With AR, Caterpillar Machines Rarely Face Downtime

Augmented Reality (AR) has found uses in many areas in the automotive industry. From being used by Ford to design cars to Porsche using it for quality control, AR’s use in the industry keeps growing. It has also found use in vehicle repair and maintenance. Volkswagen’s Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance (MARTA) helps its technicians repair and perform maintenance tasks on a car. Now, think about using AR to maintain industrial equipment in the field. This is what Caterpillar uses AR for.

Caterpillar is known for its industrial equipment all over the world. What if one of its products stop functioning on ground zero? Its technicians always go to the field and carry out maintenance and repair tasks. On the ground, they spend time on their computers to determine a fix for any issues and then carry it out. This latency between determining a fix and carrying it out is what Caterpillar looked to eliminate. Citing this need, back in 2015, it turned to AR for this.

With AR, Caterpillar technicians are given step-by-step directions on performing tasks like replacing an oil filter. It even tells the technician how to locate and access the necessary part. This helps the technicians to maintain Caterpillar’s machines on the field in a short time. Today, they use AR glasses while carrying out maintenance tasks, which also contributes to their safety while in the field. The use of AR glasses helps in documenting critical aspects of a task as a part of a quality check.

AR helps Caterpillar in becoming hardware-independent when it comes to maintaining and fixing its machines. No longer do engineers have to determine a fix and then perform the same as AR eliminates that latency. AR has also helped bridge the experience gap between novice and seasoned technicians on the field, enhancing customer satisfaction in the process.

Caterpillar was able to complete a proof of concept of its AR solution within four months. With AR, Caterpillar has equipped its technicians with a powerful tool to reduce service times and increase machine uptime. With technology, Caterpillar has been able to unlock a new world of possibilities. What’s commendable is that it developed the AR solution it needed all on its own. But you don’t have to take the same route.

At Audax Labs, we have worked with Hitachi to help the company maintain its industrial printers. We used AR (and IoT) for this purpose. It was showcased at Hitachi Next in Las Vegas in September. If you wish to know more about the solution we developed for Hitachi or what we can do for your enterprise in this regard, do get in touch with us on contact@audaxlabs.com.

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