ABB is introducing a new augmented-reality platform—ABB Remote Insights—to improve the ability of ABB and its customers to speed response times, extend asset lifecycles, improve production performance and ensure operational excellence.
Augmented reality is a technology that enables computer-generated information, data, images, video or other content to be overlaid onto the real-world environment through applications on devices such as smartphones, tablets or wearable technology such as Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens smartglasses.
ABB Ability Remote Insights for service uses commercially available headsets to assist field-service technicians and expand the reach of ABB subject-matter experts. The technology enables a field-service technician to share his or her view of a situation using the device’s camera, and receive guidance directly from an expert through on-screen annotations, chat, and document sharing, which improves asset and production availability for customers as maintenance actions can be completed faster.
“With this technology, an ABB expert can guide remote field service personnel through a sequence to replace a part, for instance,” said Michael Kerley, ABB research & development manager for pulp & paper quality control and web imaging systems. “The high-level remote support technician can see what the local user sees via the AR device and guide them through the service action.”
In addition to faster service-response times, benefits include reduced training costs, faster ramp-up time and enhanced safety for both ABB and customers, according to Kerley. “There is a clear safety aspect here. The technician can focus efforts on the equipment and keep both hands available, instead of holding or looking at a paper manual.”
ABB reports that it is working with several field-service organizations and industry groups in developing further augmented-reality applications that will provide enhanced service delivery using best-in-class tools, tailored to meet customer needs.