Augmented Reality Tools for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of Railways


Railroad punctuality also depends on the duration and quality of inspections and maintenance. Better results can be achieved here with AR. How?

The benefits of Inspect AR for inspection and maintenance in transportation at a glance:

  • Inspectors complete their inspections quickly, safely and without skipping checkpoints.
  • Faster inspections and maintenance minimize downtime and improve train punctuality.
  • Real-time multimedia documentation provides complete traceability and enables preventive maintenance.
  • Hands-free work with AR glasses increases the speed of work and thus accelerates inspection and maintenance processes.
  • Remote support via Microsoft Teams or XMReality brings expert knowledge on site when it is needed. This saves time and travel costs.
Train After
Train Before

Swift repairs and maintenance are the basis for success in the rail sector: The punctuality and safety of freight and passenger rail transport depend on the operational readiness of rolling stock, tracks, signal boxes, and other essential infrastructure.

Greater efficiency in inspection and maintenance processes with better results must therefore be the goal. This requires innovations such as Inspect AR.

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of Railways: The Challenge

Maintenance work on rail networks, equipment, and trains requires exceptional care, precision, and efficiency. The lives of millions of travelers every day depend on the safety and reliability of all components of the rail sector. Moreover, smoothly functioning rail infrastructure is largely responsible for the punctuality of freight and passenger transportation.

Yet, the rail and transport sector is not yet taking full advantage of digitization. Work is often still done with pen and paper: Inspectors fill out worksheets and checklists for inspection, maintenance and repair with a pen. Work instructions may be outdated because they cannot be updated digitally, or they may be unclear if suitable visualizations are missing. If problems arise during maintenance, in the worst-case scenario the right experts are hundreds of kilometers away and must spend a long time traveling to resolve a problem on site.

This is just one example of how rail companies can benefit from digital tools. There are many more. Rail technicians, for example, can properly document and certify the status of freight before it departs. Experienced employees can share their knowledge with younger employees through a digital database, as well as visualizations that make training more efficient. Last: Unlike paper lists, digital apps are weatherproof.

How can Augmented Reality support employees during Inspection and Maintenance?

Whether it’s linear, fixed or rolling stock: Safety and efficiency are critical in the rail business and require effective data collection. The technology to meet these challenges already exists: augmented reality supports employees in the field with visual step-by-step instructions, checkpoints and real-time documentation.

Railroad personnel records data in real time via smartphone, tablet, head-mounted devices (HMDs) or AR glasses, like the HoloLens 2. When using such headsets, hands remain free, so that workers have all information in their field of view, while executing work steps.

Digital work instructions and remote support help identify rail cars, confirm load status, and inspect machinery. Employees move around the rail vehicles and the track bed in all weathers, recording processes and documenting the respective status with images and videos.

Furthermore, augmented reality helps with the induction as well as training and education of new employees. Read now how AR supports the training and knowledge transfer of railroad personnel.

What solution does Augment IT offer for transportation?

Railroad companies around the world rely on augmented reality with Inspect AR. Employees use the software to create traceable documentation and detailed analyses during maintenance. This seamless digital process is faster and less error-prone than classic analog inspection processes. This creates the basis for continuous process improvements.

Digital processes can also be continuously optimized. For example, the focus can also be placed on inspection points that are particularly important. This ensures that no point in the inspection process is forgotten, while saving time and increasing quality.

Thanks to visual instructions, inspections are no longer tied exclusively to certain experts: You can brief new employees more efficiently, reallocate tasks within the team if necessary, and use the gathered digital knowledge to conduct better training.

Migrating inspection lists to our app and setting up the system is done in no time via our web platform. Depending on the working environment, you can use different devices such as smartphones, tablets, HoloLens 2 or RealWear. Inspect AR is therefore platform-agnostic.

Inspect AR also runs completely offline on your own local systems. As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, the app supports multiple languages, enables connectivity to SAP and the integration of remote support, for example via Microsoft Teams or XMReality. If desired, Inspect AR can also be integrated on-premises into the existing IT infrastructure.

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