VT-Platform in its Operation and Maintenance work processes.
PreZero, is a company specialized in environmental solutions which has made a strong commitment to the digitalization of its packaging sorting and drug waste plant, and has decided to trust in VT-Lab for the implementation of Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies integrated with BIM models in their Operation and Maintenance processes with the “Safety First” objective, and achieve excellent levels of efficiency in plant management.
The integration of these technologies allow to extract all the power offered by BIM models in terms of information with the great visual and interaction capabilities that Virtual and Augmented Reality offer us. This union facilitate the processes in which it is applied, not only to exponentially increase their productivity and efficiency, but also to minimize the possibility of occupational accidents.
Virtual and Augmented Reality allow to develop solutions that have application in all the process and verifications that are required during the maintenance of any active. Therefore, operators can carry out digital, contextualized and safe work processes, reducing error possibilities and improving their understanding.
For this specific project, which is carried out within the framework of the packaging sorting and drug waste management plant located in Castile and Leon, a customized productivity application based on Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions with BIM models has been developed. The main objective of this solution is the support and training operators in critical Operation and Maintenance processes to increase their efficiency, productivity and safety at work.
As the first step of the project, the generation of the digital twin of the plant was carried out throught its BIM modeling. Then, the critical processes were identified and defined in which training and guidance in operation and maintenance tasks were essentials. So as the last step, applications for operator training and assistance are developed.
These were the solutions developed:
Assistance in the maintenance of plant equipment in Augmented Reality
A solution has been developed that allows to carry out the maintenance of plant´s equipment in Augmented Reality. Through a mobile device or tablet, operators get information of the machinery itself with the steps to be carried out during the maintenance process.
By overlaying the information on the equipment, operators can see exactly what areas or elements they need to work on and how to do it. These elements also have safety warnings for those steps that may involve a hazard.
Training for the equipment maintenance on plant in Virtual Reality
For training about equipment maintenance, an inmersive solution has been developed that allows the operator as training to carry out maintenance operations on a specific machine in an intuitive and safe way. This solution is accessed remotely through virtual reality glasses.
The application allows operators to practice maintenance without taking real risks, offering a more immersive and realistic experience than traditional training, and helping them to better retain information to apply it more effectively in the real environment.
Simulations of emergency situations in Virtual Reality for Health and Safety training
To improve actions in emergency situations of the plant, a virtual reality solution has been developed that allows on the one hand, to learn about the plant’s general safety systems and actions in an inmersive way and on the other hand, to carry out a virtual reality simulation of an emergency situation that requires the evacuation of the plant.
The application guides the operators during the process, showing the security issues and the correct steps to follow, in case the operator answers incorrectly in the questionnaire included during the process. At the end, the application provides an evaluation of the process performed.
Conclusion of the proyect
Prezero’s implementation of these solutions at the SIGRE´s plant has resulted in improved productivity and efficiency in work processes, as well as in health and safety issues.
Firstly, operators have improved their understanding of plant equipment and the maintenance processes related to the,. Augmented reality has allowed them to overlap digital equipment over real equipment, to interact with them, and to perform maintenance work digitally, easily, and intuitively.
Secondly, virtual reality solutions have allowed operators to have a deeper understanding of the plant, as they can enter and receive training on the equipment virtually. This makes them more prepared to make decisions, avoiding mistakes or misinterpretations.
Thirdly, operators are prepared for emergency situations that may arise in the plant, they are trained to react optimally and safely to different situations.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies integrated with BIM are already here, and applied to the sector, they come to improve productivity and provide field workers with the digital tools they have historically needed.