February 24, 2020 – RealWear has recently announced that Italian natural gas utility provider, Italgas, has chosen RealWear’s HMT-1Z1 platform running OverIT’s field services software to support the digital transformation of its operations.
Italgas, which manages approximately 44,000 miles of pipelines and 7.6 million assets, reports that with the RealWear-OverIT field services solution, the utility has moved beyond the consumer tablet and has opted for Real Wear’s purpose-built augmented reality device for restricted zones. According to RealWear, the utility company has already seen productivity gains with its platform by solving complex and risk-sensitive job tasks, even in ATEX Zone 1 restricted zones.
“We’re thrilled that our HMT-1Z1 systems are helping Italgas accelerate its digital transformation efforts, improving safety and reliability,” said Andy Lowery, RealWear’s CEO. “We are committed to delivering intuitive hands-free systems to accelerate knowledge transfer to the next generation of workers.”
Utility field workers performing maintenance work on gas infrastructure frequently encounter potentially hazardous situations that require immediate remote support and visualization of real-time IoT data of specific assets. Beyond just managing work orders, Italgas’s field services crews are required to visualize data and read technical documents while performing manual work.
When posed with the question of how its workers could operate hands-free and benefit from the features of a tablet app while performing manual maintenance tasks, Italgas’ digital innovation department developed the idea of using head-mounted devices (HMDs) and assisted reality. Italgas states that allowing its workers to operate hands free via voice-controlled systems safely resolves complex issues quickly and helps to avoid additional travel or costly service downtime in extremely restricted zones where gases are present.
Currently, the solution enables Italgas’s field workers to reference documents (e.g., technical datasheets, multimedia content and asset history) while using their hands to perform the maintenance on a specific asset. Data collection via voice provides further efficiency, enabling users to update asset information without any manual input.
Italgas’s goal is to increase the number of field workers supported by the solution and expand its functionality. At Italgas, the knowledge gained from long-tenured workers is critical, and capturing their expertise and transferring it to less experienced technicians on the job helps to advance digital transformation for the utility.
Image credit: RealWear