Colgate-Palmolive Eliminates Costly Travel Expenses with RealWear

Colgate-Palmolive chose RealWear HMT-1 to enable its team of global experts to virtually collaborate with firstline workers.

Colgate-Palmolive Company is a multinational conglomerate and has leading brands in the personal care, oral hygiene, household products and petcare industries.

The Challenge

Colgate-Palmolive was constantly flying equipment experts all over the world to install, maintain and repair manufacturing equipment. This was expensive and caused major delays and production downtime.

The Solution

Colgate-Palmolive chose RealWear HMT-1 to enable its team of global experts to virtually collaborate with firstline workers.

The Results

  • Increased access to the most knowledgeable team members
  • Eliminated travel of subject matter experts
  • Reduced production downtime caused by offline equipment or scheduling delays

Hands-Free Use Case

  • Factory Acceptance Testing
  • Site Acceptance Testing
  • Factory Performance Reliability Audits
  • Experimental Manufacturing Orders

Colgate-Palmolive’s household brands are sold in more than 200 countries and territories. Its most popular brands include Colgate, Palmolive, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Ajax, Hill’s Science Diet and more.

Achieving global recognition requires more than 50 production and research facilities in more than 70 countries. Its 20 largest factories alone are spread across 11 countries. And it takes diverse expertise to keep these facilities operating at full capacity.

This meant flying subject matter experts (SMEs) to various factory locations to install, maintain or repair specialized equipment. When the required SME was on another assignment, production lines could slow or even stop until the SME had the time to visit the site.

Colgate-Palmolive wanted to redesign how it handles mentoring and collaboration to reduce the high costs and delays associated with traveling experts.

Remote Collaboration Made Possible with RealWear and Librestream Onsight Connect

Colgate-Palmolive chose RealWear to be a strategic partner in improving how it can reduce costs while improving safety and efficiency.

The RealWear HMT-1 headset is a wearable, handsfree, voice-controlled device with a micro-display that enables workers to work with their hands while maintaining high spatial awareness in a noisy industrial environment.

“Today, a Colgate technician wearing a hands-free headset can inspect a piece of equipment while connected to subject matter experts that see what he sees half a world away.”

With an out-of-the-box integration with Librestream Onsight Connect, firstline associates are able to collaborate with a remote SME anywhere in the world.

Norris McLean, Senior Product Development Engineer at Colgate-Palmolive,
notes that previous initiatives such as new equipment installations or factory performance audits would often involve flying up to 10 evaluators from several countries to a facility. The experts’ entire stay would be consumed by the project— which can take several days — but any one of the visiting SMEs would only be needed at certain moments.

“Today, a Colgate technician wearing a hands-free headset can inspect a piece of equipment while connected to subject matter experts that see what he sees half a world away,” says McLean. “These SMEs provide step-by-step guidance — even drawing on the screen, which is seen by the worker — and helping to resolve complex issues with great efficiency.”

Expanding RealWear to Other Operations

Colgate-Palmolive began using virtual collaboration for site acceptance testing and factory performance reliability audits, which require a comprehensive look at an entire facility’s production line. Instead of putting a visiting expert in a holding pattern, a SME can be contacted at the point of need, saving time and traveling expenses.

“We beamed in the very best brain trust we needed, at the precise moments we required their expertise,” says McLean. “They’re fully focused and ready to go and never stuck awaiting that connecting flight.”

This was especially crucial with the 2020 pandemic. RealWear and Librestream provided the technology Colgate-Palmolive needed to successfully navigate social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions.

“Not once in 2020 did we encounter an issue that couldn’t be successfully addressed via virtual collaboration,” says McLean. “All told, we’ve completed 63 virtual collaborations in 2020, with tremendous cost savings on travel.”

“All told, we’ve completed 63 virtual collaborations in 2020, with tremendous cost savings on travel.”

Colgate-Palmolive and RealWear in the Future

Since its limited rollout, RealWear has created immense time and money savings for Colgate-Palmolive.

“Colgate-Palmolive tested RealWear HMT-1 through successful pilots in eight locations and is now standardizing globally on this wearable device for our manufacturing operations,” said Warren Pruitt, VP Global Engineering at ColgatePalmolive. “Looking ahead, we see an opportunity to use this tool beyond the plant floor for improved performance and new efficiencies,” says Pruitt.

“Looking ahead, we see an opportunity to use RealWear beyond the plant floor for improved performance and new efficiencies.”

So what’s next?

“In the not-too-distant future, we foresee headgear being a normal part of each person’s everyday gear, a way to seamlessly access needed information as you’re immersed in situations requiring it,” says McLean. “Instant, hands-free connections with colleagues, be they in Mumbai or Basel. One continuous thread of hatching ideas and solving problems, customized to your role.”

Download Colgate Success Story

Additional Case Studies

BurnsMcDonnellPartnersWithInnovativeProductshero20460

Burns & McDonnell Case Study

Burns & McDonnell Streamlines Utilities Testing and Maintenance with RealWear Burns & McDonnell reduces travel needs and improves site testing processes using assisted reality technology. [...]
prysmian-group-pg-connect-900x600

Prysmian Case Study

Prysmian Group Enables Remote Acceptance Testing and Knowledge Sharing with RealWear Prysmian Group deployed RealWear HMT-1 running Engineering Group with OverIT’s SPACE1 augmented reality application [...]
realwear_vw_van_promo.5e66a753612fa

Volkswagen Case Study

Volkswagen Boosts Repair Efficiency by 93% with RealWear and Atheer Volkswagen Group United Kingdom enabled technicians in 67 Van Centres and 30 Authorised Repairers to [...]