Australia’s TAE Aerospace is trialling augmented reality smart glasses to change the way it maintains complex assets.

The proof of concept is using  technology developed by IFS’s innovation arm, IFS Labs, and TAE Aerospace’s subsidiary, fountx.

IFS Labs has developed an integration between enterprise applications suite IFS Applications and fountx wearable assisted reality technology. The trial lets maintenance technicians visualise software data related to the asset they are servicing on the fountx near-eye display.

This way, technicians can keep their hands free, with no need for printed job sheets or separate computing devices. They can also record HD images from the fountx camera directly into IFS Applications.

Unlike wearable consumer technology, fountx is purpose-built for complex industrial environments, preserving the spatial awareness users need to work safely. It comes in two parts: an operator station, comprising a lightweight near-eye headset and wearable computer; and a touchscreen expert station used off-site. These allow technicians to perform complex maintenance with an expert looking over their shoulder – virtually.

Increasing productivity

“Making information from IFS Applications available through fountx increases our technicians’ productivity and capability, which saves time and money,” said Andrew Sanderson, CEO of TAE Aerospace. “It gives us a whole new way to leverage enterprise data to boost operational efficiency and effectiveness.”

For example, TAE Aerospace is looking to enhance the remote support system for the turbine test cells it develops, builds and supports for its clients. With IFS Applications and fountx, technicians could access information to perform triage, order parts in the field, and upload billing information in real-time as they work.

Laurence Beraldo, general manager of fountx, commented: “Combining enterprise software with fountx multiplies what the system can do. Making it practical and safe to access and capture data in complex industrial environments is a game changer for field service management.”

He added: “Relaying information in real time will drive new thinking around how you expedite the processes you have to follow in a high-quality organisation.”

IFS Labs director, Bas de Vos, commented: “It is very exciting to see how new kinds of augmented reality technology like fountx can revolutionise field service management in industrial environments like aviation and defence. Our collaboration with fountx is yet another example of how integrating smart glasses with enterprise information systems creates a range of new use cases with their own benefits.”

IFS Labs is exploring how to make augmented and mixed reality concepts available to other users of IFS Applications, particularly its customers in the aviation and defence industries. 

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