Augmented Reality Platform Expands Remote Field Assistance

Oct. 23, 2019
ABB Ability Remote Insights for service helps customers bring operations back online more quickly with remote expert support and guidance.

ABB, provider of integrated automation offerings, introduces a new augmented reality platform to improve the ability of ABB and its customers to speed response times, extend asset lifecycles and improve production performance, according to the company. ABB introduced Ability Remote Insights for service at the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific EXPO in Singapore. 

Augmented reality is a technology that allows computer-generated information, data, images, video or other content to be overlaid onto the real-world environment through applications on devices such as smartphones, tablets or wearable technology such as Google Glass or Microsoft Hololens smartglasses. ABB Ability Remote Insights for service uses commercially available headsets to assist field service technicians and expand the reach of ABB subject matter experts. The technology enables a field service technician to share his or her view of a situation using the device’s camera and receive guidance directly from an expert through on-screen annotations, chat and document sharing. This improves asset and production availability for customers as maintenance actions can be completed faster, according to ABB.

“With this technology, an ABB expert can guide remote field service personnel through a sequence to replace a part, for instance,” says Michael Kerley, research & development manager for pulp & paper quality control and web imaging systems.  “The high-level remote support technician can see what the local user sees via the AR device and guide them through the service action.” 

In addition to faster service response times, benefits reportedly include reduced training costs, faster ramp-up time and enhanced safety for both ABB and customers.

“There is a clear safety aspect here,” says Kerley. “The technician can focus efforts on the equipment and keep both hands available instead of holding or looking at a paper manual.”

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