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WG D2.49

21 November 2018

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is a trend technology with many applications for domestic consumers.

There are several technologies and tools that may help to improve significantly the maintenance sector. Condition monitoring tools, in conjunction with Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) help to prevent malfunctions and to diagnose their cause.

During an intervention a technician may be supported by checklists, technical handbooks or tools that simulate equipment on a virtual environment to avoid mistakes and showing how to proceed according to operation and maintenance procedures. However, technicians have to visualize instructions on specific media and identify target components on the real environment. With Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) instructions may be given automatically over the real scenario and the technician’s focus is kept on the equipment. An AR/VR system must be also interactive, which means that the technicians can request more information about components and procedures, and fill reports through an intuitive human-machine interface that can be achieved through gestures or speech recognition. Nowadays, AR/VR is a trend on the consumer market, but for the industrial sector, mainly maintenance sector, there is a high demand and expectation, due to the requirements and failing costs on those sectors. AR/VR could provide added value for operation and maintenance personnel in high-risk situations – for example, being able to tell if a piece of equipment is under high voltage or high temperature.

Companies worldwide are facing the issue of an ageing workforce. At the same time, high voltage assets remain active in a longer time than their expected useful life. These two elements may be a dangerous combination for the reliability of the grid, if the knowledge on how to operate and maintain those assets is not transferred to a new generation of professionals. AR/VR can be of great help in that aspect, by registering those procedures in electronic devices and making them available to new technicians for simulation and training purposes.

AR/VR can be experienced directly by using an image projector that projects virtual features over the real environment or by an optical see-through head-mounted display, where virtual parts are shown on translucent screens. Alternatively, indirect methods reproduce not only the virtual features but also the real environment on screens, as is the case of tablets, smartphones, computer monitors and video see-through head-mounted displays – usually used for virtual reality.

This can be achieved by delivering text and image-based content to workers performing manual tasks and access to real-time remote assistance from experts on a wearable or handheld device.

 

Tags : Augmented Reality

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