Siemens Mobility improve communication efficiency with Epson Moverio

Troubleshooting, training and quality control

Siemens Mobility improve communication efficiency with Epson Moverio

Discover how Moverio smart glasses from Epson are helping Siemens Mobility to improve their communication efficiency and support while reducing travel costs.

Siemens Mobility Deploy Epson AR Glasses to Increase Efficiency

Epson Moverio smart glasses are increasing efficiency in the rail manufacturing industry.

Siemens Mobility GmbH specialises in the development and production of vehicles such as trams, light and heavy rail trains, and locomotive and high speed trains. Siemens Mobility is part of Siemens AG, the German multinational conglomerate and largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe.

Rail vehicles all over the world are equipped with Siemens Mobility technology and a team of over 4,500 employees in locations such as Germany, Austria, Russia, India, China and USA produce components for ‘Traction Drive’ equipment that includes high-efficiency motors, gearboxes, converters, control units and bogies. From the first electric locomotive in 1879, the company has delivered numerous exemplary projects such as the first hi-speed US Loco, Amtrak ACS64 in 2012, the energy efficient UK Thameslink concept in 2016 and the recent Vienna Metro in 2019.

With a service portfolio that vows to increase ‘efficiency, availability and reliability’, the company has deployed Epson Moverio smart glasses in its Nuremberg headquarters to enhance its internal communication worldwide.

Share knowledge, increase understanding

Gerhard Dorr, Head of Traction Quality at Siemens Mobility talks of his frustration, prior to discovering the glasses, with the amount of time his staff were spending on the telephone trying to resolve issues. In addition, they were unable to share the full extent of their knowledge using speech alone, “For me, that was crazy”, he recollects, and explains that it was this that led him to the Epson Moverio glasses, thinking, “There must be something to improve this and to help our people understand each other better”.

One of Gerhard Dorr’s primary interests is in making processes more efficient, and he is passionate about optimising communication as a means of improving productivity. He says that the Epson glasses offer, “freedom in communication”.

Dorr’s team tested the smart glasses in several countries and got such positive feedback that they now plan to use them in all their facilities worldwide.

Breaking down the wall

For Siemens Mobility, one of the benefits of the Epson Moverio smart glasses is in the exchange of information between technical staff when resolving real-time mechanical issues in separate manufacturing locations. Norbert Zeidler, a Field Technician, explains that prior to the adoption of the glasses they needed, “a lot of telephone conferences and several meetings”, to resolve a single issue.

Anton Langer, Head of Global Manufacturing Technology, goes further, “before, I felt like there was a wall between my colleagues and me. It was very unpleasant to have this situation”, because as the key person able to resolve the issues his technical staff were experiencing at another plant, he simply could not get the information to them fast enough. Anton Langer says that, “with these glasses I feel like I’m standing beside my colleagues”.

Efficient knowledge transfer

A typical interaction using the Epson Moverio smart glasses could occur during the machining process, where industrial cutters mill the surfaces of the large, cast steel motor housings. A field technician at the machine locates an issue, but he needs Mr. Langer’s expert input to resolve it. He puts on the glasses and connects with Mr. Langer, who might be in another part of the plant, or in another geographical location entirely.

The Epson Moverio smart glasses provide an audio-visual live feed and secure data connection from the technician’s location at the machine to Mr. Langer at his computer in his office. He can now see exactly what the technician sees, and using concise graphical visual instructions such as red dot pointers or typed callouts that will appear in the technicians field of view, is able to guide him through resolving his issue hands-free and with confidence; in this case quickly replacing a component in the cutter head and restarting the machine. This is how he is able to virtually ‘stand beside’ his colleague and get the vital information to him in the most efficient way possible.

Anton Langer summarises the key Moverio benefits as:

Fast communication
Direct feedback
Real-time reaction and resolution
Technician has both hands free and can work as normal
Expert has exactly the same view as the technician

Costs down, wellbeing up

Siemens Mobility has paired the Epson Moverio glasses with its own Remote Collaboration software, and this supports the video interface that the technician and expert share, and allows the expert to annotate what the technician sees in real time. It is clear that typing an instruction over the shared real-time view is far more efficient than describing it over a phone call. This not only saves employees’ time, but also reduces the cost of international travel.

Siemens Mobility currently uses the smart glasses in three areas: troubleshooting, training and quality control, all of which can be carried out via Remote Collaboration, with the participants in different locations and potential time and cost savings across each area.

From the technicians’ perspective, the Epson solution is as much about professional wellbeing as profitability and they report that the glasses, “make our lives easier” and help, “support each other better”.

Judging by the enthusiasm of directors and technicians alike, Epson’s Moverio smart glasses are on track to support Siemens’ own philosophy of “Ingenuity for Life”.