EVRAZ conducted comprehensive tests of the domestic IKSAR software platform in combination with industrial-grade Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. Production employees performed routine maintenance operations in a small-scale workshop for a month. The work process involves repetitive operations, the correct execution of which directly affects the safety of employees and the reliability of equipment.
The testing feature included the examination of innovative devices and technologies in real workshop conditions, considering environmental factors, noise, low lighting, and other peculiarities of the production process. The new digital solution is needed to reduce the resolution time of complex cases, requiring collaborative work of operational staff directly near the equipment and remotely located more experienced expert masters. Additionally, it aims to ensure the repeatability of scheduled maintenance work in the workshop, which directly influences the reliability indicator.
The pilot site was the United West Siberian Metallurgical Plant in Novokuznetsk—a full-cycle enterprise producing rolled metal for the construction, railway, and industrial sectors. Thanks to the functional capabilities of IKSAR, it was quickly configured to display the work schedule on AR glasses and launched into operational use.
The selected AR glasses model is implemented in an industrial-grade dust and water-resistant casing, with active noise cancellation up to 100 dB, special directional microphones for comfortable and error-free voice control of all actions in the IKSAR software, a 48 MP camera with 4x optical zoom, a full-shift battery, and the ability for quick hot-swappable replacement with a spare set.
AR glasses leave the employee's hands free for current operations, and the IKSAR software allows displaying the work schedule directly in front of the employee's eyes in the form of step-by-step graphical and textual instructions. The employee verbally fills in values in input fields, checklists, scans labels, and receives additional process-relevant information. Photo and video documentation of incidents/defects, tied to equipment, process steps, time, employee, and other parameters, allows providing specialized services with advanced analytics for operational decision-making.
A unique feature of IKSAR is its proprietary group video conferencing system with the connection of employees in augmented reality glasses. Essentially, a remote expert sees firsthand in real-time everything happening with the equipment and can draw hints for the employee in AR glasses using augmented reality. Such video conferencing sessions are automatically saved with a wide range of analytical features and become part of the expert knowledge base for dealing with complex repair cases, diagnostics, and other non-standard situations.
The pilot project confirmed that such technologies are ready for industrial use, and by 2024, the company plans to develop a comprehensive implementation program. Additionally, they aim to explore new IKSAR features based on machine vision and artificial intelligence technologies.