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Troubleshooting and replacing thousands of routers and modems. Overcoming a voltage regulator maintenance challenge. Helping teach construction crew trainees how to face various scenarios they’ll see in the field.
Augmented Reality (AR) – specifically Index AR Solutions’ approach and delivery of AR – is helping industries address those issues and more.
At an invitation-only retreat in mid-November 2017, Index AR brought together a large group of enterprise clients and partners from across the U.S. and Canada to share success stories about how they are unlocking the value of one of the most promising technological advances of our time.
Augmenting People, Not Reality
Officially speaking, AR describes a technology that superimposes a computer-generated 3D image on a user’s view of the real world. The resulting composite view is where true value is created, as use cases for industry – particularly utility companies – show.
While the technology itself is impressive, for forward-thinking companies AR is ultimately about people, and helping workers do their jobs safer, better and faster.
“We don’t augment reality, we augment people,” emphasized Dan Arczynski, President and CEO of Index AR Solutions. Together with teaming partner Newport News Shipbuilding, Index AR has developed and deployed more than 80 AR applications to solve enterprise challenges.
“For us, the people are more important than the technology – because what AR does is more important than what it is,” Arczynski said.
And hearing directly from companies utilizing AR is vital to ensuring the technology is providing the best value.
At the retreat, Arczynski invited clients to share their experiences with Index AR Solutions openly and honestly, and to demonstrate the applications they are utilizing in their fields.
Demonstrations included the following:
Client: Global Engineering and Construction Firm
Challenge: A large construction firm needed to effectively communicate a change in the way they would build large off-shore oil rigs to major clients utilizing something other than a PowerPoint presentation or expensive on-site visit.
Solution: Index created a bi-lingual, interactive, 3D, AR map with views of the world, the region where construction would be taking place and the facility the company would be operating out of.
Client: Defense Contractor
Challenge: A defense contractor and the U.S. Air Force had collected significant maintenance data on one of their aircrafts and its entire fleet and needed to find a way to increase the uptime of these aircraft in a safe and cost-effective manner.
Solution: Index created an app that demonstrates the power of big data visualization, showcasing to leaders the data overlaid on a 3D model of the aircraft to help draw immediate, fact-based conclusions. Ultimately, the application would be made to scale and aircraft mechanics could overlay maintenance information on the aircraft itself, not just the model.
Client: Utility Company
Challenge: A utility company had two voltage regulators fail and consequently lost two separate substations. An analysis of several other regulators showed a high likelihood of other regulators failing in the future. The utility is rate sensitive and chose to maintain the regulators versus replace them. They needed to train people to do tap change and maintenance procedures, capture the best practices, reduce error rates and improve efficiency.
Solution: Index worked closely with lead electricians, capturing their lessons and experience, and created a step-by-step process accessible in an Index AR app on a tablet. The app was given to a qualified electrician that had never done the procedure before but did the tap change and maintenance in two hours and reduced error rates by more than 90% from the traditional use of manuals and paper. This app is also bi-lingual in English and Spanish for ease of use.
Challenge: Utilities typically must roll multiple trucks to inspect, troubleshoot, remove, install, replace and program controllers on multiple different pole mounted voltage regulators and control panels. This particular utility company wanted to provide linesman the approved procedures to perform these tasks on each voltage regulator and control panel variant.
Solution: Index worked closely with the company’s linesmen, engineering experts and supervisors to capture their safest and best practice procedures to use in the step-by-step instructions and details to be highlighted in an app. The app recognizes five different controllers and provides the linesman the appropriate procedure step-by-step overlaid on the pole mounted voltage regulator and control panel.
Client: Energy Company
Challenge: An energy company constructed a new, above-ground manhole for their trainees to train in the different scenarios that they will encounter in the field. They needed a tool to visualize the different scenarios in an empty manhole as well as build out the manhole using AR.
Solution: Index created an AR app that overlays the different scenarios right over the actual manhole. The AR app also allows the trainee to identify the different components and build out various manhole scenarios.
Client: Large Industrial Client
Challenge: A large industrial client with a fleet of trucks needed to enhance their ability to maintain their vehicles on a regular basis. Two of the important maintenance tasks include valve adjustments and brake pad replacements, very complex tasks with hundreds of required and sequenced steps. This industrial client wanted to equip their mechanics with a tool that gave timely information in the context of each step of the maintenance process.
Solution: Index worked with subject matter experts, mechanics and the company’s executive team to identify each step, optimize how each step is communicated and delivered a step-by-step maintenance process in an Index AR app that mechanics use, overlaying the detailed information directly over the actual truck while performing the maintenance.
Client: Telecom Organization
Challenge: A telecom organization had a new requirement to troubleshoot and replace thousands of routers and modems. The company chose to have this task performed by their linesmen rather than a specialty workforce and needed a tool to help the linesman perform this task safely and efficiently.
Solution: Index worked closely with the telecom organization and created an AR app that overlays each step of the task over the actual modems, routers and collectors.
More Index AR Retreats to Come
Retreat attendees commented on the spirit of collaboration and willingness of clients to share their AR implementation experiences with each other, a theme fostered by Index AR leadership.
“We thought it was very important to configure our retreat so that it promoted dialog and information sharing,” Arczynski said.
Based on its tremendous success and positive feedback, Index plans to host two retreats each year, giving existing and prospective clients even more opportunities to sample the growing number of ways Index AR can transform business operations – from worker training, to machinery maintenance, to executive selling and beyond.