Reduce Machine Downtime by 30-70% with AR-Based Remote Assistance

January 30, 2023
Augmented RealityReduce Machine Downtime by 30-70% with AR-Based Remote Assistance

As per Uptime Institute's 2022 survey, the averagecost of downtime was reported to be more than $100,000 for 60% of thecompanies, up from 39% in 2019. About 40% of these organizations had incurredsignificant downtime due to human errors. In fact, 85% of the incidentstranspired and escalated because the staff didn't follow definedworkflows. 


The story isn't much different in the manufacturingspace. Downtime, i.e., the period of unavailability of a machine, disrupts theproduction schedules and, as a consequence, affects the bottom line. A 2021report revealed how large manufacturers were annually losing $1 trillion due tomachine downtime. 


Thus, it only makes sense for companies to investin tools that can improve uptime, empower personnel to proactively take action,and help them stay on track to deliver quality output for the company. It'shere that remote assistance using AR (Augmented Reality) comesinto play. Let's take a closer look at how an AR-enabled remote assistance toolcan help your business reduce machine downtime by 80%. 

1. Proactive Machine Examination

It's unnatural to expect the staff on theproduction floor to have a full grasp of the equipment they operate. More oftenthan not, they are not the ones who supervise the maintenance of thesemachines. Often when the machines break down, field service engineers have totravel to the site to investigate the issues. Meanwhile, production ishampered, and the business suffers notable losses.


The AR-based remote assistance, on the other hand,enables the engineer to remotely inspect the machine and advise the concernedperson through real-time video annotation. AR Genie, forexample, allows the engineer to pinpoint the exact section they are interestedin and outline suggestions with real-time video annotations. Such proactiveinspection and resolution (if it's possible at that very moment) ensure thatproduction is never hindered. 


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2. Reduced Back-and-Forth

What if the issue doesn't get resolved on the firstattempt? Customarily, owing to the complexity of the machine and the number ofmanual actions required to resolve it, factory personnel will often refer theissue back to their own departments. The next time they come across it, theytake up the same issues again. This increases parallelism, resulting in furtherinefficiencies and delays in production.


By looking through the problem using AR Genie, theycan at least narrow down the scope of the problem and prepare an action plan onhow to resolve it. This ensures that subsequent attempts are more fruitful. So,whenever the engineer visits, they'd come equipped with, say, replacement partsbecause they would've already inspected and prioritized the parts that needreplacing.

3. Unprecedented Access to Expertise

At times, field service engineers aren't able topinpoint the exact malfunctioning point - predominantly due to the lack ofexperience working with the concerned equipment. The problem is compounded whenthe people higher up in the structure aren't locally available. 


This is precisely where AR-assisted remote supportfor field services agents can prove immensely viable. Let's assume twoscenarios:


—The field service engineer hasn't visited the siteyet

They examine the machine through AR Genie buthaven't yet been able to pinpoint the exact location of the malfunction. Theycan then share their AR view with their seniors (thanks to video conferencing),who, in turn, can help them decipher the issue through video annotations.


—The field service engineer is on-site

Maybe the field service engineer inspected theproblem through AR Genieremote assistance and visited the site to replace the faultypart. However, they aren't completely sure if their action is the right one.Again, they can then share their AR view with their seniors to get advice basedon what they have seen so far.


In both scenarios, though the person assistingremotely may not be on site, their expertise helps to get work done morequickly, efficiently, and accurately. Of course, this again contributes toreduced back-and-forth.

4. Personnel Training

While it is good to have a skilled andknowledgeable engineer on hand at all times, making sure that every employeeknows exactly what to do in case of an equipment breakdown can also go a longway in ensuring uptime. AR-based training videos help train the entireworkforce on how to take the right action in case of breakdowns while alsomaking sure they don't forget any details.


For example, AR Genie allows companies and fieldservice professionals to create tutorials that can be accessed by workers. Thiscertainly adds an element of quality assurance and clarity to the trained personnel,not to mention that it cuts down on confusion and reinstates some losttime. 


And, in case a new machine is being rolled out tothe production line, AR Genie can help train the employees on how to use it.Companies can roll out an AR-enabled training video to help train the workerson how to use the new equipment. This way, their efficiency and productivitylevels are improved right off the bat.

So, How Much Downtime Can AR Help Reduce?

It's certainly not difficult to imagine how much abusiness would benefit from reducing downtime by just one or two hours in agiven day. Given the fact that many companies are being adversely affected bymachine breakdowns, they can use AR to dramatically lower the incidence ofdowntime in their production lines. 


Let's break this down based a bit.


Total Maintenance Time (without AR-based remoteassistance)

Usually, it takes 24 hours to resolve an issue.This is the time it takes to raise a request ticket, get the senior fieldservice engineer involved, assess the problem, and fix it.


Total Maintenance Time (with AR-based remoteassistance)

On average, remote assistance using AR takes atmost half an hour. This is the time it takes for the staff to connect with aremote engineer on video using AR, describe the issue in detail, get thenecessary advice and directions through real-time annotations, and fix theissue.


In this case, since field service engineers wasteno time resolving the issues, they're able to attend to more cases in aday. 


But what if the issue doesn't resolve on the firstattempt?

As mentioned earlier, at times, field serviceengineers will not be able to resolve issues on the spot. However, with remoteassistance, the amount of time saved increases without doubt, even when theissue isn't resolved immediately. The engineer, who is assisted by AR Genie,can draw up a detailed action plan to be carried out when revisiting the sitefor the next attempt. 

The Bottom Line

Given the fact that machine breakdowns often leadto delayed production, higher costs, and even loss of revenue, it is evidentthat reducing downtime on factory lines can mean a lot for a company's bottomline. Thankfully, AR-based remote assistance can help significantly reducedowntime in factories. 


Interested in learning more about AR Genie? Click here to signup for a live demo with one of our experts today.


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