The Handyman and The Gentleman – AR #1 – Getting Work Done

Imagine you’re a Field Technician, sent out to a customer to perform scheduled customer maintenance. Normally this would be your colleague attending, but your covering their jobs today.
But when you arrive on site, there is a problem. You specialise in one type of engine model and though you know your way around engines in general, this customer has an unfamiliar version. The problem is simple, but you are not sure how to approach it.

A common issue for many – Engineers, Safety Inspectors and Field Service Technicians.

At this stage you could call your colleague and ask them to talk you through the process, not ideal and not guaranteed to work , or you could apologise and arrange for a return visit, which leads to understandable customer frustration and possible cancellation of contract.

But what if you could simply download an Augmented Reality application on your phone that allows your colleague to empower you with his knowledge, as you actually fix the problem – in real time?

The recent changes to travel, social distancing and home working have had a major impact on both working and home life for us all. From going out to buy food, to allowing tradesman into your home – The rules have changed for us all, and we have all had to adapt and adopt.

One area that has had a noticeable impact on us all, is the inability for services and organisations to deliver their actual service into customer environments. Global organisations can no longer just send out the experts to solve an onsite problem, and the smaller enterprise or even self-employed tradesman have had to find new solutions to overcome restrictions to onsite tasks.

For any business, a team member calling in sick creates issues at any time. But at this time, and for the foreseeable future the impact on those providing an onsite specialist service has caused a serious rethink and change in the way they can deliver their service.

One solution is of course multi-skillling a team to be able to adopt and be flexible to meet a clients needs. But this is time consuming, costly and not always will these new skills be utilised – justifiable on health and safety, but for most not sustainable for routine services.

But by utilising applications such as PTC Vuforia Chalk, organisations of all sizes can be flexible to meet the short term needs of current restrictions, and save time and money in the long term. For all organisation of any size this also needs to be achievable without cutting corners and compromising safety – Vuforia does not compromise on these values. In fact, by removing the need to send a team member out on site, the positive impacts on health and safety for many remote based industries are clear.

The ability for your colleague to use Vuforia to talk you through what they can see, and in turn show you what you need to look for, change and manage by simple annotations, allows successful completion whilst also saving time and costs – all on the job.

These positive benefits can be noticed immediately, and will continue to benefit well beyond any temporary disruptions that facilitated their adoption.

Where onsite training would be more beneficial, the ability to empower numerous individuals remotely has great impact on the need and the costs associated to both travel and accommodation. Less down time to ‘stop and show’ as the ability to ‘work and empower’ reduces the need to pause.

Your colleague can train you whilst he is not far away, a safety expert can talk an engineer through a safety check whilst on the other side of the world ensuring expertise can be delivered globally and directly to customers. This enables you to continue to meet the needs of your customers and ensure their loyalty to you and the future of the mutual relationship.

Vuforia Chalk can help you achieve this, without the need to train teams or adopt large systems. This not only reduces costs and time, but also helps in the practical adoption as users of course come from different backgrounds and user abilities. Warehouse workers, medical response teams, gas engineers – all have different levels of technical abilities and expectations and Vuforia Chalk is simple yet beneficial enough to assist all equally.

It is one thing to have the technology, it is another to get teams to adapt and adopt. Adoption itself can be a scary concept as ‘what you know’ is replaced with a new way. Vuforia is simple enough to use, that all can feel equally confident in their own abilities to adapt to using it. Confidence in the technology is key, and the noticeable benefits of using it, combined with its easy interface will have teams adopting it – and using it without resistance.

So regardless of whether you are an engineer, a field Technician or safety inspector – Vuforia Chalk enables you to maintain and continue to build a loyal customer base utilising state of the art customer service, delivered via simple and available technology.

To see how easy this really is, why not watch my latest video where my colleagues guide me in real-time on how to maintain water hygiene in a Spa Bath by cleaning the filter cartridge allowing the filtration system run sufficiently, something I am not an expert on –  whilst utilising Vuforia Chalk  – Click Here.

Alternatively why not contact us to see how we can help your business.



PS You might also want to see my webinar series

Augmented Reality Automation: Transforming organisations and delivering value!

