Remote maintenance support tools: virtual inter-organisational meeting point for experts

Nora Nirhamo | 2020/06/05

Power systems are becoming more intelligent and complex. To answer these challenges, fieldworkers need new types of competences and support. In Smart Otaniemi, Softability aims to tackle these issues by developing a custom-made remote platform for supporting grid maintenance. Read more!

Power systems are becoming more intelligent and complex. Smart grid enters also the residential buildings, which may contain demand response type of elements, renewable energy production and other connected systems. This leads to emergence of new failure mechanisms and causes challenges for maintenance and life cycle management of energy systems.

To answer these challenges, fieldworkers need new types of competences and support. However, companies operate at geographically distributed maintenance and repair teams that include various expertise related to e.g., management of electric and information systems. At the same time, companies aim to be slim and cost-effective and there is usually very limited backup for key personnel in case they are unavailable. Furthermore, senior experts are retiring at an increasing pace and there is a need for training the future talents to offset the retirement.

Typically, to save costs, a single fieldworker takes care of a maintenance task. This person needs remote support from his/her team to tackle the maintenance tasks in the increasingly complex and interconnected systems. In addition, there might be a need for open communication with other actors such as customer, equipment manufacturer or other external expert.

 

Complex maintenance work can be performed more cost-effectively and remotely supported

In Smart Otaniemi, Softability aims to tackle these issues by developing a custom-made remote platform for supporting grid maintenance. The solution provides fieldworkers and experts with a live-video remote assistance solution that contains request handling system and practical annotation tools. With mobile app remote workers can share their mobile device´s or smart glasses view and show the problem to the expert. Experts can easily manage and solve support requests (using live-video and annotation tools) together with field workers.

Interactive data can enrich manufacturer service systems – data serves operational development and equipment design for easy maintenance, repair, and assembly. The solution is also suitable for training new technicians and harnessing untrained workforce as technicians.

With the remote support solution organizations can:

  1. Produce more with less costs
  2. Use workforce in more flexible way
  3. Save costs due reduced traveling and production downtime

Workers can also be used earlier when starting a new assignment (faster training) and teams can share knowledge more effectively. Teams´ fault rates are lower due updated materials as well as tacit and undocumented information can be shared easier. In Smart Otaniemi, Softability aims to develop support system for remote maintenance, repair operations and life cycle management in smart energy systems. The system will be tested in grid maintenance related pilot cases.

 

How digital remote support tools can change the current way of working?

To conclude this blog, we take a step further to the future and depict how the current way of working could be changed with digital remote support tools. Maintenance and repair tasks in complex and interconnected systems might need expertise of various systems such as electricity, heating, water, ventilation, air-conditioning and information technology. Maintenance of these systems often require various licences that all fieldworkers cannot have. To get all the licenced experts to maintain the equipment at the site is time-consuming, expensive and may not always be possible. Could the licenced work be performed by an unlicensed worker that is guided remotely by a licenced expert? Or guided by a group of licenced experts? What kind of maintenance tasks could be performed in this way? What kind of connection between the expert and the worker is required to perform the task safely and effectively? Is it possible to change the law to support this kind of remotely guided work and what are the prerequisites?

 

More information about XReach remote support solution!

 

 

 

 

 

VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have over 75 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT´s turnover and other operating income is 258 M€. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together. VTT- beyond the obvious.

 

softability logo

 

At Softability we design, implement and verify smart applications for industrial and medical device manufacturers. Our background and knowhow makes us an ideal partner for implementing demanding end-to-end solutions combining sensors transmitting measurement data or other devices, scalable cloud service based processing and data visualization adjusted to different devices.
Our XR Studio business unit develops Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions for mobile and wearable devices, like Microsoft HoloLens, smart glasses and VR headsets. Also, our XReach solution enables modern video-assisted remote support on a global scale.

 

 

 

 

 

Jyri Hanski

Research Scientist, Smart Energy and Industry systems

Jyri Hanski has wide experience on national and European projects related to life cycle, risk and asset management. His current research activities include reliability of smart grid solutions, digital disruption of industries and industrial circular economy. His research interest focus on how asset management answers to the most impactful trends such as digitalization, circular economy and sustainability.

