Howden is re-launching its remote assistance augmented reality services with the introduction to Howden Virtual Expert; a digital tool to enable real-time collaboration between customers and product experts.
Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, which allow the blending of the digital and physical worlds, have long been a part of Howden’s way of working, letting them train and communicate effectively with engineers in the field, as well as connecting directly with customers.
Having been one of the earlier industrial adopters of HoloLens AR headsets, Howden has been pioneering industrial AR since 2018. They are all too familiar with the benefits of AR in the manufacturing and service industries and during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, AR was a lifeline. Developing AR training tools allowed them to continue to train global engineering and field service teams and resolve customer problems, even when travel was impossible.
4 years later and after a whirlwind experience deploying new AR services during the pandemic, Howden are now more convinced than ever of the benefits of Augmented Reality. They are expanding the Remote Assistance services to include the Howden Virtual Expert digital tool. Powered by PTC’s Vuforia Chalk software, Howden Virtual Expert connects customers to Howden experts anywhere in the world, offering flexible solutions to suit individual customer needs.
This remote assistance tool enables Howden to respond faster to queries, reduce the cost of maintenance, and lower the environmental impact by limiting the amount of travel required.
AR tools resolve several problems for Howden. Firstly to evaluate issues remotely, allowing maintenance engineers to assess the situation – in some cases this can avoid the need to send an engineer into the field altogether, or at least ensure technicians are fully prepared to resolve the issue before they arrive on-site. Another key application is troubleshooting maintenance tasks and guiding customers to resolve minor problems themselves. Finally, if a field service engineer encounters something unusual on-site, they can get in touch with a product expert right away to get the most accurate information to allow them to complete the job.
Howden is fully committed to AR technologies and is confident that the launch of Howden Virtual Expert will signal a new era of digitally-assisted maintenance in the world of rotating equipment.
Find out more about Howden Virtual Expert