Plantweb Adds AR
Gary Parr | June 18, 2020
Analytics and live remote assistance will improve maintenance efficiency, advance reliability, and increase safety.
Emerson, St. Louis, is adding an augmented reality (AR) component to its Plantweb Optics asset-performance platform. The component will be part of the Plantweb 1.6 launch in the July/August timeframe. AR will deliver enhanced access to real-time diagnostics and analytics and provide live remote assistance to industrial plant workers responsible for maintaining and optimizing assets. With AR technology integrated into Plantweb Optics, enterprises can compensate for skilled-worker shortages and reduce SME travel while improving productivity, collaboration, and operational performance.
Emerson’s Plantweb Optics asset-performance platforms uses augmented reality (AR) to improve the effectiveness and productivity of field technicians. Using AR, technicians can easily locate assets and access real-time asset health data when in the field. Live remote assistance enhances collaboration and troubleshooting by connecting technicians with experts through AR. When the work is complete, a knowledge library stores records for future use by all engineers at the site.
The AR and virtual-reality market is projected to grow annually at 40% from 2017 through 2025, according to multiple research reports. Much of this spending will come from manufacturers using AR technology to help upskill their workforce for digitalized operations.
“Successful digital-transformation programs that lead to Top Quartile performance have people and work practices as a key focus. Adopting innovative technology such as augmented reality and institutionalizing best practices enable workers to add more value than ever to operational and business performance,” said Stuart Harris, group president for Emerson’s digital-transformation business. “With these new Plantweb Optics technologies, customers can experience significant improvements in equipment reliability and the safety of their facilities.”
Unlike standalone AR solutions that require custom engineering, the technology is integrated into Plantweb Optics, providing immediate access to a wealth of data that translates into easier, less costly implementation and a faster return on investment. For use by manufacturers in the life sciences, food and beverage, chemical, metals and mining, power and water, pulp and paper, and energy industries, Plantweb Optics is part of Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem of technologies, software, and services. For more information on Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, visit Emerson.com/Plantweb.
AR for Plantweb Optics transforms the way field technicians accomplish complex tasks through enhanced situational awareness, live remote assistance, and analytics delivered in context of the plant. As a field technician walks an industrial plant with a mobile device (apps are available for IOS and Android platforms), the system uses spatial-computing technology to map assets and provide technicians with critical maintenance information relevant to their location. Plantweb Optics overlays real-time analytics, equipment health status, and technical-support documentation on the technician field of view, simplifying the process of safely and quickly resolving issues. The system is designed to allow effective communication, even where signal strength is very poor.
With live remote assistance, field technicians can be virtually shadowed by experts, either on-site or off-site, from Emerson, their own company, or another service provider. Experts can talk, type, or augment the technician’s mobile display with graphics to guide the next action. Live remote assistance enables technicians and experts to collaborate for safe troubleshooting and repairs, regardless of location and without travel costs. Live remote-assistance sessions, best practices, and notes from experienced engineers, along with step-by-step troubleshooting procedures, can be logged into a knowledge library for use by all engineers at a site. The knowledge library is a resource for companies to standardize procedures and ensure engineers at all experience levels understand an asset’s history and are using best practices for safe, efficient operations.