 

 

 

 

 

Juha Asunmaa

Business Unit Director

Juha Asunmaa works as a Business Unit Director at Softability Oy. He is responsible for the XR business Unit focusing on the augmented, virtual and mixed reality applications. In addition to the XR applications the business unit delivers remote support solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

Tero Välisalo

Research Scientist, Smart Energy and Industry Systems

Tero Välisalo has worked at VTT for over 20 years developing safety and reliability of industrial systems. Currently his research is focusing on safety of new technologies e.g. hydrogen-powered ships and reliability matters of new power sources, e.g. wave energy converters. Also maintenance and maintainability of new technologies are an important part of his interests.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasi Valkokari

Senior Scientist, Smart Energy and Industry Systems

Pasi Valkokari has wide experience on enhancement of reliability performance of production lines. His current research and development activities include the life cycle management of manufacturing industry, forest industry and future smart grids. In this work, the focus is in industrial service development and asset management approaches supporting circular economy.

 

The original article is published on Smart Otaniemi´s website:

https://smartotaniemi.fi/single_blog/remote-maintenance-support-tools-virtual-inter-organisational-meeting-point-for-experts/

 

More information:

Juha Asunmaa, Softability Oy, juha.asunmaa(at)softability.fi

Keywords:

You might be interested:

AR and VR applications delivered to CTN Group for presenting the CTN eCabin cryo chamber

Nora Nirhamo | 2022/01/19

Softability provided CTN Group with a mobile augmented reality application and a virtual reality application to be used with Oculus Quest 2 VR glasses. The applications were made to facilitate presentation of the new CTN eCabin cryo chamber. Read more!

Read post

Software development that makes a difference in demanding projects – sound like your kind of thing?

Nora Nirhamo | 2022/01/13

Softability attracts developers who know what they want from their career; to be involved in coding meaningful software. As a small software agency, we care about the people who work for us. Does this sound something you would like? Keep reading!

Read post

Merry Christmas and a successful New Year 2022!

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/12/23

This year is soon coming to an end and we are excited to see what the next year brings along. Softability wants to thank you for the cooperation and wishes to everybody a Merry Christmas and a successful New Year 2022!

Read post

Keuda Group takes bold future steps with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/11/29

Keuda Group is taking bold initial steps with the help of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides. Softability implemented for Keuda and trained Keuda employees to create D365 Guides instructions and use them in their day-to-day teaching activities. Read more!

Read post

The XReach remote support solution was further diversified – new features include Ad Hoc and Teleconference call!

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/10/15

XReach is a remote support solution designed for industrial use. XReach has a wide range of built-in customizable features, the latest being Ad Hoc and Teleconference. Read more!

Read post

Webinar: Benefits of smart glasses in manufacturing

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/10/11

Though ruggedized tablets typically use platforms familiar to workers and can be easy to use, the reality is that the majority of manufacturing employees work with their hands. Using tablets in manufacturing decreases worker productivity and situational awareness. In this webinar, Softability and RealWear will discuss how to tackle the problem and present the solutions available to it.

Read post

How to choose the best remote support solution for your company?

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/09/10

Augmented reality, smart glasses, embedded systems, cloud services – the modern age is a full of options. Remote support solutions are also available but choosing the right one may be difficult. A suitable remote connection platform can have a positive impact on a company’s entire business.

Read post

How to use remote support solution?

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/09/10

The XReach remote support solution is the subject of worldwide interest, and no wonder – the platform enhances work performance and improves productivity. Discover how your company can benefit from remote support.

Read post

Remote support solution have many benefits for your business – are you familiar yet?

Nora Nirhamo | 2021/09/10

Has your company come across a situation that your own maintenance team could not resolve? Assistance from an external expert was probably sorely needed. A remote support solution can bring in experts from anywhere in the world to help your field team in real time. Best of all, remote support has many other benefits for your business.

Read post