You're Wearing That?!

Engineers get a bad rap for what they wear. It is so unfair. The truth is engineers are the coolest dressers around. With wearable technology, how could they not be? And one of the latest accessories soon to hit the plant floor is Google Glass™.

At our recent User Summit, Dave Collard was not only one of the best dressed in his Google Glass but also one of the most popular. Dave, our product manager for Proficy Workflow, showcased how you can guide operators through Electronic Work Instructions on the Google Glass wearable computing device. This concept was developed by Novotek, who received the prestigious Scanautomatic Prize for Innovation for it at Scanautomatic 2014 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

So what’s so great about the combination of Proficy Workflow and Google Glass? By combining the two, you can achieve hands-free, expert guidance through process steps. Operators can keep both hands available to complete task steps with instructions presented directly in front of them, tailored to the current operation.

For those who don’t know, the Proficy Workflow software provides interactive, step-by-step task instructions and captures process, traceability and quality data across systems to reduce errors, waste and delays. Google Glass is smart eyewear that displays information in a hands-free format similar to a smartphone. It is wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD).

By freeing operators’ hands, you can achieve a new level of ease-of-use and expertise. The user always has the right information at the right time, and can perform operations with the support of Electronic Work Instructions, helping to ensure that every process step is completed correctly, with automatic tracking and analysis for improvement.

Is everyone in a plant going to be decked out next year with Google Glass displaying work instructions? “Not yet,” Dave says. “This is really the next generation of interactive work tools.” And you know what that means: only the coolest kids—and engineers—are wearing it.

Alicia Bowers

Alicia Bowers believes that automation software can help industrial organizations overcome many challenges, including retiring workforces, global competition, and tightening regulations. She has published in industry magazines, ranging from Food Manufacturing to Hydrocarbon Engineering, and is the recipient of a MESA Outstanding Contribution Award. Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.

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