July 17, 2020 – Producer and marketer of fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity, Total S.A., has announced the commercial deployment of Microsoft Teams on RealWear in the energy industry at its La Porte Polypropylene plant, Texas. Clipped on to a hard hat, RealWear’s augmented reality (AR) device runs voice-enabled Microsoft Teams and allows plant workers to use both hands for complex work procedures while remotely communicating in real time with subject matter experts.
RealWear’s HMT-1Z1 ‘Intrinsically Safe’ device is what Total has opted to deploy at its La Porte site. The HMT-1Z1 is RealWear’s purpose-built for industry solution, and is safe to deploy in explosive areas, combustible zones and hazardous environments, according to the company. Furthermore, the device is PPE compatible, as it is designed to work with standard hard helmets, bump caps and safety glasses, which are more than likely a mandatory piece of equipment for workers at any industrial plant such as La Porte.
Sanjay Jhawar, Co-founder and President, RealWear, commented: “With its high-resolution camera and noise cancellation, RealWear is able to put eyes on the job from anywhere in the world, saving travel costs while keeping everybody safely at a distance”. Jhawar added, “The ability for an expert to connect to the headset remotely, view the scene on live video, examine small details captured in still photos, and speak directly with the operator enables remote teams to assess the situation as it unfolds as though they were actually on the ground themselves.”
By connecting RealWear’s industrial headset to Total’s technical and engineering experts, it has enabled operators at the La Porte site to diagnose operation or maintenance issues and provide solutions in real time. The use of RealWear’s AR technology is expected to help speed up and improve technical assistance to sites such as La Porte, which produces pellets used to manufacture healthcare products such as masks and gowns. The company added that it can also aid the safe response of teams’ in the case of an unplanned event.
“Connecting our field operators to Total’s experts and vendors, down the street or on the other side of the world, is particularly topical at a time when travelling is restricted,” said Eric Duchesne, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Project Division at Total Refining and Chemicals. “But above all, the launch of Microsoft Teams on RealWear at Total’s La Porte site in Texas is another step in our industrial digital transformation. It makes Total’s operations safer and more efficient by executing better decisions faster. It also allows us to improve our operational excellence over the long run, and create the petrochemicals plant of tomorrow.”
“Total’s rapid deployment of Microsoft Teams on RealWear demonstrates the unlimited possibilities of remote collaboration with RealWear and Microsoft during this ‘new normal,’ said Mayank Verma, Global Director, Firstline Device Product Marketing at Microsoft 365. “The solution is fully integrated, and has quickly become a compelling solution for our joint customers – many of whom require uptime and productivity even when logistical challenges seem insurmountable. Now for the first time at Total, experts can quickly share screens with the firstline, and the firstline can snap photos and share issues with knowledge workers no matter where they are. It’s possible to bring an entire plant back online, by making a single hands-free call.”
RealWear announced the integration of Microsoft Teams for its HMT augmented reality line of devices earlier this year, allowing front-line industrial workers to work hands free. For more information on RealWear and the HMT-1Z1, visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: RealWear / YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.