The Swissgrid substation in Mettlen was selected for the pilot project. This substation offered the best conditions, because several digitization projects had already been carried out there, on which this pilot project could be based. Rimon converted the 3D model of the substation, integrated it into the AR glasses and translated the checklist of the monthly inspections into a temporal and spatial inspection process. The application was tested for acceptance and usefulness in two walk-throughs. The service providers were involved in this process because they know the needs and the potential for optimization in the previous process. «Thanks to the feedback from the service providers, we were able to further optimize the user guidance of the application and present a process that maps both the current checklist and the real process of the monthly inspection.
This combination was well received by the service providers and the added value for their work was directly perceived,» says Kordian Caplazi, co-founder of Rimon Technologies GmbH. The final product is something to behold. Our AR application guides the user through 300 digital checkpoints, which are displayed through so-called areas of interest and points of interest in space by overlaying the real world with the virtual 3D model and supported with targeted information such as images, videos and animated 3D models.
Inspections with AR glasses works as follows: The glasses are put on and initially no more is visible than can be detected with the naked eye. Then the digital twin of the substation is superimposed in the field of view. At each checkpoint during the inspection, a concise text description of the inspection to be performed is displayed – accompanied by images, videos and/or 3D models at the right time and in the right place. This way, service providers know exactly which check they need to perform at which location and which references apply to the evaluation of their observations. At the same time, with the help of AR glasses, photo evidence can be shot at all checkpoints and the report can be recorded right on the plant and in real time on a virtual keyboard.
This further standardizes the inspections and makes them more efficient at the same time. In addition, the reports become more comprehensible for Swissgrid and the results recorded in them more transparent. This is also confirmed by Ernst Zogg, who as Grid Maintenance Manager is responsible for the Mettlen substation: «The system can increase the quality of the inspections and simplify the processes.» The use of AR glasses is also a clear advantage for new employees who are not familiar with the plants and ensures the transfer of knowledge.