Challenges for Rail & Transportation
Safety and reliability are crucial for rail operations in freight and passenger transportation. The fast processing of data and information during inspections and maintenance processes is therefore of great importance. Most work processes, however, are still carried out manually and sometimes even on paper – whether it’s inspections in assembly halls, train maintenance or safety checks. In addition, a lot of knowledge is lost due to the retirement of experienced personnel. There is also a lack of digital tools that guide employees step-by-step through processes while documenting specific conditions and states, as well as errors.
Inspect AR offers the right solution for all these challenges. Learn how it works now!
ÖBB & Inspect AR:
Leading rail companies like ÖBB – Austrian Federal Railways use Inspect AR to boost the efficiency of inspection, maintenance and training processes.
More Efficiency In Rail operations Through AR
Maintenance, Inspection & Training with Transportation 4.0
Augmented Reality Technology For Maintenance And Inspection
Inspection & Maintenance
With AR, tracks, rolling stock, signal boxes, bridges and much more can be inspected and maintained more precisely and comprehensibly at any time. In addition, the consistent guidance from inspection point to inspection point via a virtual distance indicator saves time. Unlike paper lists, where the technical inspection of rail vehicles or lubrication schedules are not always self-explanatory, Inspect AR provides direct guidance at the object: instructions at the checkpoint via video or visuals ensure that the individual maintenance steps are completed more efficiently.
Continuous Optimization Of Maintenance Processes
Paper and pencil can stay in the office. 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.
Real-time comparison with the digital checklist also prevents fluctuations in inspection quality, for example due to overlooked, particularly important checkpoints.
Faults on tracks and rolling stock are detected well in advance, which reduces delays in operations. These are documented during on-site maintenance, categorized, and evaluated in real time. By analyzing the error reports over longer periods of time, continuous optimization of maintenance processes is possible.
Digitize Your Inspection Lists In no Time
Getting started with AR in rail operations is as easy as can be: with Inspect AR, you digitize your inspection lists in no time at all using a practical web import function. Simple and visual step-by-step instructions with augmented reality then bring the desired efficiency with increasing quality of inspection and maintenance performance.
Training & Knowledge Transfer
A lot of undocumented knowledge is lost for the company with upcoming retirements. The cost of training new employees increases due to the loss of years of practical experience. With Inspect AR, knowledge not only remains in the company – it is even mapped directly on site at the object.
The training of employees and the transfer of knowledge also become more efficient with AR: Thanks to descriptive 3D visualizations, employees understand complex facts and contexts more quickly and can memorize them better.
All maintenance tasks in rail operations, such as in the workshop, in the warehouse or on the track (for instance switch setting or barrier functions) can be trained with AR. This shortens training time and the effort of training personnel.
Advantages of Inspect AR in the Railway and Transportation Industry
Simple Optimization Of Maintenance Processes
Paper and clipboards are a thing of the past
Create and use digital checklists in an intuitive user interface in the browser or directly in the app.
Fewer mistakes, faster completion
Digital step-by-step instructions and visual checkpoints ensure that employees don’t skip a step and still save time.
Upon confirmation of the inspections, all results are digitally documented in a database. This allows inspectors to record defects directly and report them for fixing via a simple workflow.
If required, on-site employees can also involve experts remotely in their work process, for example via Microsoft Teams or XMReality.
Overview of all processes
Inspections and maintenance of rolling stock, tracks, signal boxes, bridges and much more run in parallel. Faults are reported in real time and documented at the push of a button, including description, image, video, and prioritization. All work reports and data analyses are centrally available in a central data dashboard.
High flexibility and improved training
Technical know-how is conveyed directly on the object via visualizations. This means that even technical non-specialists can go through complex inspection processes step by step. Experts are only consulted for special cases. This saves resources.
The knowledge of employees documented via Inspect AR can be used for training and research.
The Features Of Inspect AR At A Glance
Use Augmented Reality Easily And Flexibly
Inspect AR is cross-platform capable: There is a suitable end device for every area of application. A smartphone or tablet is sufficient for daily routine inspections.
If work is to be done directly on the object or in demanding environments, augmented reality glasses provide perfect support.
Suitable for any level of digitization:
If you want to start with checklists on your smartphone, you can be sure that the software will later run on all future generations of devices. Just like on all high-end data glasses.
Cloud Service Or
With hosting on Azure Cloud, Inspect AR is ready to use immediately – without infrastructure or installation.
To meet increased security requirements, an on-premise installation is of course also possible at any time.
The App Includes
With Inspect AR, inspections are possible even in areas with poor or blocked Internet connections.
If the connection is interrupted, the inspector simply continues working offline. As soon as the Internet connection is available again, the data is loaded into the system.
Use our out-of-the-box interfaces or enterprise connectors to your IT landscape, e.g. the SAP integration and the interface to the Microsoft Power Platform.
This allows you to trigger jobs automatically and return the results for further processing.
To Choose From
Do you have employees in multiple countries? Thanks to the multilingual user interface, you can translate the instructions per language, but you can still evaluate them in a superordinate and language-independent way.
Your employees can use their preferred languages.
Schedule A Call Now!
Let’s talk about how you can use AR in your company. Or let’s make an appointment for a product demonstration right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Need Answers Fast? Find Our FAQ And Answers Bellow.
What is the difference between AR, or augmented reality, VR, or virtual reality, mixed reality, Microsoft HoloLens, and smart glass?
