One unfortunate limitation many O&M providers encounter is that no matter how experienced and knowledgeable their expert technicians and supervisors are, each of them can only be in one place at one time. As operations and maintenance continues to grow, experts’ time will become increasingly valuable.
But what if an expert was able to personally visit and address problems at any wind site across the country at a moment’s notice? Or what if less experienced techs could reference critical info and procedures on the fly even with their hands full, in effect, instantly increasing their level of expertise and making them a more capable technician?
TechInSystems, a soon-to-be subsidiary of a 32-year-old company, Turbine Technology Services, has developed a device that makes all this possible and more. The Turbinator Gen 3 (TG3) applies the technology of the recently-debuted Google Glass device to the wind industry, and it shows every sign of being a game-changer.
Fully developed and ready for implementation immediately, the TG3 combines two growing tech trends—wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT)—to provide an instantaneous live-feed video and audio connection among technicians anywhere in the world.
Collaborative troubleshooting is the most obvious value of the TG3, reducing technician error and downtime. A technician can look up component information by using the integrated Google Glass component to scan a QR code on a device or by using Glass’ object recognition technology. That is, all a technician has to do to bring up specs on a part is look at the object. The tech can then access specific instructions for servicing the part on the fly. If the technician still needs to consult a supervisor or more experienced tech, the collaborators can access a live feed and see and hear what the technician sees and hears.
When properly integrated with a SCADA system, the TG3 can also help direct a technician directly to the malfunctioning component, further reducing downtime. The TG3 can also provide summarized live control data, inventory status of a part, and vendor contact information. The TG3 also features three encryption algorithms, Serpent-TwoFish-AES, to ensure the security of this data.
Beyond the potential for collaborative troubleshooting, the TG3 serves as a guardian angel to any techs working at-height. A built in accelerometer guarantees that, in the event of a fall, emergency support receives a distress signal and help is dispatched as quickly as possible.
Through a partnership with Better Ways to Study, the developer of the Learn Everywhere app, the creators of the TG3 have also developed the tool for use in training and certification of new technicians. A teacher can observe and record what the training technician sees and hears as he executes operations procedures or maintenance protocol. This video can then be recorded and played back for the student, like an athlete reviewing game film.
Learn Everywhere is based on an effective form of training called “interval learning.” As a supplement to hands-on experience, the technician can receive quiz questions directly to his smart phone periodically through out the day. The same questions are asked in slightly modified ways each time reinforcing the concept and ensuring an ongoing, engaged understanding.
“Most of us learn and work better and faster when valuable information and support are relevant and in the context of our task at hand,” says George Gramatikas, co-founder of Turbine Technology Services and president of Tech In Systems. “TG3 is an integrated comprehensive communication tool to connect a user with information, experienced colleagues, and life-saving rapid response teams.”
The TG3 features a front facing camera, HUD, an integrated battery that can be hotswapped as needed at the jobsite, and a microfoam cranial transducer.
View the product demonstration video here.