The widespread adoption of AR/VR technology in Industry will massively impact the way teams communicate. There are multiple and exciting use cases appearing every day, but there is one that seems that will provide more benefits than just knowledge transfer. Remote Expert Assist is the practical use case that will decrease travel costs, help businesses to have their sustainability goals while accelerating knowledge transfer.
What is Remote Expert Assist
Putting it in simple terms remote assistance provides the ability for a remote expert to help a technician in situ, in solving a machine malfunction or maintenance task.
The use case makes perfect sense, as it costs a lot of time, money and effort to get an expert from one office into a plant location that could be in another country and even in another time zone. As any business will tell you time is money, and production line downtime can result in huge losses in profits due to whole lines grinding to a halt.
Delays incurred in getting this expert on-site can be very great indeed. It is estimated for the Fortune 1000, the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion. This figure doesn’t include negative impacts on areas like brand reputation or additional engineering costs.
The ability then, to bring expert knowledge to site in a quick and timely manner is invaluable to restart production and keep downtimes to a minimum.
Many use cases are showcasing Microsoft’s HoloLens as the AR glasses and Microsoft’s own Remote Assist product as the vehicle through which the expert connects with the technician. Illustrations are usually very simple and involve the flicking of a couple of switches, and maybe an arrow is drawn on the screen in order to solve the problem at hand.
If only real-world situations were that simple…
Image copyright Microsoft
In the example above from Microsoft’s website, we can see the expert trying to tell the technician how to fix the machine part. As you can see, the expert has no CAD data to reference, and there would appear to be a lot of ‘hand waving’ in order to try to communicate to the technician which part of the machine she should be fixing, and which parts she should be leaving alone. There is a lot that can be improved with this experience.
We believe that most problems run much deeper than the surface level illustrations seen in demonstration use cases today. Without the ability for the expert to gain access to the CAD model, the technician is always going to struggle to understand the issues, and will be unable to fix the problem on site, unaided.
That said, Masters of Pie not only provides collaborative software, we also provide users with access to sharing the live CAD data from the host package through a streaming solution. This gives experts and technicians the ability to see the CAD model, often referred to as a Digital Twin, interact with it, and reveal ‘hidden’ parts deep in the machine that probably are more likely the cause of the problem.
What is a Digital Twin
So, what do we mean by Digital Twin? A Digital Twin is the CAD version of the real-world artefact (machine for example) that the user is interacting with on the shop floor. Having the CAD model available as a reference greatly improves the user experience when trying to diagnose, fix, and maintain machinery. When both the expert and the technician can view the Digital Twin at the same time, it greatly increases comprehension and diagnostic ability, resulting in a faster solving of the problem at hand.
Image copyright Siemens
Above is an example of a digital twin next to the actual real-world object on the factory floor. This deeply embedded solution gives many more opportunities for collaboration between expert and technician.
Remote Expert Assist with Radical
Masters of Pie’s Radical software solution, provides the ability for all participants to interact with Digital Twins on-site, in order to save time, travel and expense and keep downtime to a minimum resulting in greater profits for the manufacturing industry. Keeping diagnostic accuracy high, and knowledge transfer fast and efficient.
In today’s world of Covid-19, it is simply not possible to fly experts on-site to help technicians fix problems with machinery. Even in a post Covid-19 world, it’s still an expensive solution to fly people around, and not a very environmentally sound practice either.
Radical’s collaborative, immersive solutions bring the experts and the data to you, helping to save time, money, and maybe even the planet one click at a time.