SSAB Raahe tried out the use of augmented reality in the supervision of installation work
SSAB Raahe took a digital leap in the annual maintenance of the strip mill in the summer, when augmented reality (AR) was used for the first time in the supervision of installation work. This meant that instead of traveling from Germany to the SSAB’s Raahe mill in Finland, the expert who usually oversees the work was able to follow and direct the work through AR glasses attached to the hard hat of the mill’s own installation supervisor.
Two gearboxes were replaced in conjunction with the last annual maintenance at the Raahe mill. The new gearboxes were ordered for the strip mill line from Germany, and normally a representative of the supplier supervises the installation work. However, the coronavirus situation resulted in the parties deciding to try out a completely new installation model. SSAB Raahe’s own installation supervisor put on a hard hat with AR glasses and began to use a tablet with AR software installed. This allowed him to show the installation work to the supervisor in Germany, who then added the necessary information to the image shown in the mill fitter’s glasses.
Before starting installation work, both parties tested the necessary software and hardware, and the actual installation work ultimately went well.
“It was quite easy to learn how to use the hardware. The use of audio AR glasses was at times challenging because of the noisy environment. However, this way of working speeds up solving any problem situations, since a picture and video speak more than a thousand words. This is the future and a digital leap that really takes you forward,” says Jarkko Ahonen, Design Manager at SSAB Raahe.
This is the first time that augmented reality has been used in the supervision of installation work at the mill. Alpo Riekki, who acted as project manager in the maintenance work, says that the technology might also be used in future projects.