Tenaris’s Siderca mill in Campana, Argentina, has recently started up the new ladles for a furnace at the steel shop with remote assistance from Italy, by using a mixed reality device. The tool combined virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality to bring vast amounts of information and unmatched resources to the fingertips of the operator who carried out start-up operations.
Through the use of the see-through viewfinder, the tool allowed the operataor in Argentina and the Tenaris expert in Italy to visualize and navigate 3D projections, videos, or data archives for the start-up. The tool’s HD cameras and sensors translated hand movements into commands, which facilitated the remote assistance. The use of mixed-reality lens saved the start-up technicians a trip from Europe, and also kept the project on track by avoiding the mandatory delay due to COVID-related isolation requirements for travelers entering Argentina.
“The potential use cases of mixed reality devices in our industry are wide ranging. It may herald a future where libraries of work instructions, technical guidelines, operating manuals and engineering drawings are integrated with virtual reality devices,” said Alejandro Lammertyn, Tenaris Chief Digital & Information Officer. “Tools such as these would help minimize potential errors in interpreting technical data by projecting this info on top of real-world machines and processes”.
With this being a pilot project, Tenaris’s IT and Automation teams are now analyzing the possibility of deploying additional units at other facilities.