Automation IIoT Training Workforce

What is Augmented Reality’s Role in the IIoT Era?

Grant Gerke | October 24, 2018

As pressure on the workforce continues, successful enterprises are looking at ways to integrate augmented reality training and inspection into maintenance routines (Source: Aberdeen Group & PTC)

A new research study, titled, “How Best-in-Class use Augmented Reality for Superior Service Management,” from Aberdeen Group ( and Needham, MA-based PTC ( focuses on current field service challenges and how augmented reality (AR) can help organizations train new hires or maintenance contractors. Currently, many enterprises are wrestling with predictive maintenance pilot projects, or are scaling developments and feeling the effects of a limited workforce.

The new research identifies the effect of more connected machine initiatives and/or technologies in manufacturing.

From the Aberdeen and PTC research:

Notably, AR-powered knowledge sharing is being employed by 25% of Best-in-Class firms. This is largely being accomplished through shared-view communication applications which utilize touchscreen devices. AR shared-view communication apps link pairs or groups of users, enabling off-site experts to see what other technicians see.

In a recent article, Efficient Plant wrote about the success that Italpresse Gauss, Brescia, Italy (, had with AR technology AVEVA’s for its light-metal casting machines. (Cambridge, UK, The AMe, the new Italpresse Gauss service offering, allows operators to point a camera-enabled tablet at a machine part to extract augmented machine and maintenance-related data documentation to diagnose and repair faulty components. The maintenance process can include a tablet for initial diagnostics at the machine and a VR headset used by a remote engineer to help guide the local service team.

The challenge, as mentioned above, is a limited workforce and just getting management to move towards a more significant adoption of predictive maintenance initiatives. The beauty of the Italpresse Gauss service offering is the addition to the “top line” or revenue for management; an action many executives like. However, also, the ability to use the technology to train technicians.

The Italpresse Gauss machine’s augmented data comes from digital twins of the equipment components, created using AVEVA’s solution, Microsoft Visual Studio, DirectX, and Windows’ API. The digital twins of the physical assets allow Italpresse to not only launch a remote asset-management service but also add workforce training to its offering.

Also, AR is an extension of an IIoT foundation as the new research suggests for best-in-class firms:

In many industries, this new strategy also complements existing Internet of Things (IoT) applications. 72% of Best-in-Class organizations already use IoT to capture and share diagnostics data with off-site stakeholders. This represents an enormous opportunity for Augmented Reality to exponentially increase the value of this data for service use.

>> Click here to read “How Best-in-Class Service Companies are Using AR.”





Grant Gerke

Grant Gerke

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