At the beginning of 2021, ProNES automation GmbH was facing a corona-related problem. Our team, which usually takes care of the installation and commissioning of our batterieinspektor systems, was not allowed to travel to the USA to install a new system as planned.

The Solution: A U.S.-based third-party contractor, which was supported by the project developers at ProNES, installed the system.

To ensure the smoothest possible installation, ProNES developed a support concept for the installers on site. In addition to detailed assembly instructions, AR glasses were used for this purpose. The glasses enabled the ProNES team to observe and direct the work on site with pinpoint accuracy.

This meant that the system could be commissioned on site without the ProNES specialist team being on site. The positive experience gained from using the glasses led to the development of a practical approach to remote service and support, which has since become an integral part of ProNES’ service offering.

Prerequisites

The first practical test highlighted the numerous advantages of using AR glasses. Among other things, this made it possible to avoid a significant delay in the installation due to corona-related travel restrictions.

At the same time, the practical test also revealed prerequisites that should be met for the successful and smooth use of AR glasses:

  • The service technicians who use the glasses on site must be trained in their use.
  • Wi-Fi or very good cellular reception must be available on site. This is the only way to achieve the required image quality, which is indispensable for online use of the glasses.
  • In addition, the end customer must be informed about the use of the AR glasses with external access so as not to violate data protection and confidentiality or in-house rules.

Possible Applications

Taking into account the aforementioned prerequisites, AR glasses offer a wide range of possibilities to support technicians in their everyday tasks:

  • On-site observation
    – IT service for on-site troubleshooting
    – Support of end customers by the IT service in the event of problems with the hardware that cannot be viewed or assessed with classic remote maintenance
    – IT service support for hardware replacement e.g., laptop battery
  • Inventory
  • Installation of systems
  • Commissioning
  • Troubleshooting
  • Consultation and live inspection and demonstration of the system for the end customer, regardless of the company’s location. This allows the customer to be involved at first hand during the individual construction steps. Identified issues can be discussed and resolved without extensive email communication or frequent travel.

On-Site Observation und Inventory

For an initial offer to develop or optimize a system, it is often advisable to visually record the planned installation site or the critical points of an existing system. With some AR glasses, screenshots can be created for this purpose or video functions can be used to make corresponding recordings. Afterwards, the data can be retrieved from the glasses and stored on the server to make targeted suggestions. In this way, the (local) conditions can be checked again if necessary.

Support

In order to support colleagues or, if necessary, third-party companies on site during system installation, commissioning, maintenance and troubleshooting, AR or MR support can be provided via TeamViewer, where instructions are actively given. The interlocutors can visually clarify their questions or comments by means of markers and arrows or other virtual aids in real space. The specialist team in the office can additionally use screenshots and comments to provide targeted support to the (co-)workers on site. The captured comments and screenshots can then also be used directly for documentation.

If you have any further questions about how the ProNES team and support currently use the capabilities of AR glasses, please feel free to contact our IT team at any time.