Case IH presents the HoloLens Project at Agritechnica: Case IH and Microsoft team up for the future of remote maintenance

12 Nov 2017

New range of services through a mixed reality project/ Streamline maintenance operations/ Enhance smarter interactions with service experts/ Lower downtime and higher productivity

In exclusivity at Agritechnica, Case IH announces its collaboration with Microsoft for an advanced project leveraging mixed reality in an Industry 4.0 perspective, in order to bring its best maintenance experts instantly in any of its customer or dealer workshops all over the EMEA region. The partnership’s goal is offering the best customer service, by reducing downtime and improving efficiency. As a matter of fact Case IH is testing Microsoft HoloLens in Austria to streamline maintenance operations and the Group will use them with training purposes in its facilities in as well. Thanks to real time holographic interactions, it’s possible to empower customers enabling hands-free operations and smarter conversations, on the whole delivering accurate and qualified diagnostics while  improving productivity.

Microsoft HoloLens go, in fact, beyond the concept of Augmented Reality and introduces Mixed Reality, displaying holograms in the user’s field of vision with a mapping of the environment that allows the user to place holograms in the real world and move them as desired or needed while respecting the physics of the environment around the headset. 

That’s  why for  Case IH, the HoloLens has a clear advantage in two major fields: remote assistance and training.

In the first case, as part of the pilot, maintenance teams can access Case IH experts hands-free whilst working on the machine, for efficient and fast intervention, with supporting information sent within seconds. Thus, the technician can repair a machine while communicating with an expert located in a workshop, for example, who can consult all of the technical datasheets and applicable methods and send them to the technician, who can view them on his “glasses”. The technician can also talk directly with the expert in real-time via Skype. The benefits are meaningful for all of the people involved (the manufacturer, dealers, etc.): increased efficiency and time-saving. The main goal of the device is to minimize the machine’s downtime and making the service more efficient, by improving productivity and business continuity.

In the second case, training becomes just easier: a person wearing the headset can be remotely connected to multiple people and give a live class without needing to travel. A clear advantage in terms of time savings, speed and efficiency, as well.

“With the HoloLens project, Case IH and Microsoft are working closely to develop the technologies of the future and to set up a new model for remote maintenance. The testing phase, which is expected to last one year, is already delivering remarkable outcomes in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. We expect to go on in our Digital Transformation path, by developing further application scenarios of this and other new technologies”, claims Peter Friis, Commercial Marketing Director EMEA Case IH

“The automotive industry can play a key role to boost the growth of the agriculture industry, that’s why it’s so strategic to leverage new technologies to start a cross Digital Transformation process impacting the whole Economic System and supporting the competitiveness of any Country. Industry 4.0 and Smart Farming are strictly connected and we’re glad to partner with  Case IH to reshape the maintenance field: mixed reality is an efficiency driver and can improve machines performances, by empowering agriculture companies and farmers all over the world. Agriculture machines are complex and characterized by specific features according to their multiple purposes, so through Microsoft HoloLens, it’s just easier putting in place faster and more aware interventions and repair the key components hands-free, by reducing downtimes”, states Fabio Moioli, Enterprise Services Lead at Microsoft Italia. 

The HoloLens headset contains a full computer equipped with an adapted Windows 10 version. Three processors are used: the first is the main CPU (Central Processing Unit), the second is a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), and the third, called an HPU (Holographic Processing Unit), manages the spatial positioning of holograms, recognising the world around the HoloLens headset. Infrared cameras support the device in further understanding the environment and in low-light conditions while spatial sound speakers deliver a 360° sound experience contextual to the real-world positioning of the holograms. Voice command are also available through Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana. It weighs around 579 grams and offers a field of vision of around 30° by 17.5°.

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