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RealWear: Assisted Reality in Mining Services

The mining industry has always been known for its complex and hazardous working conditions. As a result, investments in technology for the mining sector are carefully considered, with a focus on both effectiveness and intrinsic safety.

One major challenge in this regard is that mining companies often rely on third-party providers known as METS (Mining Equipment, Technology, and Services) to develop new technologies instead of developing them in-house. When it comes to METS companies, the most impactful area for innovation lies in service delivery.

Service delivery encompasses the delivery, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of METS products. This is where various technologies, such as Assisted Reality (aR), can add value to the operations of METS companies. Assisted Reality has the potential to bring significant benefits to multiple aspects of a METS operation, as identified in a study conducted by RealWear and ABI Research in 2022. Let's explore these key use cases from the perspective of a METS provider.

Remote Expert Assistance

The mining industry faces a shortage of subject-matter experts (SMEs) who are not only aging but also overworked. Implementing an Assisted Reality solution like RealWear Navigator 500 Series allows experts to be virtually present anywhere in the world, providing instant point-of-view access to on-site operations. This saves both METS and mining companies valuable time and money by reducing travel costs and minimizing downtime.

Access to remote expert assistance has significant implications for service delivery. METS providers no longer need to send SMEs to every installation or troubleshooting callout. Instead, frontline technicians can receive on-demand assistance, with SMEs gaining an on-site perspective directly from the technicians.

Knowledge Capture and Learning Support

With an aging workforce and increasing technical complexity, knowledge capture is crucial for METS providers looking to scale with the expanding mining sector. Capturing the expertise and experience of retiring SMEs allows METS companies to deliver exceptional services to mining customers.

By using a Knowledge Management system (KMS) in conjunction with RealWear devices, METS companies can create a library of proprietary knowledge accessible to their frontline workforce. This knowledge can be recorded on-site and accessed anywhere, even in remote and offline locations. It significantly improves operational efficiency, reduces the risk of errors, and empowers workers with up-to-date information and guidance.

Just-in-Time Learning

Assisted Reality enables real-time visual guidance and support, enhancing workers' ability to complete tasks safely and efficiently. Visual learning has been proven to be more effective than traditional classroom-based learning. By providing real-time, visual learning on-site, workers can associate learning with real-world scenarios, improving retention and recall.

Just-in-time learning eliminates the need for extensive pre-site training for new employees and allows workers to acquire or enhance skills as situations demand. With RealWear devices, frontline workers have immediate access to the full support of their organization, right in their eyepiece.

Offsite Inspection

Regular inspections of mining equipment and infrastructure, often in remote and high-risk locations, pose logistical challenges. However, Assisted Reality technology enables remote inspections without the need for physical presence on-site. This reduces travel costs, improves inspection efficiency, and increases equipment uptime, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction. It also opens up opportunities for new revenue streams, such as offsite consultation packages.

Assisted Reality is not a distant future for the mining sector—it is happening right now. Companies like RealWear are revolutionizing the industry, making it safer and more efficient than ever before.

Embracing technologies like Assisted Reality allows METS providers to transform their service delivery, empowering workers, capturing invaluable knowledge, and optimizing operations. By leveraging the power of innovation, the mining sector can overcome its challenges and thrive in the modern era.

Source: RealWear

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