It can be difficult for companies—and their leaders—to envision the different types of process improvements that can be achieved by implementing next generation technologies, such as augmented reality (AR). That’s why, in the Q1 2019 issue of MHI Solutions, the publication shares four separate case studies describing the experiences of early adopters. Among the companies profiled in the article, “NextGen Technologies in Action,” Coca-Cola Refreshments’ Operational Excellence Team explains their deployment of smart glasses throughout the company’s bottling plants to help keep their bottling machinery up and running.
The team initially considered AR within the context of plant managers’ priorities. At the top of the list, getting more with the resources they have, and doing it at higher volume and higher quality while reducing overall costs. From there, eliminating downtime became the key objective.
That’s because when a machine goes down, every hour of downtime can lead to hundreds to thousands of dollars lost per line. The machinery used are both big and complex, often requiring highly-skilled expertise from vendors to troubleshoot issues and provide standard, quarterly preventative maintenance. The cost to fly in this support can be as much as $10,000 or more per visit, multiple times per year across 40 different plants.
Coca-Cola turned to Upskill to deploy its Skylight software interface on smart glasses across its bottling lines worldwide. This hands-free remote assistance capability now connects its plant operations personnel with experts at multiple locations, significantly reducing travel costs and yielding less overall downtime with higher quality outcomes.
“We started using smart glasses to handle exceptions in our bottling process to minimize unplanned downtime and saw immediate cost advantages,” says Michael Terrell, Director of Operational Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company.
After multiple successes with the AR/smart glasses implementation, Terrell and his team are now looking for new ways to utilize the technology. Supporting plants through employee training and knowledge transfer is one way to do that.
“Some of our plants experience high turnover with new associates being onboarded on all the time,” he explains. “Being able to equip these workers with process workflows and knowledge accumulated over the years by experienced operators through their smart glasses will allow them to work more autonomously and keep the plant up and running more efficiently.”
To read the full article, as well as additional case studies about blockchain, network optimization and cloud computing, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), click here.