6 uses of virtual and augmented reality in the energy sector

Big data, machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), digital marketing, AI, chatbots... There is no escaping it, the digital transformation is underway! 3D in particular, with the emergence of tools such as virtual reality headsets is shaking up the codes. The emergence of innovative technologies offers new solutions to all sectors of activity. The energy sector is increasingly interested in this. Improved processes, increased team skills, improved safety... there is no shortage of benefits!

Energy sector: the benefits of augmented and virtual reality

Used for industrial purposes, AR and VR combine 3D technologies to allow users to immerse themselves and understand complicated processes that require a high level of expertise and experience. Maintenance operations, operator training... such applications are very useful in the energy sector.
Why? Because they allow both :
  • Saves time, 
  • Reduced risk of errors 
  • Cost reduction!

Energy sector specific uses of AR and VR :

Training, maintenance, risk prevention... Virtual and augmented reality applications are of great interest to energy companies in all sectors:

- Facilitating the training of industrial teams through 3D modelling

In the renewable energy sector, for example, this reduces the duration of operations and improves knowledge of equipment and processes. For example, an application on a tablet or smartphone modelling all the documentation of a machine replaces or complements bulky paper technical guides. These types of VR Learning solutions are the main innovation in the energy sector.
The big advantage? Quick, easy and even personalised access to documentation for all operators, whatever their position (inside, outside, different production areas, etc.).

- Ensuring risk prevention

In a sensitive sector like nuclear power, optimising safety is a priority. 
For example, a virtual reality application has enabled EDF to simulate the maintenance operations of a pilot plant reactor. The result: optimal safety for the operators, who were able to practice maintenance procedures thanks to the 3D representation. This highly accurate and complete model was produced using panoramic HD photos and laser scans. The operators were trained in this way and were able to work more efficiently in real-life situations.

- Prepare and formalise scenarios for intervention, maintenance and handling

This type of preventive maintenance makes it possible to simulate technical failures or to prevent the behaviour of machines. During their training in an immersive room, technicians are able to anticipate breakdowns and/or emergency situations as close as possible to reality.

- Understanding of a complex process

Another effective tool is the 3D film. A tutorial in the form of a 3D film shown to the teams can, for example, clearly present the dismantling of a machine, or the specifics of the operational areas of a factory.

- Tracking down design flaws

An Artefacto application helps optimise quality and control operations in the energy sector. Using a projection system, a mixed reality headset and an augmented reality application on a tablet, operators reduce their inspection time. Better still, it prevents errors and waste.

- Assisting teams in complex interventions

Imagine a maintenance operation on the rotor of a wind turbine. Equipped with an augmented or virtual reality headset, the technician on site can receive remote assistance from his colleagues, who can provide him with perfectly adapted technical solutions. They can transmit more information (data, tutorials, etc.) via the AR or VR headset than with a conventional headset.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are of great use to those in the energy sector. Engineers are quickly taking over and mastering these applications thanks to their comfort with the technology. Risk prevention, ultra-fast understanding of complex operations, quality control optimisation... Energy 4.0 promises a plethora of AR and VR applications!

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