Augmented Reality (AR) technologies for supporting remote maintenance monitoring operations have been a famous academic research topic for almost 50 years now. There has been some huge progress in the past decade, and there have been a progressive implementation of AR tech in the industrial sector.
Maintenance operations have always been considered one, if not the most expensive and slow process for the industrial sector. Numerous businesses devote a large amount of money and resources towards everything that concerns maintaining equipment.
Alas, in order to meet these needs, there are often not enough specialists in our area compared to the demand.
This results often in forcing your local workforce and expert to execute maintenance on pieces of machineries which are outside of their area of expertise.
Technology such as augmented reality (AR) tech comes to the rescue in such cases.
AR Tech Role In Remote Maintenance Monitoring
AR has already been shown to have an extremely positive impact on the maintenance process.
Thanks to the power of AR we may put all the expertise of a remote specialist located far away directly into the hands of one of our less expert local technicians.
AR instructions may be shown in real-time thanks to the power of AR tech to assist even the newest between your technicians performing local maintenance.
Thanks to a simplified interface, a remote user can create any kind of AR contents and show them in real-time, without the need of having prior knowledge of AR technologies or of the system used in that moment.
That’s the case of the Kiber 3 kit, which has an all-in-one solution that merges both hardware and software in its multi-feature wearable hands-free device capable of empowering your workforce with an hands-free device.
Types Of Remote Maintenance Monitoring Systems
It goes without saying that AR tech is able to provide enormous benefits and improvement in the maintenance process, and that’s why many industries adopted it for their sectors.
A recent study conducted by Palmarini, a PhD in Augmented Reality and Digital Engineering have resulted in an exhaustive review about the state of the art.
He has examined 723 publications where augmented reality and maintenance have been involved, highlighting and selecting the ones with a potential impact, in order to narrow the list to only 30 unique AR maintenance systems.
It resulted in a series of publications which detects six distinct maintenance areas, including:
- mechanical (29%);
- plant (21%);
- aviation (17%);
- consumer technology (17%);
- nuclear (8%);
- remote applications (8%).
These systems can be categorized into two major groups: self-guided systems and expert-guided systems.
First Group: AR Self-Guided Systems
Right now, Self-Guided Systems Self-guided systems are the most popular method of delivering AR maintenance instructions.
These systems are usually composed of a self-contained unit, usually a mobile tablet or some sort of HMD, in order to deliver AR instructions. To perform maintenance, on-site workforce checks the AR device in order to operate steps and execute any repairs shown with the AR overlay.
It results in a reduction of risks during repair and maintenance operations. For instance, repair operations in nuclear power plants have the highest risks. In South Korea, 45% of all human-related accidents in nuclear power plants were the direct cause of an improper maintenance operation.
Self-guided AR systems have reduced those errors consistently, however, maintenance is still unpredictable, and these automated self-guided AR maintenance systems may result in an imperfect scenario (a heavily damaged machinery, missing tools and so on).
That’s why the guidance of a human being is still valuable for a successful maintenance operation.
Second Group: Expert-Guided Systems
Often, your local workforce performing maintenance does not have the required prior experience to perform an optimal repairs.
Because of travel bans and social distancing laws in act all over the world in 2020 , there’s also a significant lack of expertise coming from outside, because bringing on-site experts may not be an option today.
To answer this problem, there are many AR systems, like the ones provided by Kiber, developed to help your local workforce by linking them with remote experts to remotely control and show AR maintenance instructions and set up an optimal remote maintenance monitoring system.