18 NEWEQUIPMENT.COM I FEBRUARY 2019
possible signs of hot spots than relying on a handheld thermal camera, Lowery says.
“Leaky flanges can spew out this very fine mist—gasoline vapor that no one can see
with the naked eye, but in the thermal domain you can,” Lowery explains. “So, before
it even gets bad, you can spot the pinhole leak you need to tighten down.”
Sanjay Jhawar, Real Wear co-founder and president, estimates about 100 million
workers in manufacturing and the service industry worldwide use their hands.
“Our strategy is really a 10-year penetration of those 100 million users,” Jhawar
says. Already, pilot time has dropped from about nine months to four.
Productivity isn’t only driven by keeping their hands free. Cutting down on legwork
can be just as beneficial, according to Jhawar.
One food and beverage manufacturer, which has a state-of-the-art control room with
wall-to-wall 4K monitors streaming 1,000 data points, did not have data readouts on
the industrial frying machine making the snack product. The oil temperature and purity
had to remain consistent, requiring new supply that then had to be reheated on a fre-
quent basis. The operator at the machine relied on radio prompts from the control room
operator to know when the correct temperature was reached. Sometimes, they worked
alone and had to walk the 200-meter span, check the data and come back to adjust.
“During that time, the fryer would produce 200 kilos of snacks that may have to be
scrapped,” Jhawar says. “That’s like half a dumpster.”
The solution was to place QR codes on the machines connected to the data historian.
The worker saves times, burning less product (and fewer calories).
Of course, untold walking can be reduced through wearable computers’ most well-
known use case: remote expertise. Real Wear calls itself a knowledge transfer company
and this is a big reason why. An equipment specialist can stay in the control room, or
their living room, and guide a service technician at the scene to troubleshoot or repair
equipment. They can even channel their inner-Madden and telestrate the problem,
like circling a bent bracket.
It can turn an hour of downtime into 15 minutes and makes the ROI almost immediate in some cases, Jhawar says.
These things pay for
themselves in a single use.”
The value of cutting down on the number of employees
needed for a job or speeding up their task time does not
compare to the oil & gas industry’s need for a reliable wearable HMI.
If you’re able to get a wheel platform pump back up and
running in six days instead of 12, “you just made yourself
$3 million more dollars in revenue,” Lowery says.
That’s an extreme example, but any manufacturer stands
to benefit by avoiding downtime.
“If a critical pump goes down, it may shut the whole
operation down,”Texmark Chemical CEO Dough Smith
says. “If we can predict that, we see great cost savings.”
And if they can prevent it from happening, in part by
connecting their workers, at the very least Texmark found
it can lower its insurance deductible.
When its insurance carrier asked for an enhanced and formalized mechanical
integrity program, and doubled the deductible as an “incentive,” Texmark began
a digital transformation, working with HP, PTC, and a consortium of other software
providers to become the Refinery of the Future, serving as an example for the oil &
gas industry to follow. The HMT-1Z1 was the only suitable option to connect workers, and gather real-time critical asset data and personnel health and safety stats.
Several pilots and applications have been deployed, including using it to precisely
turn manual valves and as a replacement for a broken intrinsically safe camera to
document that train car valves are properly sealed when leaving the yard, says Kelly
Ireland, founder and CEO of the primary project integrator CB Technologies.
That was meant to be a loaner, but Ireland says the worker was incapable of
parting with it.
“I will never give this helmet up,” she recalls him saying.
Ireland, who has been in IT for more than four decades had a similar reaction
when she tried it.
“I put the helmet on and I instantly started working through the application,” she says.
“I was absolutely floored. This is going to make your job easier, safer more productive.”
At Texmark, it was part of a strategy that has reduced planned maintenance costs
by 50% and led to the insurance carrier not only returning to the original rate but
asking about getting other clients to adopt their technology.
It proves even the biggest companies are still searching for solutions, for the right
way to leverage the best practices of yesterday with the cutting-edge methods of
tomorrow. If almost every exec wants connected workers and only 21% have them,
that's a lot of uncharted territory.
Lowery believes his is the platform on which new solutions can be found, at least
for now. Like the iPhone, it doesn’t inherently offer any answers; it's merely a conduit
for them, a gateway to industrial knowhow and experience.
“What it does is provide the simplest, easiest, safest way to get that knowledge into
those frontline workers so they can effect change” Lowery says.
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Honeywell united the intrinsically safe HMT-1Z1 with it Movilizer cloud to create apps that can locate injured workers and
provide emergency evacuation procedures. Typically, it’s used to assist daily maintenance, such as data visualization, guided