How manufacturers can improve uptime by using RealWear and Microsoft Teams

1 November 2021

Many field service tasks carried out by workers on the front line need them to be 100% hands-free. At the same time, they may need to collaborate remotely with an expert who can offer the necessary support to fix the technical problem. 

Incorporated in their range of hands-free devices, RealWear’s voice-operated Android platform enables field workers to video call with remote experts and relay what they see and hear in real-time. Integration with Teams means workers also enjoy the very best communication and collaboration benefits to help them do their job better.

Solving problems faster on the front line

It’s so much more effective being able to show a problem and work through the fix with the support of an expert in real-time, rather than having to work through it one prolonged step at a time or, worse still, having to describe it with words.

Using RealWear with Microsoft Teams empowers workers on the front line with exceptional capability when operating in loud and hazardous environments.  When used with RealWear, Teams now offers crisp and smooth video (720p/30fps) and Join Meetings functionality. This speeds up the time it takes to resolve issues and reduces the risk of expensive downtime. That’s important at the best of times, but especially at the moment with the ongoing travel restrictions still impacting most of the world.

To try and quantify the benefits that the Microsoft Teams and RealWear partnership can bring to your business, your first-time fixes on heavy equipment can be increased by up to 75% through this collaboration. The fact that expert repair advice can be carried out remotely greatly reduces your organisation’s travel footprint and, by freeing a front-line worker’s hands, you empower them by quickly furnishing them with the knowledge they need.

Easy to use and cost-effective

Microsoft Teams on RealWear is built on the same secure and compliant foundations that power Teams across Desktop, Mobile or Room Systems. This means field workers and remote experts no longer need separate applications or numerous logins. 

So, if your organisation is using Teams for communication and RealWear hands-free devices for field service, you’ll be saving money on IT admin. Equally importantly, you’ll be enabling your remote experts and field workers to do a much better job.

So how does RealWear work?

RealWear offers an eyepiece with an adjustable micro-display that appears like a 7" tablet, for exceptionally clear viewing. This allows the field worker to share what they are seeing with remote experts from wherever they happen to be working. 

To enable easy operation in the toughest environments, RealWear also offers workers voice commands in 12 languages. Even when there are high levels of ambient noise, users can navigate their way through the various options offered by Teams using their voice alone.

Uses of RealWear in manufacturing 

RealWear with Teams has a wide range of uses in manufacturing, covering everything from quality inspections to remote witnessing to real-time troubleshooting.

RealWear enables quick and impactful access to expertise from central teams who may not be physically present at a manufacturing facility. It allows them to see issues through the eyes of an on-the-ground operative and guide the worker on the front line through the process of making a repair or update.

To give you an idea of the kind of things your workforce can do with RealWear, here is a brief list of some of the capabilities at their disposal. 

  • If they need to get in touch with an expert advisor, your front-line workers can make a call with simple voice commands and they’re even able to use dictation in any one of 12 languages.
  • In real-time, your front-line workers can share their point of view (literally) with their manager or the back-office subject matter expert. Being hands-free they have the opportunity to point to issues on a piece of heavy equipment, making use of zoom features and the high-resolution smart camera.
  • Your expert advisors can send any Microsoft Office 365 document, PowerPoint, or Word file through to the worker’s micro-display, which they can see as easily as if they were looking at a 7-inch Android tablet.
  • The back-office expert can view a photo that was sent by the worker on a mobile device, then annotate it and send it straight back. That enables the worker to resolve the issue without the expert having to leave their working location. Of course, this means the expert can work on a range of issues across multiple locations on the same day.
  • Front-line workers will often be working in loud and challenging environments which traditionally make communication difficult. However, with HMT-1 noise cancellation via four digital microphones and advanced algorithms, accurate voice recognition is possible in 95 dba. That enables front-line workers to be heard while protectors with integrated speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack ensure they can hear well too.

Good gear for Goodyear

As a company dedicated to keeping people moving, Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tyre companies, wasn’t about to slow down because of global travel restrictions due to COVID-19. When their 2,500 engineers could no longer travel to factories for equipment installation or troubleshooting, Goodyear turned to Microsoft Teams running on RealWear assisted-reality wearable computers.

Within months of releasing the RealWear device with Teams, Goodyear had deployed the devices to all its plants. Examples of how Goodyear’s engineers have used this capability include responding to storm damage in a factory in Colombia. There, a local team used a RealWear device and Teams to provide a tour of the plant so the engineering and leadership teams could assess the damage and put a plan together to get it back online. While engineers that were building a new test centre in Texas used a RealWear device and Teams to validate construction progress with design engineers from a vendor in Germany.

Resonate can help

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can look after all your Microsoft Teams needs, including organising RealWear capability. If you’d like to chat about what we could do for your manufacturing business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly experts. 

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