Energie-Steiermark (Energy Styria)
With augmented reality, more efficiency in assembly, maintenance and repair of E-charging stations
Starting point at Energie Steiermark
In order to be able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in traffic, Austria is massively relying on the expansion of e-mobility. By the end of September 2019, 7383 fully electric e-cars had been added, which is 64.7 percent more than the same period in 2018 (https://www.beoe.at/statistik/). As the number of e-cars in Austria increases, so does the demand for public and private e-charging stations.
Energie Steiermark, Austrians fourth largest energy and service provider based in Graz, currently operates an online network of charging points with approx. 800 charging stations. Installing of further charging stations is planned.
In addition to the publicly installed e-charging stations, the demand for private e-charging stations is growing very strongly. The variety of different installation forms is becoming ever larger – so it might be that the e-charging station is connected directly to the network of the local network operator, or that the e-charging station is integrated with the smart home system of the customers, linked to their Photovoltaic system and / or made publicly accessible, and so many other scenarios.
With these increasing customer requirements, the complexity with which the employees of Energie Steiermark are confronted during the installation, maintenance and repair of the e-charging stations increases too. In order to ease the duties of the field technicians, the company ar:met GmbH was commissioned to provide an app based on augmented reality ar:guidance product. ar:guidance now supports the employees to configure the e-charging stations more quickly. Due to the integration with the charging management system (CMS) and the stored rules for the configuration of the e-charging stations, assembly and installation are considerably simplified. ar:guidance notifies the technician directly with how the respective E-charging station is to be configured. During the maintenance of e-charging stations, all maintenance activities are carried out and logged step-by-step. With the digital signature, the maintenance log including photo documentation is completed on site and transmitted to the server in the back office. Depending on the customer’s request, the maintenance logs are then sent directly to the customer. The advantage of this is, that the field technicians, after completing their activities on site, have no further administrative tasks to perform.
In case of complex installation, maintenance or troubleshooting problems that the field technician cannot solve by himself on site, with ar:assist the field technician has the opportunity to communicate with a colleague via mobile phone.
With ar:assist, the fieldforce is able to show his colleague the problem directly via a remote video conference call. Over a secure video conference call, the field technician can graphically mark parts of the system in real time and the remote colleague sees these markings superimposed exactly where the on-site worker has drawn them – regardless of whether the field technician is moving his mobile phone or not. The colleague can also add markings. The augmented reality technology implemented in ar:assist enables the two parties to communicate quickly and help each other.
Advantages for Energie Steiermark
The most important advantages that were achieved with the introduction of ar:guidance and ar:assist are:
- Easier and faster assembly, since the app automatically assigns the e-charging station to the data, thus simplifying and speeding up the configuration process.
- The documentation of the maintenance process goes step-by-step with the implementation of the maintenance without additional administrative work.
- Employee safety instructions are automatically displayed – the employee must acknowledge them.
The remote support via ar:assist ensures that the work can be completed on first use. The “first time fixed” rate for troubleshooting can be significantly improved.