Building materials firm Saint-Gobain is using Microsoft HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to provide its factory workers with virtual, on-demand help from experts, improving the speed, impact and sustainability of maintenance and training processes.
Saint-Gobain needs specific expertise to fix maintenance issues, often requiring highly qualified individuals to travel to factories worldwide. These experts were experiencing travel fatigue and incurring considerable expense.
“Sometimes when one of our process experts arrives on site, they realise that the problem could have been easily fixed without actual in-person support,” said Sebastien Hervieux, industrial performance and 4.0 industry manager at Saint-Gobain. “If only our process expert had been able to view the problem through the eyes of the workers on site, a lot of time and travel could be saved.”
To address this, Saint Gobain began working with mixed reality and internet of things expert innoteo, to deploy Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, HoloLens and Teams.
“Dynamics 365 Remote Assist with HoloLens and Teams cover all the use cases we envisioned,” said Hervieux. “And with the lockdowns and need to protect our workers during Covid-19, we were happy to have a solution that allowed process experts to assist workers without physical contact.”
The company has now implemented an application for autonomous maintenance in five factories, which it uses to train machine operators. By using HoloLens, it saves approximately an hour for each production line every week.
“Thanks to the connected nature of Microsoft technologies, we’re not only beginning to save significant travel budget,” said Antoine Fercot, digital projects leader at Saint-Gobain. “We’re also realising our sustainability goals while keeping our experts safe with decreased travel and minimal physical contact during the pandemic.”
“We trust Microsoft technologies such as Dynamics 365 Remote Assist with HoloLens and Teams to help our workers stay current with best practices and achieve the standards we set to maintain with our machines,” added Hervieux. “The future is here.”