Industrial manufacturers are constantly trying to evolve the products and the services they offer to enhance the customer experience and differentiate themselves in highly competitive markets. In industrial environments, after-market service takes a reactive approach to supporting many of these process‑critical products. When unplanned downtime occurs, maintenance and repairs are time-consuming and expensive—especially when an expert service technician needs to be brought in.
Innovative technologies like IoT and mixed reality (MR) are transforming how manufacturers monitor and service their smart, connected products. Industrial organizations can provide more value to their customers by capitalizing on the immersive, hands-free capabilities of MR to deliver actionable product insights in a more consumable and direct way.
Industrial IoT data enables manufacturers to monitor the condition of their smart, connected products so they can accurately predict optimal maintenance and service times that will have the least impact on operations.
Cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure give manufacturers the speed, scalability, and security they need to deliver these critical IoT insights. Industrial IoT solutions like ThingWorx use machine learning to turn cloud-managed product data into insights. These insights, in turn, help customers improve product efficiency and avoid downtime.
IoT-driven predictive maintenance can help industrial companies streamline service schedules, but keeping equipment up and running also requires accurate, easy-to-consume service information. Frequently outdated service manuals, a lack of technician/operator expertise, and global scale make this a common pain point in the industrial world.
Augmented and mixed reality solutions that incorporate 3D models and IoT data allow manufacturers to create AR and MR experiences that overlay detailed step-by-step work instructions onto a physical product. Using industry-leading, hands-free devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens, customers can leverage MR technology to empower workers and improve their manufacturing, service, and training processes.
With mixed reality, equipment operators have critical information such as the operating conditions and performance of the equipment at their fingertips. Predictive alerts, rapid parts identification and easy-to-follow repair sequences enable them to directly service products without having to wait for an expert to come on-site.
If you’d like to learn more about how a global industrial engineering business is using mixed reality and IoT data to enhance their customers’ experience, read this case study.