Plantweb Optics AR
Mobile Augmented Reality Experience
Using Plantweb Optics' Augmented Reality, you can increase productivity, safety, and insight by overlaying digital information on the physical world. Digital technology is changing the way workers accomplish complex tasks by providing critical information to perform specific operations and maintenance repairs.
Tasks can be completed with greater accuracy by digitally connecting the workforce, which reduces interruptions to production. As a result, operational costs decrease, downtime for maintenance and operational tasks is reduced, and worker safety is increased.
This project started as an internal research and development project exploring the possibilities of AR in the field. Using a mobile phone as a starting platform, we started by finding the pain points our users have surrounding plant maintenance and the confusion that can be caused by complex configurations. This involved Gemba walks, a practice of spending time with your user as they demonstrate everyday tasks and show you the way they prefer to complete them.
After understanding the needs of the user, we began creating high-fidelity mockups and coded alpha prototypes. Many of these prototypes started with whiteboard drawings created in group design sessions and finished with functional Adobe XD prototypes.
Once the prototypes were ready for testing, the team went out to the J.J. Pickle Research Plant in Austin, Texas for on-site testing. We followed the plant employees as they used the app to solve common problems in locating pumps, valves, and other equipment. We collected valuable feedback regarding issues with detecting scenes in dark environments, load/lag time, and cluttered screens in extra complex areas of the plant.
After initial testing, the team refined the app based on the feedback, implemented these new features, and improved upon old features. After positive feedback from trail customers, the product was launched and is currently on the market.
Emerson has a rich tradition of innovation. One way this is executed is through quarterly hackathons. My team decided to extend the idea of a mobile AR app to HoloLens, a mixed reality headset. The user would ideally be able to navigate the plant using arrows placed on the floor, locate faulty equipment via popup indicators, and repair problems with step-by-step instructions. We completed this project in 2 days and ultimately won a $5,000 donation toward The Texas Association of Minorities in Engineering (TAME).