AR Applications: Augmented Reality for industrial maintenance

June 24, 2019

The era of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is already here and can be seen in many sectors of work. However, today we want to focus especially on the benefits that this technology can bring in the field of industrial maintenance.

Maintenance is one of the basic pillars of industry and, according to this, Augmented Reality is the technology that can best impact productivity, efficiency and production quality. Therefore, technological development in industry is essential not only to survive, but also to be competitive and even as a way to obtain specific information and resources at the time.

How is Augmented Reality used for industrial maintenance?

There are many applications in the manufacturing sector waiting to be explored by this type of virtual technology. Predictive maintenance, simplified logistics, more efficient product design and development, optimised assembly process scheduling and expert support with data management are just some of them. Ultimately, the various Augmented Reality solutions for industrial maintenance and repair operations focus on being able to offer preventive, corrective and predictive maintenance:

  • Preventive maintenance
    - Operator assembly instructions
    - Service inspection instructions
    - Detailed instructions for unknown procedures
    - Compliance checklists.
  • Corrective maintenance
    - Manual service instructions
    - Remote assistance
  • Predictive maintenance
    - Performance dashboards
    - Access to real-time data: monitoring, control actions, analysis, etc.
Benefits of using Augmented Reality for industrial maintenance
  1. Videoconferencing and remote service with Augmented Reality
    Using Augmented Reality, you can create a specialised experience in the work environment, anytime, anywhere. Whenever a problem arises, you can connect with experts who can help you diagnose the problem and provide a quick and effective solution. This will reduce machine downtime and repair time, ultimately saving you effort and money.

    Even technicians and service personnel no longer need to travel to your machine sites to repair your machines, but can now analyse, diagnose and fix problems remotely, virtually.
  2. Reduced SLA (Service Level Agreement) time
    With Augmented Reality technologies, you will be able to efficiently track each work process. Likewise, you will obtain the necessary information to help you improve your work, and you will be able to share it quickly. In other words, these solutions provide you with a specific and detailed view of your assets and processes.

    Augmented Reality is positioned as a useful resource to simplify the creation, management and control of Service Level Agreements or, in other words, to obtain all the necessary information through this technology and create contracts between service providers and internal or external customers, which are mandatory.
  3. Increased efficiency with Augmented Reality
    aper manuals will soon become obsolete thanks to VR and AR technologies. So you no longer have to search and research to find answers to the most technical questions. With Augmented Reality, the solutions to your problems will literally appear before your eyes.

    Through a digital device (glasses, a head-mounted display (HMD) or a smartphone or tablet), Augmented Reality merges you with machines. The technology recognises the equipment, understands how it works, and then takes action with real-time solutions. And this whole process, of course, directly affects efficiency, increasing the speed and productivity of industrial maintenance processes.
  4. Step by Step Maintenance
    Features such as scene recognition, instant tracking and real-time targeting facilitate the sharing of Augmented Reality experiences between professionals.

    While scene recognition helps workers overcome the challenge of tracking industrial sites and machines, instant tracking allows remote experts to guide workers on site, on the fly. The ability to save and load Augmented Reality experiences with real-time targets can simplify your processes, reduce your efforts and optimise communication.
  5. Increased speed of troubleshooting
    Infrared thermo-graphy is an example. This technology allows you to see electrical systems, mechanical equipment, building applications and fluid systems through the use of thermo-vision.

    And in conjunction with Augmented Reality applications, you can detect faulty connections, abnormal motors, pipe temperatures and tank levels through a device that displays different colours depending on their temperature, allowing you to detect and fix faults more quickly. In addition, using Augmented Reality for these cases also reduces the risk of damage and improves the prevention of occupational hazards.
  6. Easy and visual access to information with Augmented Reality
    Technicians can perform the actual work with the instructions on their handheld devices, enter how long it takes to complete tasks, filter past work orders and close the system. All information is recorded with real-time data, so managers can access the information instantly.

    The ability to track their work, document it and send it to managers can be combined with handheld technology, so engineers get an elevated view of assets through thermal technology or the ability to see instructions on assets and use that data. All of this helps us to train new employees and not have to worry about onboarding.
Other applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the working world

Many companies are achieving optimal results by implementing this type of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality solutions in their companies, and not only for industrial maintenance: most work sectors can already benefit from all the advantages offered by the new VR and AR technologies:

  • Design departments
  • Logistics and warehouse management
  • Architecture
  • Simulation of dangerous situations
  • Museums
  • Cultural heritage
  • Education
  • Advanced information visualisation
  • Product catalogue
  • Training and protocol

As Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies gain momentum, the potential cases will grow in scope and number of opportunities. Industrial maintenance is just one of the areas where new VR and AR applications can and already are making a big impact. It will be exciting to see where the industry goes in terms of Augmented and Virtual Reality adoption in the future. And you, are you ready and willing?

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Do you need more information about any of our solutions or would you like us to assess you on how to integrate Industry 4.0 technologies into your company?

Invelon Technologies company has calculated its carbon footprint with the result of 7.72 Tn of CO₂ through the Sustainability program of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Lleida Chamber of Commerce.