Semco Maritime tests devices using Augmented Reality to speed up service
Semco Maritime is currently implementing a remote collaboration program to significantly reduce that downtime for all their offshore customers.
The company is testing different devices using Augmented Reality to carry out remote collaboration between offshore service personnel and onshore experts. Today, a service technician is wearing Trimble XR10 – a device that integrates the HoloLens 2 from Microsoft into a hardhat, as he walks around an offshore rig in the North Sea. Meanwhile, from the comfort of the office in Esbjerg, Denmark, the project teams see exactly what the technician sees.
Bjarke Nordsen, Mechanical Engineer at Semco Maritime, says:
“A lot of service and maintenance on our equipment requires special knowledge but doesn’t necessarily take long to perform. Travelling to and from offshore rigs is time consuming and costly, and if we equip the offshore personnel with a HoloLens or a similar device, a large part of these tasks can be carried out by local staff with remote assistance from our experts onshore.”
The expert and the local technician can talk to each other, the expert can see the technician’s field of vision and draw or write in a digital layer that the technician can see on top of the real world through the glasses.
Especially regarding unplanned stops, avoiding the waiting time for just one specialist to arrive is a huge benefit for the customers. But Semco Maritime expects benefits in all parts of the value chain and that is why they are testing all options to implement a full-scale program rather than just shipping AR glasses to customers for online collaboration.
Alexia Jacobsen, Innovation lead at Semco Maritimes, says:
“We are already saving time and money with the participants in our test program – and we have kept operations going through the travel restrictions due to COVID-19. As we grow more experienced and start adding more data in the digital layer, we expect to cut down travelling significantly in every step from product development over commissioning to maintenance.”
In addition to offshore, Semco Maritime has identified FAT (Factory Acceptance Tests) as a main area to benefit from remote collaboration. During COVID-19, Semco Maritime assembled equipment in their Singapore factory, but due to travel restrictions, the FAT could not be carried out, slowing down delivery to the customer. Remote collaboration through Augmented Reality can help overcome this challenge – not only during times of crisis.
Sai Thane Han, Team Lead Commissioning at Semco Maritime, says:
“If you include the lost time and the time spent on coordination, travel expenses are through the roof for some FATs. When we use remote collaboration for FAT, the customer only needs to send one person, and then the rest of their team can join a Teams meeting and guide their colleague to perform the tasks of their expertise. The process will be cheaper, and in most cases, we will be able to ship the finalized equipment sooner.”
An added benefit is that Semco Maritime’s most qualified specialists can serve many more customers, as they can participate in remote assistance meetings all over the world from wherever they are. Remote collaboration is performed through an ordinary Microsoft Teams meeting, which also means that different specialists can participate in the same meeting if more than one field of expertise is needed.
To make the most of remote collaboration using Augmented Reality, Semco Maritime has performed tests with different equipment and digital setups for their solution. They have been assisted by the Danish company Virsabi that delivers Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions to businesses.
Adrian Marcel Rozso says:
“Finding the right equipment and starting to use it is just the first step. To fully utilize this technology for the benefit of our customers, we are also working on defining the right setup for service centers, cloud solutions and future tailored software applications. Working with an experienced partner like Virsabi eases all of those steps.”