In remote applications, particularly in mining or oil and gas, machine downtime can be a serious and costly problem. Machines in these instances can cost an operation thousands of dollars when not running even for just a day. So if an expert technician is not on hand, you could waste days waiting for a maintenance team to get to the site.
Enter augmented reality, which more hydraulics manufacturers are exploring to give maintenance and service technicians immediate support from product and application experts. For example, a new augmented reality tool from Bosch Rexroth’s Hägglunds Insight Live service allows users to work with a Bosch Rexroth service expert easily, through the use of a smartphone or a head-mounted camera and headphones. This way, Bosch Rexroth product managers or application engineers can speak directly to members of the on-site maintenance team, allowing them to remotely troubleshoot machine problems.
Using a simple app on a smartphone, tablet or laptop—or a pair of video goggles for a hands-free experience—the on-site technician can show remote experts what they are dealing with. Viewing through the device’s camera, the expert sees what the on-site person sees. Once he or she sees the system, the Rexroth expert can interact via the app, providing tools, images, documents, data sheets, and circuit diagrams right onto the user’s screen. As a result, instructions are both seen and heard by the remote user, so they can take the proper actions to resolve the problems.
Insight Live is part of Hägglunds’ Inside Intelligence, a suite of condition-based tools and services designed to help increase performance of its Hägglunds hydraulic motors and drives. The app works with Android, Windows and iOS. It is for low bandwidth data connections of just 2G, so it suits most remote locations. Rather than waiting for a service expert to arrive at the site, users can directly connect with Hägglunds’ experts and solve the problem, increasing uptime and maximizing productivity.
Eaton Corp. also is starting to investigate the use of augmented reality as it works to better use the data companies are capturing with the Industrial Internet of Things. At IFPE in March, Eaton partnered with The Marsden Group, a global technology company specialized in developing advanced analytics in support of IoT solutions, to demonstrate the applications of augmented reality technology in hydraulic equipment.
In addition to showing the capabilities of Eaton’s CMA Advanced Mobile Valve through the use of Microsoft HoloLens technology, Eaton was eager to show the possibilities the technology enables in network- or IoT-connected electrohydraulic devices, said Paul Brenner, global marketing manager, Eaton’s Hydraulics Group. “Instead of manually checking equipment or sorting through data, we believe the future of hydraulic monitoring will include a combination of telematics and advanced visualization technologies like augmented reality, which will help simplify condition monitoring and identifying service needs.”
For example, Beth Peterson, Global Product Manager Steering Solutions for Eaton Hydraulics Group, said the possibilities are endless with this technology. “This simulation is just an example of what you can do with all the data we’re collecting. If you think about maintaining a fleet of vehicles, you can have someone in your home base and they can pull up the augmented reality and the maintenance guy can go to the machine that’s having a problem, pull it up, and then you can see a dashboard of all of the readings that are coming up on the valve,” she said. “You can see how it’s performing, where there are issues or if there is a spool sticking somewhere. It really can simplify maintenance and troubleshooting.”
Bosch Rexroth Corp.