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The extension of virtual technologies has been witnessed in all areas of society like business, industry, education, healthcare and many more, and has also shown some great results. The plant maintenance section of industries is no way untouched with the newly immersive augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. These virtual technologies have taken the level and methods of maintenance one step further and quite ahead of traditional measures applied in maintenance.
With the dawn of industry 4.0 technologies, automated tools have also come into existence and have become an integral part of the industrial maintenance system. These tools are enabled with virtual technology; predictive maintenance uses data obtained by sensors to facilitate consistent monitoring of the condition of all equipment. The analysis of this data helps the modern day engineers to predict the service time of machinery parts and allows them to intervene the process and repair or replace the part before even the damage occurs.
Role of AR and VR: Devices such as smart glasses, smart phones and headsets have come up as a helping hand for engineers to create a digital representation of the faults and analyse the situation in a much detailed manner and also come with a more practical and cost efficient solution for the same. The augmented reality provides above kind of support whereas, virtual reality settles engineer in the immersive digital environment where with the help of time speed up function the exact time of fault may be depicted and the replacement part can be ordered on time making it available.
Challenges and solutions: As both the AR and VR technologies are in their development and research phase, this emanates the issue of modern day engineers being unfamiliar or partially familiar with tech. It results in lack of skill set to use and in cash the virtual technology. The advanced technologies have already stretched further and will support the engineers in providing better customer experience by explaining them the work with the help of 3D visual. Training the budding and onsite site engineers with augmented reality will be able to tackle the skill shortage issue without even hampering the day to day work of plant. Setting up training rooms enabled with virtual reality will also speed up the learning and improve the complex problem solving skills.
• Prevention of failures by continuous and precise monitoring.
• Scheduled maintenance, saving time, money and resources.
• Innovative maintenance and risk management strategies implementation.
• Unaltered work resulting in higher productivity.
With increase in demand of AR and VR one must look forward to embed the new era virtual technologies in their business model. Industries implementing the tech will be ahead of rest and also will be benefitted with the better customer experience and higher productivity.