By now, most of us have heard the phrase – “the global pandemic has changed the way we work”. This has proven to be true for all industrial companies, where the changing workplace dynamics, increased safety, and supply chain disruptions have forced companies to rethink how they support their workforce and empower them to perform at high levels of safety, quality, and productivity.
Many companies have shifted and adopted remote work policies to offset travel limitations and ensure safety. Despite the shift to remote work, there are still nearly 2 billion frontline or field workers in the global workforce. Most of these frontline jobs cannot be done remotely, yet these workers still need access to digital information, guidance, training, and support, which was previously given in person.
Bringing Remote Assistance Tools to the Frontline
Unfortunately, typical office videoconferencing and virtual collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams), which are designed for desktop-based knowledge workers, are not always appropriate for the workplace of the frontline – workers on factory floors or healthcare facilities, engineers on oil rigs, or field service technicians out in the field.
Industrial connected worker solutions that include augmented reality (AR) based remote assistance are uniquely suited for the operating environments that frontline workers participate in, and for the mobile and wearable devices they use. These industrial solutions combine live video streaming with augmented reality to create a powerful collaboration tool for frontline teams.
Value Across a Range of Industrial Use Cases
- Remote Support for Direct or Dealer Field Technicians – Remote expert guidance and assistance tools now enable support for service teams, allowing technicians that are on-site to perform maintenance and repair procedures with improved safety, quality and efficiency with the help from virtual subject matter experts.
- Remote Support for Customers – For companies that are unable to offer on-site service technicians, remote assistance tools provide the ability for customers to be more self sufficient and provide an improved level of self-service. Remote assist tools allow customers to connect with subject matter experts to safely and efficiently perform routine service and maintenance routines.
- Remote assistance tools are also being used for internal manufacturing collaboration, where many companies are using remote assistance tools to virtually connect frontline workers in factories with remote subject matter experts (SMEs) to improve troubleshooting and support workers during changeover, maintenance, or other operational processes.
- Manufacturers are also extending remote assistance tools out to OEMs and 3rd party SMEs for remote equipment maintenance, virtual factory and site acceptance tests, and troubleshooting when they are unable to travel onsite.
A Digitally Connected Workforce
Now is the time to consider remote assistance and collaboration solutions, and to begin on your journey towards digitizing and connecting your frontline workforce. In addition, with integrated digital workflows, frontline workers can be guided to independently complete jobs safely and correctly. AI & Human Feedback capture tribal knowledge, while AI is used for continuous improvement efforts. These technologies are proving to be practical and effective ways to close skill gaps and transform training efforts – allowing your frontline workers to work safely and efficiently in today’s new normal.
Learn more about how connected worker solutions that include augmented reality (AR) based remote assistance are uniquely suited for the frontline workforce. Check out our comprehensive guide and checklist of requirements for evaluating and selecting augmented reality (AR) based industrial Remote Assistance solutions.