The industry has been fighting for skilled workers on the job market for years. A new AR technology should ensure that companies can involve specialists far from their production sites.
How can Augmented Reality (AR) counteract the shortage of skilled workers? Scientists from the University of Paderborn asked themselves these questions. They developed an AR technology that allows connecting specialists with a machine operator in production on site despite the long distance. The aim is for companies to be able to access specialists from all over the world with the help of AR and integrate them into work processes.
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Remote Training Via AR
“An external employee can use this AR application to say, for example, ‘Press this button that I have marked here,’ thus minimizing the amount of explanation required,” says Philipp Hesse, a researcher in the “Product Development” specialist group. In addition, thanks to the glasses, a machine operator has his hands free and can therefore react flexibly and quickly. Because the external specialist sees precisely what the employee sees on-site in real-time, they can both effectively participate in the production process from a distance and train new team members at the company site, according to the scientists.
How To Reduce Unplanned Downtime
To improve the plant’s overall efficiency, it is necessary to optimize the processes in reactive, planned, and proactive assistance phases. In addition, preventive maintenance strategies must be implemented. These phases are influenced by technological complexity and restrictions due to geographical and territorial distances and the lack of qualified experts.
In The Reactive Phase
Augmented reality technologies such as TeamViewer Pilot accelerate user collaboration and facilitate the flow of communications, saving valuable time, improving efficiency, and fostering innovation. Service experts – who can be physically anywhere – can support technicians within companies and directly in the field in real-time through video sessions for faster problem resolution.
All this is facilitated by functions that help the expert identify the problem and describe all the steps the operator on site must perform, even on the other side of the world. In addition, 3D object tracking, for example, allows the skilled technician to place arrows and other annotations on real-world objects even when the person at the other end moves their smartphone camera.
In The Planning Phase
Fault detection is often complex, especially in the industrial manufacturing sector, where many elements are connected to a system. This is also the case with a machine manufactured in a country, and the developer’s settings are in the original language. These challenges are easily solved thanks to the possibility for experts from all over the world to virtually put themselves in the place of the person in front of the machine.
Service experts can provide support through complex routine maintenance checks, appropriately supporting new technicians who lack in-depth knowledge of the procedures. Also, to optimize logistics and warehouse processes, TeamViewer Pilot can provide remote support by helping to identify the correct spare part, document the part number, and immediately start the order process for replacements.
In The Proactive Maintenance Phase
Problems are identified early using data from various sources, such as performance reports and integrated sensors. It is essential to use the available data correctly and to identify any problems that could lead to failure (for example, misalignment of the countertops or improper lubrication).
With Pilot, the remote expert can guide the service technician through advanced analysis-based procedures and identify minor off-line errors that could accumulate and lead to failure in the long run.