed Force, the Flash can travel faster than the speed of light!

While real-life technology hasn’t quite reached that point (yet), digital work instructions are a great way to increase speed and efficiency in production lines. Unlike paper-based work instructions, digital instructions are interactive, easily configurable and media rich. Videos and images show workers how to perform every step of a specific process, thus helping them work faster and better.

Captain America

Captain America has no superpowers (strictly speaking). But he’s unarguably a superhero. His lack of technical superpowers does not stop him from finding ways to fight for himself, for his people, and for what is right.

With no-code platforms, engineers can embody the spirit of Captain America. They might not have the technical coding skills of IT, but with no-code, they can build apps all the same. Using drag-and-drop interfaces and conditional logic, they are empowered to design solutions to problems in their lines by themselves.

Wolverine

Wolverine possesses incredibly acute senses, comparable to those of animals. For instance, he can see at far greater distances and with much greater clarity than normal humans. 

Computer vision systems are also enhancing the sight of workers on shop floors. When combined with other technologies like AI and machine learning, computer vision systems can track workers’ movements and ensure they follow procedures correctly.

Superman

Superman has genius-level intelligence, as well as an amazing photographic memory. These traits enable him to act decisively in times of crisis, and to make the right decisions.

Human workers can be augmented by computers’ ability to store nearly infinite data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can then analyze all of this data and reveal relevant insights. Workers thus gain the power to predict problems, make data-driven decisions, and optimize production.

Iron Man

Just like Captain America, Iron Man has no superpowers. However, his superwealth and superintelligence allow him to create supercool gadgets, including his famous powered armor suit.

Sensors are some of the coolest gadgets in manufacturing. They can be integrated with clothing, to the body, or anywhere in a production station. Sensors can record data on anything happening in the environment. This data is extremely helpful to improve operator and machine performance.

Spiderman

The Spider-Sense allows Spiderman to detect danger before it happens, thanks to a tingling sensation at the back of his skull. The greater the danger, or the closer it is, the greater the tingling. 

With modern technologies, shop floor workers can detect problems in the production line before they happen. They are not alerted by a tingling feeling, but rather by advanced quality systems, which perform inline quality checks automatically.

Batman

Batman is incredibly connected to his environment. For one, he figured out how to use echolocation (he is Batman, afterall). Moreover, the Bat-Signal connects him to the Gotham City police. 

In a somewhat similar way, modern shop floor workers have IoT connectivity. When devices and machines are connected to the Internet, data can be recorded on their activities. Equipped with this data, human workers gain the ability to communicate with their tools in real time.

Tulip’s flexible and intuitive manufacturing app platform helps manufacturers thrive during Industry 4.0. With Tulip, engineers and operators can become real-life superheroes! Schedule a demo to learn more.