Virtual factory acceptance testing and remote observation capabilities
Jun 1, 2020
Leveraging SmartGlasses during COVID-19 and beyond
As we endeavor to stem the spread of COVID-19 by limiting interactions with others, many on-site services like factory acceptance testing (FAT) and site observations have gone on hold. Unfortunately, pausing these activities can have negative implications for the overall project, like disrupting the schedule and increasing costs. Additionally, imperfect alternatives can also increase costs, particularly if they do not produce the same outcomes as expert witnessed procedures.
However, new technological tools leveraged with our depth of knowledge has helped us devise a solution that overcomes these barriers. We’re using Remote Assist, a video conferencing technology that works in conjunction with SmartGlasses, wearable augmented reality (AR) technology, to create a witnessing environment while our experts are remote. Given a strong foundation with AR capabilities and Industry 4.0 (otherwise known as digitization or smart factories), we have been able to quickly retool our workflow to these new technologies and approaches.
The virtual witnessing event process
The on-site user, wearing the SmartGlasses, can go hands-free while they move through the environment, projecting their view of instruments, equipment, and more to the rest of the team. The platform is also interactive, allowing the headset wearer to see and talk to the other participants and pull documents into view, while still seeing their environment.
Conduct a Virtual FAT or site observation with our remote experts using Remote Assist with SmartGlasses.
- Hands-free environment, offering interactive collaboration
- Less than 90 minutes from the arrival of the SmartGlasses to running coordination
- 30+ successful virtual witnessed conditions completed to date
Given the sensitive nature of the content seen and information shared in a witnessing activity, platform security is a top priority. We have thoroughly vetted this technology in conjunction with our clients’ and equipment vendors’ security requirements. The SmartGlasses and the Remote Assist platform ensure that the video conference and components brought into the witnessing event stay private and secure.
Our virtual witnessing capabilities
Using the Remote Assist environment, we have successfully facilitated virtual FATs and on-site observations in project conditions more than 30 times. From the arrival of the SmartGlasses on-site, in less than 90 minutes, we can take clients and vendors from setup and training to executing virtual interactions with the project team. As we continue to use this platform with clients, we maintain a lean workflow and efficient execution, helping clients to keep schedule and cost on track.
CRB currently has a pool of headsets, including resources to support our Basel and Stuttgart offices, though we are also adding to our capabilities as demand grows. For now, our team is working to allocate our current SmartGlass + Remote Assist packages to areas of greatest need, understanding schedules, coordinating conditions, and maintaining available resources based on overall project requirements.
Please contact Patrick Sullivan for any questions pertaining to the use of this technology and/or requests to facilitate on a project.