RealWear, the world’s leading industrial hands-free knowledge transfer platform for frontline workers, today announced that Italgas opted for RealWear’s HMT-1Z1 intrinsically safe platform running OverIT’s field services software to support the digital transformation of its operations.
Italgas reports that with the RealWear-OverIT field services solution, the utility has moved beyond the consumer tablet, taking its digital transformation to the next logical level with a purpose-built device for restricted zones. The utility has already seen huge productivity gains with RealWear by solving complex and risk-sensitive job tasks, even in ATEX Zone 1 restricted zones.
“We’re thrilled that our HMT-1Z1 systems are helping Italgas accelerate its digital transformation efforts, improving safety and reliability,” said Andy Lowery, RealWear’s CEO. “We are committed to delivering intuitive hands-free systems to accelerate knowledge transfer to the next generation of workers.”
Utility field workers performing maintenance work on gas infrastructure frequently encounter potentially hazardous situations that require immediate remote support and visualization of real-time IoT data of specific assets. Beyond just managing work orders, Italgas’s field services crews are required to visualize data and read technical documents while performing manual work.
Italgas declares that keeping hands free via voice-controlled systems safely resolves complex issues quickly and avoids additional travel or costly service downtime in extremely restricted zones where gases are present.
At Italgas, gas distribution means guaranteeing network safety, service continuity and system efficiency. To improve service quality and safety, increase distribution system efficiency and have a positive impact on the environment, the third largest European utility has been investing heavily in the digitization of its operations.
The utility first deployed the automated scheduling of work orders in 2004, pioneering the adoption of a Field Service Management solution to allow its workforce to avoid the need to visit the office to collect tasks in the morning or physically hand off documents at the end of their shift.
In 2012, to efficiently manage its approximately 44,000 miles of pipelines and 7.6 million assets, Italgas became one of the first utilities to use consumer devices for its workforce. The implementation of OverIT’s Field Service Management solution was a success and Italgas quickly moved onto an even bigger challenge: how could workers operate hands-free and benefit from the features of the tablet app while performing manual maintenance tasks? Italgas’ Digital Factory, the utility’s innovation department, developed the idea of using head-mounted devices (HMDs) and assisted reality.
Currently, the innovative solution enables Italgas’s field workers to reference documents (e.g., technical datasheets, multimedia content and asset history) while using their hands to perform the maintenance on a specific asset. Data collection via voice provides further efficiency, enabling users to update asset information without any manual input.
Italgas’s goal is to increase the number of field workers supported by the solution and expand its functionality. At Italgas, the knowledge gained from long-tenured workers is critical. Capturing their expertise and transferring it to less experienced technicians on the job advances digital transformation for the utility.