The main business areas of Andritz, such as pulp and paper, metals, hydropower and separation, are continuously evolving, and digitalization plays a pivotal role in this transformation. Companies are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs. One such groundbreaking technology is Augmented Reality (AR), which has the potential to revolutionize maintenance, repair, and overhauls in various industries.
Andritz and Augment IT
The international technology group offers a diverse portfolio of products and services for its main industries. Among their offerings is the Metris XR, an advanced digitalization solution that incorporates augmented reality for predictive maintenance and training. To bring this technology to life, Andritz partnered with Augment IT, a company that has vast expertise in digital transformation and the development of innovative XR applications for industry. Together, they have created a state-of-the-art solution that is changing the way how to support customers in the industry.
Remote Assist Workers for Improved Response Times
Sometimes, being able to point directly at a problem makes it much easier to explain, especially when you find yourself on site in a production hall, where time and efficiency are crucial. Metris XR leverages the power of Microsoft HoloLens 2, an advanced mixed-reality device, where workers are able to work “hands-free” while receiving visual information (arrows, text, data, or 3d-models) in their field of view.
When it comes to physical support, waiting for experts to travel on site to solve a problem takes a lot of time and investment. With Metris XR, workers don’t have to wait anymore but can reach out to experts worldwide remotely, just by using the call function in the HoloLens 2. The remote expert connects to the workers field of view and guides him safely through the process just by using interactive 3D-pointers. This efficient problem-solving reduces downtime and boosts machine availability.
Predictive Maintenance – The Power of IoT, Digital Twins and Work Instructions
In addition to remote assistance, HoloLens 2 automatically recognizes equipment, allowing users to access all necessary information directly at the machine, like working steps or critical sensor data. This unleashes new potential for monitoring and training.
In the past, looking for information via clipboards, paper manuals or 2D-plans often caused time and uncertainty, especially for new or untrained personnel. Metris XR displays now all relevant information directly in the field of view, which result in the following benefits:
- Instead of paper checklists, clear, step-by-step visual guidance allows an efficient and accurate task execution.
- By monitoring the data on site in front of the physical object with real-time IoT data, decisions and troubleshoot potential issues are recognized before they escalate.
- When performing maintenance on complex machinery, users can access the equipment’s digital twin through Metris XR. With 3D-data dimensions, distance and complexity of machines are quicker and better understandable than 2D-plans or CAD-Data.
Metris XR Portfolio Overview – The Future of Maintenance
By combining real-world data with virtual elements on site, Metris XR enables maintenance personnel to visualize and interact with their environment in ways never before possible:
- Remote Assistance: Through the Metris XR platform, maintenance teams can collaborate and receive support from remote experts, minimizing the need for on-site visits and reducing response times.
- Predictive Maintenance: Metris XR collects and processes data in real-time, allowing operators to monitor equipment performance and predict potential issues before they become critical. This proactive approach reduces downtime and lowers maintenance costs.
- Enhanced Training: Metris XR’s interactive training modules provide immersive and hands-on experiences, allowing personnel to learn and practice new skills in a safe and controlled environment.
The collaboration between Andritz and Augment IT has resulted in the development of Metris XR, a game-changing solution that is set to revolutionize the industry. By harnessing the power of augmented reality, this innovative technology allows companies to improve their maintenance processes, enhance personnel training, and reduce overall costs. As the industry continues to evolve, digitalization solutions like Metris XR will play an increasingly important role in shaping its future.
We are thrilled with the partnership with Augment IT and the development of Metris XR, a groundbreaking innovation that transforms industrial processes. Incorporating augmented reality has enabled us to enhance our customer support, reduce downtime, and improve machine availability. We are proud to be at the forefront of digitization and excited to see Metris XR’s positive impact on the industry.
Jan Brüggemann, Project Manager R&D @ Andritz