Benefits of Remote Assistance Via Smart Glasses
AREA member Iristick outlines four advantages of smart glasses for remote assistance in an article. Remote assistance allows frontline workers and technicians to connect with off-site experts for support and problem-solving. The remote expert and technician can share the same view using smart glasses. It allows for continual operation functioning with a minimal on-site team.
Here are the benefits discussed in the article:
- Speed: real-time feedback leads to minimum machine downtime.
Quick responses to shop floor issues are required in many industries. Using smart glasses, experts can help in real-time by giving advice, zooming in on details, and asking certain tasks of the on-site operator. The real-time aspect of this allow for problem diagnosis, two people working on the same problem, and different solutions to be tried out. This in turn means minimum machine downtime and process delay, and shorter intervention time. As well as faster problem-solving, time is also gained from removing travel, as the expert no longer has to commute.
- Efficiency: improved availability, performance and quality of industrial activities.
A key objective in any manufacturing company is improving productivity, especially those that adhere to strict principles. Smart glasses for remote assistance has been shown to improve business’s performance, availability, and quality rates:
- Performance – Performance rate represents speed losses. Overall productivity is supported by information accessibility, enabling workers to complete tasks correctly first time and efficiently resolve issues. Reducing rework needed has a positive impact on performance; correct machine setup is also vital for production speed.
- Availability – Availability rate represents downtime losses. By using smart glasses for remote assistance, technicians can improve quality and speed of maintenance and repair work. Complex changeovers and setups can be done quicker and with fewer mistakes, which limits the number of adjustments needed.
- Quality rates – Quality rate represents quality losses. Quality defects, complaints, claims, and returns can all result from lack of compliance with work procedures. Digital work instructions support standardised work, which reduced rework by improving first time setups and production activities.
- Health and Safety: having both hands free to focus on the job.
Embedded cameras capture the wearer’s perspective during remote assistance, therefore the expert can share the exact same view. Hands-free operation also allows for greater safety. During complex maintenance tasks, technicians can focus on the job better with available hands and eyes fixed on the job.
- Training and Knowledge Sharing: smart glasses shorten training time.
Due to retirement, a widening skills gap, and economic expansion, manufacturers are facing a skilled worker shortage. The most important positions (e.g. skilled operators, control engineers, technicians) also require the most training. Exacerbated by the pandemic, companies are struggling to train workers quickly enough. Smart glasses enable remote training with shorter training times, and a guarantee of getting work done correctly the first time. Knowledge can also be shared with younger workers or students using the technology.
Remote assistance using smart glasses has many benefits across a range of industries due to its numerous features. These advantages demonstrate the importance of digital transformation for enterprises.