Augmented reality applications and wearable technology can aid the work of service and maintenance teams in the field in a variety of ways. They can benefit from remote support and receive working instructions on their smart glasses. In addition, AR technology makes it possible to identify which equipment requires maintenance and allows for 3D visualisation, leaving the hands free to do the work.
AR applications, then, can aid service and maintenance personnel working in the field. They can receive process instructions and additional information about the equipment they are working on via their smart glasses. The headset can help to identify the equipment in question, and its correct details can be brought to the field of vision, with text, imagery and video instructions aiding the work. Smart glasses also permit 3D visualisation of equipment, which can then be viewed from different directions. This makes it easier to see what service and maintenance tasks need to be carried out.
Remote support is also possible, because the view that smart glasses provide can be transmitted to a manager or expert in the office, who can help the employee in question remotely when necessary. The additional information for a service and maintenance engineer made possible by the headset means that person will not need to go through the same amount of training as before. The advantage with wearable technology is also that it leaves the engineer’s hands free to do the work, and it is possible to control the equipment with voice commands.
A Finnish manufacturer of equipment active internationally wanted to test AR devices as a source of support for service and maintenance. In autumn 2016 Softability launched a Proof-of-Concept project for the customer in which an AR application was used to aid service and maintenance using firstly a Hololens and a Vuzix M100 device.
Following the successful PoC, another project began, in which the focus was on developing the original application’s interface and user experience (UI/UX). In the second project the application was tested with Microsoft Hololens and ODG R7 equipment, because Vuzix’s new generation M300 smart glasses were not yet available.
Softability Group Oy Mikko Luukkonen, Sales Manager, mikko.luukkonen(a)softability.fi