Augmented reality for maintenance

During the last months we all have been affected by Covid-19. In Italy the situation has become very critical in some periods. Two lockdowns have been imposed by government: the first one in the spring’s month and the second since early November, which is currently underway. As concern the carrying out a normal work activity, the most obvious problem was the restrictions on moving and the well-founded distrust that people might have about meeting unknown people.

As Termogamma, we usually serve an all-inclusive package for all installed plants, which also includes the maintenance part and all the services for plant’s life. In order to develop a long-term relationship of trust between the costumer and our company, we consider the costumer care to be a key element. Our client is never alone in dealing with any unforeseen events, since he can always rely on our active participation and our speed of intervention. This is our philosophy.

As soon as the pandemic broke out, we have faced this challenge: to keep our maintenance system efficient despite the virus. In march we realized that the trend that was expected for the months to come, and which would probably continue in the years to come, will be the remote connection. In fact, all the institutions have moved in this direction. As a proof we can think about work from home or the distance learning of schools and universities. Owing to these facts we have come to conclusion that using the remote connection for maintenance is possible, but how?

Augmented Reality (AR) has come to help. Hence, we closed an agreement with an American company to purchase several devices that would allow our operators and external on-site operators to connect with our expert maintainer to sort almost any kind of problems out in a guided, fast and remote mode. The months just passed have been a testing period for us, during which we have tried this technology in our test room, simulating some real operations. 

How does AR work? 

The device shown above in the picture is the one that allows us to use this technology for the purposes of the service we provide to our customers. An employee located at the plant installation site (with minimal mechanical skills) can wear the visor and connect with one of our experts. We guarantee, indeed, the presence of one of our maintainers, with more than 20 years of experience in the field, at the headquarters. Thus, everything the operator sees at the installation site is seen by the expert in real time. Thanks to the ability to stop the image, take screenshot and share data sheets, the technician is guided in solving problems and, in some cases, in regular maintenance tasks. This allows us to be able to intervene quickly even in places where it would take many hours to get there, saving us time and resources. 

We always try to turn a problem into one of our strengths in Termogamma. Although this is not always feasible, AR will certainly remain present and available to our customers even after the end of the pandemic, which we hope will happen as soon as possible.