Planning Maintenance with Mobile Augmented Reality

Aegex10 IS Tablets + Virtualware Solutions

The Challenge

Proper maintenance and inspection are paramount in the electrical utility industry. A majority of underground electrical systems are classified as hazardous locations where highly combustible materials are present. Maintenance operators and inspectors must use equipment that is certified as ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 safe, because non-certified equipment could cause a spark that could potentially ignite an explosion. Many maintenance crews still use pen and paper to document conditions in the field sites then spend additional time and effort entering data into digital systems, increasing the chance of errors in data capture and reporting.

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The Solution

A great solution for this utility is the Aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet in conjunction with an augmented reality technology application for Maintenance Planning. 1. Hardware - aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet Using the Windows-based Aegex10 IS Tablet, operators can access Windows 10 apps, cloud services and third party apps, even in the most volatile hazardous areas (UL Class I,II,III Div 1; ATEX/IECEx Zone 1). Certified for UL Class I, II, III Division 1 hazardous locations in North America, as well as equivalent areas in Europe (ATEX Zone 1) and internationally (IECEx Zone 1), the Aegex10 operates on Wi-Fi or 4G LTE from any hazardous location around the globe on a unified platform. The 10.1-inch Aegex tablet is rated IP65 rugged for industrial use, yet is lightweight and priced as low as non-certified devices. Its Windows 10 operating system gives users uniform access to the Microsoft cloud, plus apps and services, including software like that of OSIsoft. 2. Software - Virtualware Maintenance Planning The Virtualware Maintenance Planning app is a mobile augmented reality application that shows the geolocation of field assets and permits operators to plan maintenance inspections, review all assets, consult technical data, report findings and schedule repairs in real time. All the information is stored in Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform using the tablet’s 4G LTE or Wi-Fi connection. The app allows users to identify the location of underground and security assets (cables, wires, transformers, security cameras, etc.) using Augmented Reality and geolocation through the GPS function of the mobile device. The application overlays the security and underground electrical infrastructure over the real-world view using the tablet’s camera to identify components’ locations and aid in maintenance procedures.

The Results

Using the Aegex10 IS Tablet, maintenance crew can enter the most volatile hazardous areas (ATEX/IECEx Zone 1; UL Class I , I I , III Div 1) and assess the maintenance situation without fear of causing an explosion. With the Aegex10 IS Tablet running the Virtualware Maintenance Planning solution, operators can

  • Easily obtain information about an existing installation’s status and maintenance updates
  • Identify the exact location of the problem without risking damaging other parts of the system
  • Pinpoint the specific assets in question within complex underground systems
  • Perform a virtual classification of all elements of an installation
  • Upload information to the cloud
Operators can also use a number of Windows 10 applications to communicate information to teammates, such as:
  • Opening Skype for Business to speak and show the item in question
  • Using Exchange/Outlook to email photos or other data
The Virtualware apps sync easily with companies’ existing IT systems, and can be used anywhere in hazardous locations via the Aegex10 IS Tablet. Applications are also viewable offline when wireless networks are not available. The solution is transferable across different geographies since the Aegex10 IS Tablet is certified worldwide. The Virtualware + Aegex10 IS Tablet solution makes maintenance inspections and repair planning simpler and quicker, even in hazardous areas.

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Want More Info?

About Aegex: Aegex is a technology engineering and design company that provides intrinsically safe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and mobile solutions for hazardous industries. Our globally certified intrinsically safe Windows 10 tablet, sensors and partner monitoring systems, form an IoT platform that manages big data to improve efficiency, safety and productivity in hazardous industrial environments in oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, utilities, public safety, defense and other industries with potentially explosive atmospheres.

Partner Info

Virtualware develops Immersive and interactive custom solutions for global companies.