Remote Expert Systems (RExSys) are a new and evolving subset of ‘wearables’ – technology you wear that typically involves novel input and output mechanisms to integrate with your certain key actions or activities throughout the day. Remote Expert Systems serve a number of purposes. The primary role of a RExSys is to collect and feed data from an individual worker back to a central hub. This data could be composed of audio, video &/or sensor readings. A remote expert can use this data to determine if there is a problem, what the problem is or what solutions are best. In addition to feeding data to a remote expert, RExSys hardware allows the remote expert to communicate back using any number of methods, including audio and video as well as with data. In this way a remote expert can guide the configuration, diagnosis or repair of a piece of equipment from the other side of the world!
The impending retirement of the second half of the Baby Boomer generation is an imminent risk to many industrial business verticals. Dueling problems of both acquiring qualified, trained staff and maintaining the proprietary knowledge invested in outgoing staff create a complex issue with few ‘easy’ solutions. Often, the inherent knowledge of plant systems or as-built conditions and procedures that experienced staff possess is not documented anywhere. Unless these staff members just happen to be experienced and capable at creating technical documentation and process engineering, it is improbable to expect each to create and maintain a detailed process guide and on board every new employee thoroughly. With specialized staff, it may not even be feasible at all because of time and shift constraints. RExSys hardware installed throughout a plant can lend itself to this problem. Not only can Remote Expert Systems allow a vendor’s engineer or plant retiree to provide remote assistance, the hardware can record every-day process and procedure ‘through the eyes’ of the veteran employee, effectively creating a ready-made onboarding & training system that new staff can be trained with.
Facilitating the knowledge transfer from veteran staff who are retiring, or moving to other opportunities, to new hires is paramount for firms to avoid costly equipment failures, accidents or work stoppages. Just as important is ensuring that new hires have all the knowledge necessary to do their jobs at maximum efficiency as soon as possible after beginning their tenure. After a while on the job, the glasses have acted like a personal tutor, feeding digital data on top of your real-world view to augment your observations. A remote expert acting as your tutor frees human capital from that role by allowing one remote expert to work remotely with many on-site workers.