How to leverage the power of augmented reality with EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor

EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor uses software technology called augmented reality to optimise the operation and maintenance of industrial installations. Importantly, it gives operators the ability to superimpose real-time data and virtual objects on to the real-world environment.

Contextualising data in this way empowers the workforce to access and act on relevant information. It helps operators make rapid on-site decisions and avoids unnecessary and costly downtime. Augmented reality also leverages procedures for operations and maintenance to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.

How augmented reality works

Firstly, the operator points a tablet computer at the site or equipment for monitoring.

Using special image comparison techniques, Augmented Operator Advisor matches the visible scene with previously stored photographs of the same scene. When matched, markers called points of interest are overlaid on the live scene visible on the tablet. The operator taps the point of interest markers to display information. This allows the displaying of a wide variety of information, including. Process variables, Values extracted from an SQL database, Documents, instruction sheets or wiring diagrams, Web pages, Videos, Audio, Procedures.

Increased sensory inputs available through IIoT/Industry 4.0 enables the extraction of more useful information from a machine or process. Finding ways to use this this information can also increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve proactive maintenance. EcoStruxure Augmented Operators solves this with added benefits to increase performance of the system and speed maintenance time.

EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor helps users diagnose problems in their machines, allowing them to predict and execute preventive maintenance schedules. Its customer-centric approach also improves machine availability and reduces costs through.

Reduce downtime –By allowing operators to ‘virtually’ open electrical cabinet doors to troubleshoot machine components issues without shutting down operations.

Faster operation and maintenance -Enabling operators in the field to access real-time data, user manuals, instructions, diagrams and more.

Reduce human error –Through the software locating the right equipment and guiding the operators step-by-step through complete maintenance procedures.

Benefits of augmented reality

The augmented reality software combines information for mobile users through an intuitive tablet interface. It superimposes real-time data and virtual objects onto machines, allowing operators fast access to relevant machine and process information. A few of the major benefits include reduced downtime, faster operation, and less human error.

Augmented Operator Advisor reduces downtime by allowing operators to “virtually” open electrical cabinet doors to troubleshoot with machine components without shutting down operations. Operators can also find information with real-time data, resulting in faster operation and maintenance. Finally, the software locates the right equipment and guides operators through complete maintenance procedures, which will reduce human errors.

Simone Gianotti, EcoStruxure Industry business development manager at Schneider Electric, explains. “Control engineers often spend much of their time searching for technical data in software, databases, activity logs, or filing cabinets. However, with EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor, engineers gain instant access to the information they need. This means they can speed up operations, improve proactive maintenance and reduce human errors associated with traditional maintenance procedures”.

With EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, companies can watch and manage machine operations from remote locations. What’s more, this real-time visibility enables increase in productivity, reduction of downtime, and optimised use of expert resources.

Wide range of industries

Augmented Operator Advisor’s interface grants operators access to information for operations and maintenance, including machine history and more. It also allows operators to diagnose issues without getting lockout and provides the opportunity for safe and speedy detection of abnormalities and access to key performance indicators.

Augmented Operator Advisor is suitable for most industries, including infrastructure, minerals and metals, food and beverage, water and wastewater etc. Moreover, Schneider Electric collaborates with customers to identify individual requirements and develop augmented-reality applications for their specific applications.