Wide-format printer manufacturer Agfa Graphics, based in Belgium but with U.S. operations in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, has struck up a partnership that it says will allow it to serve its customers more efficiently.
Agfa is partnering with Mountain View, California-based Fieldbit, a company that has invented software-at its R&D facility in Israel-that it says enables remote experts to send precise visual instructions to field technicians using real-time augmented reality.
Agfa will be conducting a field test to add Fieldbit’s end-to-end software platform to Agfa’s existing Inkjet field support services in Europe and North South and Latin America. That means, according to Agfa, that its inkjet support group in those regions will now have at their disposal Fieldbit’s innovative AR technologies that enable the company’s frontline workforce in remote locations to collaborate with subject matter experts in real time via smart eyeglasses, smart phones, mobile devices, and web browsers.
According to Agfa, Fieldbit’s technology includes a shared “see-what-I see” field of view; step-by-step automated guidance through logical procedures for preventive maintenance; and an application programming interface for augmenting industrial Internet of Things real-time data or real-time data from legacy automation systems.
“Fieldbit is seeking to change the mode of operation in remote field services by creating, capturing, and sharing accumulated organizational knowledge once held only in the minds of a few experts,” says Evyatar Meiron, CEO of Fieldbit. “We are thrilled to be working with Agfa’s inkjet support team and improving on what they already do. We will be able to empower teams on the ground to resolve issues via AR remote assistance, thereby reducing the need for technician visits and helping businesses realize substantial savings.”
The Fieldbit platform also enables call centers and technicians to remotely guide their customers, thus avoiding costly on-site visits, the company says.
According to Agfa, its inkjet support team is one of the largest organizations in the digital print and chemicals industry, with 170 employees at its headquarters and field offices around the globe.