Catch Up To Maintenance 4.0 With Augmented Reality

Originally published for the MAINWARE official blog – May 2020


The modern world lives and dies by precision. The nanometer-level tolerances of precision in manufacturing and fabrication make sure that our fuel flows peacefully, skyscrapers keep standing, and GPS satellites continue their orbit. Machine maintenance has been lagging the transformation of industry 4.0. By relying on non-managed and unmonitored processes and single-point failure models. By relying on awkward 2D paper documentation and the memory and experience of individual maintenance personnel in the field, maintenance workflows are a weak point. With new systems implementing augmented reality in maintenance, these shortfalls can finally catch up to the pace of the fourth industrial revolution.

Maintenance 4.0 – Welcome To The Maintenance Revolution

With the success of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, SMART Maintenance 4.0 is taking its turn to challenge traditional manufacturing and automation paradigms. By leveraging artificial intelligence, remote support, digital documentation, and AR in maintenance, a firm can drastically augment asset reliability in the field.

The old maintenance 1.0 paradigm went something like this: a technician would go into the field and take measurements. The maintenance team would then consult with paper 2D drawings and specs, extrapolating the likely, probable need for maintenance. Following maintenance would be purely depending on the experience and know-how of key employees. Even worse scenario offers problems that can’t fix by preventive maintenance and skilled technician is needed. During the said scheduled maintenance an experienced tech would need to go back to the site, visually examine and assess the state of the components. The process relied on the technician’s knack for seeing potential problems. Parts condition assessment and a replacement was done approximately, probabilistically, without proper data . Not only does this messy process take a long time and burns through unnecessary expenses. This cost comes from unnecessary labor and replacing components at sub-optimal times, either too early, wasting service life and material, or too late, flirting with work stoppage, safety issues, and other potential disasters. 

By incorporating remote, wireless sensors, SMART Maintenance 4.0 brings the data to the technician. The use of AI to analyze the performance data from the sensors allows for precise maintenance decisions impossible with a field technician taking sample measurements and looking over components with the naked eye. By incorporating AR in maintenance, the new workflow allows for 2D and 3D documentation to be superimposed on the actual machine in the field, aiding the technician without having to rely on years of experience and trial-and-error learning. With the potential for remote support, the risk of single-point failures by technicians in the field is reduced even further. 

MAINWARE is one of the leading maintenance 4.0 solutions, created with the answers to hundreds of hours of issues of the discussion by maintenance professionals who found that the old maintenance paradigm just isn’t enough in the world of digitalization. 

This off-the-shelf solution comes with two standard and four PRO modules, providing a comprehensive approach to smart maintenance and allowing for fast production and factory digitization.

Meet Your Factory’s Digital Twin Documentation

One of the key frustrations of maintenance is imprecise or awkward documentation, and the reliance on individual know-how to interpret and work with it. Even with access to modern communications technologies, a set of 2D blueprints just wasn’t very helpful in the field. The Digital Twin module of MAINWARE provides access to digitized form of traditional 2D documentation in the field, as well as 3D models that help put the production line components in perspective. Finally, a powerful augmented reality function  helps real-time knowledge sharing, leading to reliably precise maintenance work without relying on “that one key person” in the process. This ability to facilitate real-time knowledge sharing helps create resilient maintenance processes, a need especially apparent in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. 

This solution allows for faster, more competent management of large facilities and teams. By providing a user-friendly interface and a simple yet powerful tool for data and access management, MAINWARE allows you to see the big picture instantly. The extensive analytics applied to comprehensive service history, containing technician and machine data, you can get powerful insights that help you optimize your entire facility from your laptop.

The ability to feed real-time updates in 2D and 3D documentation to your field techs makes management and in-field maintenance significantly more precise. The 3D inspect mode gives the field tech the ability to examine the smallest machine components interactively, making it easier to explore and execute necessarily tasks. 

Augment Your Maintenance Reality 

Communicating precise information to your field workers is even more reliable with the use of augmented reality. The option of remote support in maintenance multiplies the efficiency of your experts while growing the knowledge of the entire organization.

With a live AR call, the expert can give guidance to the field tech, marking out wrong components, referencing documentation, and updating the knowledge base as needed, all without going on-site. While the field technician learns by working closely with the experts, the expert can be effective in multiple facilities at once, allowing your organization to use their know-how efficiently, without being dependent on their physical presence.

 With or without remote support, the field technician can inspect machines in augmented reality, easily locating components by functionality, checking the documentation, reporting problems, and ordering replacements on the spot. The entire maintenance process loop can be shortened significantly, allowing you to scale production rapidly, without waiting for overhead to catch up.

Invest in Smarter Maintenance

Implementing a SMART Maintenance 4.0 solution in your production or automation facility delivers immediate benefits. The smart service and maintenance can be implemented in your business within a single week 

Your maintenance operations see a 40% rise in efficiency because the manuals are visual and user-friendly. The fast onboarding onto the system and embedded knowledge sharing immediately help your organization become more resilient, reducing the catastrophic impact of losing key staff. A 10% overall service process efficiency increase is typical among MAINWARE customers, who see a return on their investment in starting at  6 months. The off-the-shelf, all-in-one solution can be tailored to your needs because it was made by engineers, partners and clients who struggled with the same issues that you may be experiencing yourself.

Make your maintenance more efficient while making the lives of your maintenance technicians (and the lives of those who manage them) easier. To see exactly how an augmented reality industry 4.0 solution can revolutionize your maintenance workflow, delivering better results while reducing costs download this free guide – Augmented Reality in Maintenance.

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