Repair and maintenance of machines and plants is expensive and time-consuming: long journey times and high travel costs for the service technician, as well as machine downtime and loss of production on the part of the customer. With the web application i40-Portal, these processes can be significantly improved.
In the event of an incident or maintenance case, the operator of the affected device, plant or machine establishes a connection to the manufacturer's service department with his smartphone or data glasses via i40-Portal. The engineer in charge can now see exactly what the technician sees on his screen and can get an exact picture of the situation on site. By exchanging picture and sound and displaying text and image information in the technician's field of vision, the engineer can now guide the technician step by step through maintenance, servicing or repair.
i40-Portal is a software as a service (SaaS) solution, i.e. the application is centrally provided for use by INOSOFT. The solution does not require any installations or additional technical equipment, nor does it require any training at the manufacturer’s or the customer's site. It is independent, easy to use, robust and scalable i.e. adjusted to the usage requirements.
In the web portal, the machine and customer data, including the related documents, are entered and managed. Every manufacturer gets his own view of the portal where he can individually enter data and hold remote sessions.
Via live transmission, the manufacturer's engineer, together with the operator or technician on site, can examine the plant in order to identify the problem. The same connection allows both parties to communicate with each other, i.e. a separate telephone or Skype connection is not necessary.
The service employee can project instructions, notes, data sheets, drawings, checklists or videos onto the smartphone screen or into the field of vision of the data glasses. He has also the possibility to draw arrows or markings in the field of vision to indicate where the operator should focus his attention.
This solution is based on the Augmented Reality technology: The overlays or markings superimpose and supplement the real image, i.e. the view of the machine to be repaired, and thus extend - augment - the reality of the viewer with additional information.
i40-Portal supports a broad range of formats for the augmentation: It ranges from markers, images and PDF files to videos, holograms and text-based chat. In case of a bad data connection, the conversation can be continued via the integrated chat function. The service technician has the possibility to directly input questions and possible answers, from which the operator can then select the right one without any typing effort.
i40-Portal is characterized by high security standards in all areas. All connections are secured with SSL. The certificates used are based exclusively on encryption and signature algorithms that are currently classified as safe.
The audio and video connection takes place directly between the service technician and the machine operator. There is no “third instance” that could potentially record the data traffic.
All that is required is an Internet connection as well as a mobile device or data glasses on the customer's part and a PC in the service technician's office. i40-Portal runs on all Android devices, on iPad and iPhone (with restrictions) from iOS 11, on many AR data glasses and on Microsoft HoloLens. Supported browsers are Mozilla Firefox (version 55 or higher), Google Chrome (version 60 or higher) and Safari (version 11 or higher).