The maintenance of both the installations and the machines is a complex matter to deal with, as choosing the most appropriate approach significantly affects the possibility of making business processes simpler and more precise. In an ideal world, the maintenance technician does not repair faults but replaces the pieces just before they break. On the other hand, in reality, things are quite different, and the approach to the maintenance of a company says a lot about its philosophy in facing the future.
We can find companies that repair failures after they have already occurred (corrective approach), we can find others that schedule maintenance interventions regardless of whether or not they are actually urgent (preventive approach), and also, others that try to predict failures based on all information available to them (predictive approach).
This saving is noted not only in the cost of the repair but also in the cost of the emergency call to the repairer, the loss of earnings due to the stationery machinery and any eventual over time that needs to be paid to the staff to make up for the loss of production hours.
In any case, Industry 4.0 technologies can make a strong contribution to improving maintenance regardless of which approach is chosen.
Within maintenance activities, augmented reality applications can be considerably enhanced. The maintenance technician, in fact, by using a tablet or special viewers, can access an additional level of information while carrying out the operations. In particular, the necessary information to carry out maintenance or repair operations will appear on the tablet overlapping the image of the object that is to be repaired, helping the operator in completing the maintenance also with the help of video tutorials. These systems also make it possible to identify which tools are necessary, as well as which spare parts are available in stock.
At the same time as the maintenance aid function, these systems also interface with the machines and business processes, thus allowing the operator to view the data that is collected by the system directly on the tablet. These data can be seen through simple and effective graphics that contain all the information necessary for the employee to know the status of the process at all times.
Augmented reality can therefore be a valuable aid in the repair phases and can also contribute to the creation of a new type of maintenance manual.