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Immersive technology blurs the line between the digital and physical worlds. It allows for a user to access the complete 360-degree space around them. We are at the forefront of technology adoption at the enterprise level, with the power and utility industries beginning to see the benefits of implementation. We have explored how augmented reality will assist with safety and efficiency in the utility industry– as baby boomers retire and more training is required. However, today we will dive deeper into more use cases for immersive technology in the energy and utility sectors. 

Work Order Management 

Work order management, “ a set of procedures that are designed to process a work order in a timely and efficient manner”, are an integral part of a field technician’s daily routine. By merging immersive technology into the work order management system, the process can be streamlined. Immersive technologies, like Augmented Reality, can guide employees through their work orders in real-time, while they are using a tool or their attention is elsewhere. This process can guide technicians through a step-by-step checklist and even send the information out to managers. 

Inventory Management 

Naveen Joshi, a columnist for Forbes, brings up inventory management as another strong use case for mixed reality in the energy sector. “AR technologies can be used to superimpose digital information on the real world through a smartphone or a tablet. This information is beneficial in situations such as power outages or damage to equipment. The technicians can capture images of damaged equipment using augmented reality.” AR can help the technician figure out what parts need to be repaired and request the right personnel for the issue. Therefore, increasing operational efficiency and improving the overall maintenance process. 

Asset Mapping 

Engineers can see digital overlay above their assets that is followed with instructions and a mapping of asset functionality. Joshi puts it into perspective, “Augmented reality technology can be used to generate 3D models using 2D diagrams of components. 3D models help technicians get a better understanding of the equipment than 2D drawings. The 3D models can also be used to view the internal components of a piece of equipment and explore its inner workings.” Emerging technology, like wayfinding and GIS, can combine with AR and VR to locate and maintain assets. With this simplified and user-friendly approach, crew members can use their time more wisely at work while maintaining success. 

 

Immersive technologies have the ability to be a growth driver in the digital transformation journey for the energy and utilities sector. Workflows will be converted from manual processes to automated and interactive.  We will see how it will be beneficial in a variety of ways and help companies run more effectively. What are your predictions?