Augmented Reality enriching the job of a Field Engineer
Theron Williams, a Senior Sales Executive with Kognitiv Spark has shared his knowledge and experience to answer the question.
The benefits are becoming more apparent with the growing interest in AR and technology deployment within the field.
For example, a Field Service Engineer is on site trying to problem-solve a piece of equipment. Equipped with an AR tool, there are two options if they run into an issue:
They can scan a QR code attached to the instrument, which will load service manuals, 3D models, how-to videos (OEM/Internal), etc.
Alternatively, the engineer can ask for a visual support call from a subject matter expert who can be an OEM or internal support.
Hands-on experience is still a factor in creating new skills or gaining experience. The difference now is that companies can give FSEs the support they need when they need it so that they can do their best work.
Augmented Reality (AR) provides the basis for Field Service Engineers (FSEs) to perform tasks correctly the first time, on time, and on every occasion. It is a significant advantage to problem-solve while simultaneously consuming knowledge from an off-site expert who gives visual guidance in real-time or scanning a QR code attached to the instrument, which will load service manuals, 3D models or how-to videos (OEM/Internal).
Humans naturally consume and comprehend knowledge better when delivered hands-on. AR tools shorten time-to-action and troubleshooting when performing a task, inspection, or problem-solving an issue.
Hands-on experience is still a factor in creating new skills or gaining experience; the difference now is that companies can give FSEs the support they need when they need it so that they can do their best work in a highly intuitive and easy-to-understand way.
How AR can improve a field engineer’s work-life balance
If a remote fix is possible, there may not be so much urgency.
Whenever there are complex troubleshooting scenarios, the challenge is bringing the FSE all the information and expertise required to deal with the situation quickly and efficiently. That’s where technology can have a crucial role in supporting them in delivering solutions in complex situations and dynamic environments.
AR tools can also significantly reduce the need to travel by upwards of 70%. This means FSEs are on the road less and spending their free time focused on personal endeavours. This creates positive implications for morale and staff well-being when they may question their relevance in the era of automation.
How will field engineers be more involved with the whole process – for example, development engineers, quality team etc.?
Adopting an AR tool can simplify complex processes. For example:
• factory acceptance
• quality control
Because both customers and engineers can “see what I see.” This opens a new channel for knowledge transfer, and information sharing. It also reduces time to problem solve or collaborate and saves money –a desirable operational goal for most companies.
Augmented Reality tools are designed for collaboration and ease of use, which can be critical to employee satisfaction and retention.