Click here for details and you can also download the series guide here

Ambulansproduktion and PDSVISION continue their joint journey!

Ambulansproduktion develops the markets most innovative and robust ambulances. These ambulances create safety for staff and patients; among other things, the emergency and intensive care work can be initiated and performed already within the vehicle.

To ensure that their fleet of ambulances is continuously evolving, Ambulansproduktion maintains a close dialogue with ambulance staff, station staff and operations managers. Modern technology and new smart solutions help Ambulansproduktion stay at the forefront when it comes to the working environment and safety.

The collaboration with PDSVISION continues. It is one piece of the puzzle to help Ambulansproduktion stay in the forefront and improve their products and solutions. The CAD tool PTC Creo and lifecycle management solution PTC Windchill contribute to effective design work and structured product data, providing quality, innovation and also happiness. Working with Ambulansproduktion is something we at PDSVISION do value a lot and we are looking forward to continuing this joint journey resulting in “state of the art” ambulances that make the job safer and easier for medical staff and increase the chance of successful and good treatment for the patient.


Leaving Information Island

Democratizing information is a cornerstone for a successful Digital Transformation

In projects that aim to improve the information workflows at product development companies I like to start by mapping out the current sources of information and the processes that work in-between them on a whiteboard. It gives context and a greater understanding of organizational needs and challenges. In most cases the whiteboard turns into a map that overlooks an archipelago of information islands.

Those islands have been shaped by years and years of demands of information-sharing between systems, departments and people. In most cases the customer is aware of its weaknesses and that a more thought-through solution could replace it – “but it works for now”.

Nothing is static

Companies need to start challenge and evaluate their processes. The phrase “this is how we’ve always done it” has served them well, but just doesn’t cut it anymore. I firmly believe this is a do or die type of situation for many companies, where the ones that evaluate their processes and start to transform over the next years will be the ones that survive.

As development gets more challenging, with complex products and more launch dates on a lower budget, employees must receive the correct information at the right time. This can only be effectively done by collaboration during the product’s full lifecycle. Collaboration between departments, systems and processes will help to eliminate non-value adding activities and keep development costs down, all this while also increasing productivity and improve quality. To be at the forefront in any industry, now perhaps more than ever, you need to make an effort where it matters.

Challenging times

Manufacturing companies face challenging times. Apart from the ongoing crisis and the possible aftermath it could cause, there is also the inevitable fact of the aging workforce. Many have been with the company for a long time and know all of its processes in detail. They helped shape the information islands and they inhabit them. Great parts of that information could very well be lost as this aging workforce walk out the door, leaving for a well-deserved retirement in a few years. Their knowledge can simply not be taught in university classes, online training’s or in YouTube tutorials.

New people need to be employed and trained from the ground up. However, this is a new generation of workers that in general are individualists. They won’t stay with a company for decades like many of the current employees have. They need to be constantly challenged to stay interested and they will challenge their employee in their methods of working. When they inherit the knowledge from their more experienced colleagues, they might as well be on their way to new exciting adventures at other companies and you would have to start all over again.

The ageing workforce and information islands are two examples of challenges where digital transformation will play a vital part in the solution.

In my experience, the customers with the most successful digital transformation journeys are the once that have tread softly. They have moved with small but dedicated steps towards their goals, which has given them a more in-depth knowledge of how their company act and work, and the opportunities that digital tools have to offer. The insights often result in the journey changing its course and it’s easier to make decision changes to a set of small projects rather than a huge one. By treading softly and including people in the process, there is also a better chance of the employees embracing the new ways of working.

Leaving the island

So how do you start? My advice is to leave these information islands. Any digitalization journey will require you to have control over your data and eliminating isolated information is a necessary first step. It will improve not only the quality of your data but also the quality of products and services. It will lower the time spent on non-value-adding activities, secure information as the aging workforce retires, and attract new talents with modern ways of working. This results not only in a quick return of investment but also an excellent start for your digital transformation journey.

For a continued read, I would suggest this article (in Swedish) by Aleksander Patz on PLM, Product Lifecycle Management, a tool that has gotten a renaissance in this era of digitization.

How is this put into practice? Take a look at how JBT, Axis or EdiLog have approached these issues.

Best regards
Nils Persson