Exploring safe & efficient operation of wastewater facilities with augmented reality
Keeping wastewater equipment up and running is more than an economic priority. Wastewater management is downright critical for serving customers and protecting the environment. Ensuring pumps, filtration systems, equipment for evaporation and distillation, reverse osmosis systems, and testing devices continue to run properly protects people and the environment.
The safe and efficient operation of wastewater facilities depends upon an expertly trained staff capable of diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing specialized systems and complex equipment when necessary to ensure they work flawlessly. It is a mighty task, and one that requires efficient sharing of knowledge and expertise across teams and generations.
The training of frontline wastewater workers is a necessary, albeit costly and time consuming investment. However, even with superb training, there is simply no replacement for operational experience. Wastewater staff with hands-on experience possess a level of knowledge unobtainable in a classroom or from a training program. Facilities need to find ways to distribute this invaluable knowledge more broadly throughout the organization and to less experienced workers. This information also needs to be available at all times, even the graveyard shift.
Municipalities and wastewater facilities must also continuously upskill frontline veterans on new equipment and new competencies. Additional skillsets are frequently at technology’s cutting-edge and the need to provide ongoing and regular training to even the most experienced operator has become more essential than ever.
Technology, including augmented reality (AR), offers ways to both tap into the knowledge and expertise of experienced workers, and train the next generation of operators on core procedures and new protocols. Capturing and putting in-house knowledge to work enables treatment facilities to enhance performance and keep operations running continuously and smoothly.
For example, plant operators can follow step-by-step work instructions from videos, photos, audio and other on-demand references pertinent to the task or step at hand. These operators can perform the complex tasks described in these instructions while looking at actual equipment. With guidance provided via their headset or mobile device, operators can more accurately follow the instructions and complete the task correctly the first time.
Improving inspection training through augmented work instructions provides immediate benefits. Inspections generate valuable data that advanced AR-enabled platforms like Manifest from Taqtile capture for analysis in reports, and archive for compliance or future review. Advanced AR-enabled platforms also provide built-in fault reporting, capturing of completion evidence, and creation of detailed work logs. These fault reports can also integrate with other facility applications to initiate review and resolution processes for compliance and continuous improvement efforts.