How do you solve complex asset maintenance issues on-site, without actually being on-site? And if the person with all the knowledge is on the other side of the country, or the world, and you immediately need their assistance to assist you in fault finding at the top of a wind turbine? What then? Well, here is one solution.
XMReality, one of our Swedish partners, has come up with a novel method of real-time collaboration between on-site service technicians and remote experts. XMReality was founded in 2007 by researchers from FOI, The Swedish Defense Research Agency. What they have looked to do is combine innovative mobile communication technology with robust augmented reality to allow users to get audiovisual guidance from a remote expert.
As everything the expert shows or points at appears in the engineer’s field of vision, the guidance is as effective as if the expert were standing beside the engineer. So imagine that you are on the top of a quay crane trying to work out what is wrong with the hoist mechanism. You think you know but you just want to check with the office-based expert. What then happens is the office-based expert can remotely access the exact view that you are looking at, via the internet. Using augmented reality, the remote expert can guide you through the repair thus minimizing downtime, reducing travel costs and better utilizing the expertise that you have in the company.
You have flown an engineer out to a stranded marine vessel. This engineer was the nearest available at the time. He was not the most experienced engineer but he was available and closest to the port. He straps on the XMReality hardware and starts the repair. But he realizes that he’s not 100 percent certain of the configuration of this exact diesel generator. So he connects back to the Technical Center and is led through the repair. Thus we have an excellent real-life training opportunity as well.
IFS is partnering with XMReality and is currently exploring how different modules in IFS Applications can communicate with each other on the latest tablet devices. If you want to know more about this concept, please leave a comment here or get in touch with me directly.
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