Connecting your smart glasses to the network in hazardous areas: challenges and solutions

IN BRIEF

• Working in Ex-zones implies many challenges for frontline workers. Remote assistance through smart glasses and secure, voice-controlled software can therefore be a true asset
• Nevertheless, rules and regulations in hazardous/explosive environments require any equipment and new technology to be intrinsically safe i.e ATEX certified
• Accessing the WiFi network in ATEX environments is costly and not always possible
• That is why AMA deploys its remote collaborative solution XpertEye Essential on an ATEX-certified head-mounted i.safe MOBILE HMT-1Z1 device, connected to an i.safe MOBILE smartphone or tablet (IS530.1, IS930.1, IS655.2), used as a connectivity hub thanks to its 2G/3G/4G network connectivity.

Hazardous areas: a quick definition


Explosive atmospheres are characterized by the significant and/or constant presence of flammable gases, mists, vapors, or combustible dust. Mixed with air, any source of ignition can cause an explosion.
These explosive atmospheres can be found for instance, in offshore oil platforms, petrochemical or pharmaceutical plants, lacquering factories, mines, flour mills, etc.

The daily challenges for workers in hazardous areas and the rise of remote collaboration

In these hazardous environments, frontline workers have to perform daily tasks such as:

• Installation, commissioning
• Maintenance, leak/fault/breakdown/failure detection
• Supervision, training
• Metering, testing, risk assessment
• Inspection, diagnostics, quality control
• Audit
• Support and troubleshooting

As we are entering the industry 4.0 area, the use of smart glasses for remote assistance is becoming more and more common. This is undeniably a great new asset, to solve issues quicker, minimize downtime and reduce the costs (and the risks) of traveling on site.

 

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"The use of smart glasses for remote assistance is becoming more and more common"


 

Smart glasses embedding a secure Assisted Reality (AR) software, such as XpertEye Essential by AMA, can therefore be a true advantage. This secure, hands-free solution is a must-have for frontline workers, allowing distant technicians and experts to guide their on-site collaborators through emergency repairs, or to train new hires safely, for instance.
XpertEye Essential is the collaborative tool for the deskless workforce, allowing users to share their view in real-time, take pictures and add notes, remotely control the zoom and the flashlight, and plug additional devices such as thermal cameras or microscopes, etc.

These are just a few examples of the many benefits and possible use cases of remote assistance.

Accessing the wifi network in hazardous areas: an isafe MOBILE could be your hotspot

Introducing new technologies and tools in a company is a challenge, and even more so within Ex-Zones. For employers and employees, the n°1 priority remains to assure security (and peace of mind) for everyone. Indeed, preventing sources of ignition when communicating and performing operations in explosive areas requires any equipment brought on-site to be intrinsically safe, and to be ATEX, IECEx, CSA or EAC -certified.

The XpertEye Essential solution is WiFi-based, but installing ATEX-certified WiFi hotspots is not only very costly, but it is also complicated since most routers are not certified to operate in hazardous environments.

This is why AMA offers an alternative solution based on ATEX-certified hardware, connecting an i.safe MOBILE HMT-1Z1 head-mounted device to an i.safe MOBILE smartphone or tablet (IS530.1, IS930.1, IS655.2), using the phone’s 2G/3G/4G network connectivity.

i.safe MOBILE´s devices are tested worldwide and certified by renowned notified bodies to make sure they meet all country-specific requirements. They are ATEX, IECEx, CSA, EAC, etc. compliant and adhere to the most stringent safety protocols and standards set by petrochemical, pharmaceutical, or food industry, to name a few.

Frontline workers can hereby take full advantage of the XpertEye Essential remote assistance solution, even where no WiFi is available.

 

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Hands-free collaboration with smart glasses and voice control

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