The fourth industrial revolution has seen a rise in edge-based Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, data analytics, and enterprise data systems. Never before have industrial enterprises had access to such density of operational data, nor has this data been of such high fidelity. Its availability offers profound improvements to industrial enterprise operations, and yet one factor critical to operational efficiency is often overlooked: the worker.
Worldwide, millions of men and women in industrial organizations spend up to 70% of their time on non-productive activities each day. They are not idly wasting time, rather they are actively trying to find the right information, waiting for guidance, or attempting to coordinate with other work teams. While this problem is wide-spread, it is particularly prevalent amongst field maintenance and operations support teams in industries with remote assets. This is exacerbated by a high rate of human error; even if a worker is provided with all the information they need, they still make an error 25% of the time. These pervasive issues ultimately lead to unplanned downtime, lost asset productivity, and failed outcomes.
These problems are typically addressed with enhanced training solutions which combine classroom, online self-paced, and on-the-job learning. However, these approaches do not factor in the fundamental issue that enterprise data systems remain disconnected and the field workforce has not been effectively enabled with the latest advances in mobility and analytics. If the workers were to be provided with real-time IoT data, they would be empowered to make immediate decisions that could improve operational efficiency and avoid equipment failures and lengthy periods of unplanned downtime.
However, simply providing mobile solutions to field-based workers which mimic existing data compilations or paper-based solutions is insufficient. The reality is that workers have very limited time to sift through data stores to locate the information they need to be more productive.
What is needed are smarter systems – systems that understand what information workers need and get that information to them when they need it.
The emergence of augmented reality (AR) combined with the ever-increasing computational power of tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices is driving a new era of context-aware computing. The information available from sensors on most mobile devices enable an understanding of a user’s location, their environment, and their physiology.
Context-aware computing enables a new generation of mobile applications that are smarter, more relevant to the end user, and that are designed to determine and deliver the right information and guidance to the right user at the right time, in a format appropriate to the user’s active device.
There is a need among industrial enterprises to adopt technology-based solutions that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of field-based personnel. Advances in AR, mobile technology, and machine learning combined with human ingenuity will lead to higher productivity and safety and reduce the time to proficiency of new employees. To learn more, contact us to receive our white paper: