There has never been a technological revolution like the one redefining the interactions between manufacturers and the companies that build the machines they use till now. One of the key advances that has prompted this change is the way in which connected machines use Internet of Things (IoT) to connect factory operations on the plant floor to the machine builders that created them.
One of the biggest problems faced by manufacturers in downtime due to machine breakdown. Fixing machines in the field is not only a time consuming business, it also expensive in terms of operational cost and ensuring qualified technicians are available to deal with the issue immediately. Customer satisfaction can be affected with poor maintenance service affecting future sales. In sectors such as Oil & Gas and Mining, the on-site inspection is more challenging due to physical and geographical restrictions.
Leveraging AR and connected solutions
Digital connectivity has enabled manufacturers to deal with this problem effectively and turn it into a profitable business model. With the new wave of shared data, manufacturers are now able to analyze operations and even spot problems before they occur thereby reducing down time for maintenance activities. And even if there are any issues, both parties can work together to identify the source of the problem and repair it effectively.
With IoT technology, issues can be resolved remotely with minimal human intervention. This leads to cost and time savings. It also allows for planning of machine maintenance with minimal downtime.
Some of the ways in which such collaboration tools can be used are:
- High definition cameras to allow technical experts to view and resolve problems remotely.
- Mobile messaging features to alert personnel of potential problems in real time
- Documentation and archives of troubleshooting tips made available to all staff to allow for quicker resolution.
- Ensure high levels of security due to minimal human intervention in critical processes.
- Engineers can use 3D virtual models as holograms and interact with technical experts to identify problem areas to resolve.
- Employee training is also more effective and eliminates the need for practical experience with this approach.
In case of the Oil & Gas and Mining industries, AR provides great benefits as well. It can scan machines and provide a precise location of the malfunctioning part and instructions on how to fix it. While mining, visual guidance features built into the machine enable precise and efficient drilling. Workers in the field can be connected with AR headsets that allow them to be connected to real time assistance and guidance to deal with any issues immediately.
While this technology is still in its nascent stage it stands to revolutionize the current manufacturing landscape. Get connected to solutions that will work for you and take your business to the next level.
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