Burns & McDonnell reduces travel needs and improves site testing processes using
assisted reality technology.
Experienced workers were being stretched thin, resulting in wider knowledge gaps and slower site visitations and distribution asset documentation.
Assisted reality technology with RealWear and VisualSpection streamlines site documentation and enables Burns & McDonnell’s senior experts to virtually visit and review sites without traveling.
Hands-Free Use Case
The firm also wanted to improve how site evaluations were completed. Traditionally, the field worker would capture asset information and document it by GPS locations on paper. They would then bring that data back to the office to sort and enter into a database.
As a leader in the utilities industry, Burns & McDonnell wanted to continue innovating.
AR Software Requirements
The RealWear HMT-1 headset was specifically chosen because it met and exceeded the hardware requirements:
While researching RealWear, Burns & McDonnell discovered the other benefits of the HMT-1 device:
RealWear’s partnership with MHI’s VisualSpection was also an important factor. The VisualSpection application allowed utility workers to easily observe, collect and organize site-specific information
from systems such as substations, distribution lines, transmission lines or power plants.
The RealWear-VisualSpection solution helped field workers collect a huge amount of data from sites and deliver it to the end user in easily-understood formats.
“With this augmented reality wearable, we’re able to ensure quality assurance,” says Zachary Wassenberg, XR Innovation Manager at Burns & McDonnell. “Our subcontractors are able to prove that they’ve done a job well done and give our clients the amazing product that they’ve come to expect.
“For years, these technologies have offered advantages in design accuracy, safety, and efficiency as they create multiple benefits — both individually and collectively — through each project phase,” adds John Olander, COO and president of the Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell. “It means a lot to use innovative problem solving to now provide a platform to help solve critical challenges in the critical infrastructure industries.”
RealWear has 77 technology partners and 14 system integrations to solve unique business challenges.
The RealWear-VisualSpection Solution:
Burns & McDonnell’s digital transformation in field work was timely. Shortly after deploying RealWear, COVID-19 struck. Productivity all around the world slowed — except at Burns & McDonnell sites.
Traditionally, site walk-downs are usually completed with multiple stakeholders traveling to a client’s location. This simply wasn’t a possibility during the pandemic’s travel restrictions and social distancing rules.
RealWear helped Burns & McDonnell employees continue working while following pandemic guidelines. A single worker can host a live video conference and give remote stakeholders live tours of the site. Questions can be answered immediately by the onsite worker or a remote expert participating on the call.
“Hands-free, voice-activated wearable technology in a single solution from Burns & McDonnell can keep projects moving where site access is limited because of travel restrictions and health and safety orders,” says Olander. “Its benefits are huge amid today’s crisis, reducing the number of personnel
needed in the field and allowing remote stakeholders to review critical details of each project phase.”
“With wearables like the HMT-1 from RealWear, I expect to see no less than 50% of the industry adopt this technology,” adds Wassenberg. “Anyone who is in the field on a daily basis will be wearing this.”