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New remote tech support solution using live AR overlays

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Tue 7 Sep 21

ABB Electrification's Service business has announced new solutions providing interactive remote support using immersive extended reality. 

With an increasing demand for remote assistance and more interactive customer experiences, the augmented global reality (AR) market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 43.8% between 2021 and 2028. ABB Electrification's Service has released two new solutions, CLOSER and RAISE, using AR technology at the core.

CLOSER enables interactive troubleshooting using step-by-step guides, while RAISE facilitates remotely guided repairs or maintenance support for ABB solutions. Both solutions are available as downloadable applications from Google and Apple stores, and both platforms use augmented reality and overlay the instructions on real equipment to assist customers.

"By giving customers access to the latest immersive technology, we can connect ABB experts to customer issues, wherever they are in the world, re-shaping the way we interact with them and enabling self-learning through first-rate support," says ABB Electrification Business Area, head of service, Stuart Thompson.

"While COVID-19 has compounded the demand for remote assistance, the significant benefits of these digital new solutions are compelling beyond the pandemic."

ABB has supported customers in more than 20 countries using this technology. And according to ABB, CLOSER and RAISE simplify maintenance, reduce downtime, and increase equipment effectiveness by improving repairs' quality and resolution speed. 

The company says RAISE (Remote Assistance for electrical systems) will cut the time, typically between 24 and 72 hours, and the cost involved in visiting a site. It says for business-critical installations such as data centres, replacing physical support could equate to $8 to $24 million in the case of support for an issue that led to an outage. 

CLOSER (Collaborative Operations for electrical systems) provides first level support via operational and troubleshooting guides for ABB's Electrification solutions and products. Customers can access CLOSER 24/7, providing interactive guidance through the different steps of key troubleshooting procedures. 

If further assistance is required, the customer can connect directly with an ABB technical expert through RAISE, allowing ABB experts to use extended reality to remotely guide field operators on their Android or iOS smartphone, tablet, or via smart glasses and other supported wearables. 

In addition to using live on-screen annotations and digital overlays in the engineer's field of vision, RAISE also allows taking pictures and audio and video sharing capability and guidance via live text chat.

David Barragan from SAICA, a European leader in developing and producing recycled paper for corrugated cardboard, says, "We contacted ABB when an Emax breaker was tripping at our site in Zaragoza. Using RAISE, we resolved the issue safely and eliminated travel time by removing the need for a site visit. The speed, agility and functionality of this technology is impressive."
 

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