There are many terms associated with augmented reality, but not everyone needs to be able to distinguish between them. With augmented reality (AR), you see the world around you as it is. Additional interactive information is placed in the real environment. It is also called “mixed reality” because the real world and virtual information are visible at the same time. Virtual reality (VR) is a different concept. In VR, the user wears a pair of glasses that is completely closed on all sides. All he or she sees is a virtual environment or a digital world.
The terms see-through, smart glasses and wearable glasses refer to augmented reality data glasses. Microsoft HoloLens are probably the most popular data glasses on the market and are, of course, also compatible with Inspect AR. As mixed reality glasses, they project virtual images, instructions and data into the room and are completely hands-free, i. e. Employees have both hands free during inspections and maintenance work. Moreover, data glasses can even be used with eye tracking and voice control.
RealWear HMT-1 is a pair of data glasses based on the principle of assisted reality glasses which display instructions in the form of a screen in front of the eye and are also fully voice-controlled.
Important: Hardware is necessary for Inspect AR, but it does not always have to be a take the form of data glasses. Smartphones or tablets can also be used. The latest generations of iPhones and iPads deliver very high precision for AR navigation and are a familiar form factor for your employees.
What does Remote Assistance mean in production and manufacturing?
Remote Assistance means that specialists provide direct support to persons working on the machine from a distance (e.g. via video link). It is a genuine innovation that avoids a lot of commuting and waiting times and, thereby, machine downtimes as well.
What happens when production processes are reorganized?
Then you simply adapt checklists and checkpoints to your changed processes – not the other way around. Our mobile app recorder is the fastest way to create templates for new checklists. Due to the spatial mapping, CAD data is not necessary but can certainly be integrated. Or you can create the checklists via Excel importer, API or web interface.
Who is behind Augment IT?
Augment IT is a business unit of the medium-sized Swiss software company Netcetera AG. With 700+ employees in eight offices worldwide, Netcetera supports medium-sized and large companies in their digital transformation into high-tech enterprises. In addition to its core business as a provider of financial software, Netcetera has developed other key areas.
Augment IT is a full-service provider for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality technology (AR technology), and software services relating to augmented reality apps and data glasses. We also gladly implement individual augmented reality applications, VR projects, and AR solutions for our customers. We help companies realize the full potential of this new technology, optimize processes, create new experiences and innovate together. We follow a best-of-breed approach and operate independent of platform and device.
What technology does Augment IT use?
We rely on Microsoft Azure as well as custom-developed apps for iOS, Android, HoloLens and RealWear. These enable high performance, stability and the best possible user experience for your employees.
Hosting on Azure Cloud allows for immediately operable installation. An on-premise installation is, however, also possible without compromising quality. Since the data is transmitted asynchronously and stored locally, Inspect AR does not require a permanent Internet connection – a necessary advantage for use in manufacturing.
In addition to the option of using different data glasses, their use on iOS and Android smartphones or tablets is also possible. The web-based management software runs in the browser on any computer. Inspect AR can be easily integrated into your IT systems over various connectors and the widely used technology platform.
Which data glasses does Augment IT recommend?
Inspect AR is available for Microsoft HoloLens 2, RealWear HMT-1 as well as Google Glass and Vuzix devices.
HoloLens 2 offers the most capabilities with stable 3D navigation over longer distances and ease of use thanks to hand tracking. Based on Windows 10, it also integrates very well into secure corporate networks. The Industrial Edition is even suitable for clean rooms and can be used for short periods in areas with flammable substances. Voice control and eye tracking enable its use with protective suits as well. HoloLens 2 is suitable for indoor use.
RealWear HMT-1 is the most resilient device, and the HMT-1Z1 version is even certified for ATEX protection zone 1 as it meets safety protocols and standards for oil and gas drilling rigs, pipelines, refineries, petrochemical and pharmaceutical plants, and many more areas, ranging from food processing to food processing plants, construction and textile mills. Thanks to the excellent microphone, the data glasses can be controlled with voice commands even at ambient noise levels of up to 85 decibels. The glasses also have a very good camera with an integrated flashlight. They are therefore particularly well suited for outdoor areas.
Which operational purposes can be realized with the Inspect AR Platform?
Many companies ask themselves how they can work faster, smarter and better in the age of digital transformation. Augmented reality plays a key role in digital disruption. In the multiple use cases that AR has generated – digital checklists, remote assistance from experts, digital training or guides, and more – AR is not only changing processes and the way companies operate but also enabling them to become more agile and responsive to changing market conditions. Numerous companies from a wide range of sectors, such as mechanical engineering, life sciences, logistics, transportation, aerospace and defense, etc., have already recognized this and are using it to gain competitive advantages.
In the future, organizations will want to use a robust and secure AR solution that can be employed across multiple application areas, such as onboarding, training, security checks, compliance requirement fulfilment, custom process improvements, inspections, and maintenance. In addition, new features such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will become available to contribute to better forecasts. In the short term, integration with the Internet of Things (IoT) will become an increased topic, e.g. for the live display of sensor data on machines. However, first and foremost, developments in the AR market will essentially: continue.
Inspect AR is also used in the areas of life science and chemistry for plant control and quality assurance as well as for training. Furthermore, in industries such as transport and logistics, augmented reality is very useful because, by using data goggles, both hands remain free for important tasks. This saves a considerable amount of time and additional work steps that would, for example, in maintenance or approving and accepting, cost a lot of money. Many suppliers, including those in the building technology sector, now seek to increase their efficiency with this new technology. We have numerous examples throughout the entire industrial supply chain where our solutions are successfully being used. Contact us!