Industrial Augmented Reality Technology - Proof of Concept



The growing popularity of Augmented and Virtual reality in the past few years has brought in unlimited new applications and ideas across numerous industries.  This is no exception in the field of Industrial Automation.  In late 2018, our Company together with Sino-iTech (a Company specializing in asset management) assisted HK Water Supplies Department (WSD) in a proof of concept project displayed during the 2018 InnoCarnival event held at Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. 

The project aimed to demonstrate how various systems (OSI PI System, IBM Maximo, BIM modelling combined with Microsoft Hololens) can be linked together in order to provide an immersive experience for pump station operators and maintenance personnel to better carry out their duties.

-OSI PI System being a data aggregation storage platform is able to connect to different plant floor systems and devices thereby allowing all data to be accessible on one central platform. 

-IBM Maximo is an asset management software.  For the PoC demo, it collects data from PI System and based on pre-set parameters, will issue works order to maintenance personnel if machines trigger alarms or faults.  All the asset data including past maintenance records, downtime records and etc.. are stored in Maximo.

-Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Hololens allow users to overlay a three dimensional 1:1 model of the pump station with its actual surrounding.

With all the systems combined, operators are able to walk into the pump station with the Hololens and view information of a selected asset, in this case, a pump’s running time, temperature, vibrations as well as any alarms or faults that pop up.  This PoC serves to demonstrate what can only be done traditionally in the control room can now be achieved on the plant-floor.  The benefit of added convenience include the elimination of having to carry a laptop or hard copy drawings when attending maintenance, real-time access to machinery data as well as ease of locating the selected asset within the plant floor.