Metris eXtended Reality

New ANDRITZ app for remote support and training

Metris XR test report

Monitoring product quality: Metris eXtended Reality used in steel strip production for flatness and thickness quality control

© Jan Brüggemann

Training on 3D models

© Jan Brüggemann

Imagine there’s a pandemic and no one can travel to the start-up. Imagine you fix the machine, and it still doesn’t run. Imagine you are new to the company and asked to perform maintenance for the first time.

In the first case, commissioning would probably be postponed. In the second case, you would pore over instructions, take photos, write emails, make phone calls, and spend a lot of time and effort solving the problem. In the third case, after traditional training, you would probably start working with a certain degree of uncertainty.

Or you have the ANDRITZ Metris eXtended Reality app. Then you would put on your HoloLens, and for commissioning you would connect the relevant experts live via Teams worldwide. In China, for example, a Metals furnace plant was commissioned this year with remote support from experts in Europe. For repairs, you would digitally project the 3D model with instructions over the equipment, and during maintenance you would be guided through the steps.

“Through the app, you’re in constant contact with customers. This creates much closer customer relationships.”

Klaus Adelsberger

Cross-divisional sales success

Metris eXtended Reality recently became available in the basic version. The first successful POC (proof of concept) was already carried out at the end of last year, for an ANDRITZ Separation customer plant in Germany with the help of an ANDRITZ Metals expert. Metris eXtended Reality successfully supported the customer’s maintenance team with their work, allowing the customer to recoup the investment in the app with the first virtual training.

Easy error analysis

© Jan Brüggemann

At ANDRITZ, new developments and good ideas are generated in many different corners of our complex Group structure. Ideally, the right ones come together and result in new solutions that benefit all business units and the entire Group. As with Metris eXtended Reality.

Jan Brüggemann from ANDRITZ Metals spent many years on the road as a commissioning engineer. He experienced how important it is to get input on site from colleagues in different departments around the world. Today, as R&D project manager at the Hemer site, he is involved with virtual reality and augmented reality to facilitate work at customer plants. Markus Fuchs heads the product visualization team in Graz, which has been supporting the business units with digital media for four years now. In 2018, the two met at the Metris booth at Hannover Messe, saw how well their activities matched, and began to collaborate on several projects. That was the starting point for the development of the Metris eXtended Reality application.

Operating status of components visible anytime and anywhere in the plant

© Jan Brüggemann

Fixed price or subscription

Last year, the app also impressed the ANDRITZ Ventures internal start-up competition. The development project received financial support, and the project team received advice and know-how for the product launch. At the same time, the team built up a network in which all ANDRITZ business areas are now represented and can contribute their needs for adaptations or new functions and modules. Along with the technical solution, the team will provide training videos, marketing materials, and basic contracts to the business areas by the end of the year to enable them to offer the app to customers either at a fixed price or on a subscription basis.

Remote support for maintenance, servicing and repairs

© Jan Brüggemann

Strong customer relationship

Klaus Adelsberger, Head of Global Service in Metals Processing for Mill Solutions, has been a supporter of the app idea right from the start. “Through the app, you’re in constant contact with customers and get involved in their day-to-day tasks and ‘aches and pains.’ This creates much closer customer relationships. Thanks to this collaboration and close exchange, we can adapt our product portfolio even better to customer needs,” says Adelsberger. “After all, customers carry out a lot of maintenance work themselves, and in the process, also optimize their plants with regard to their needs. The app helps them do that in the best possible way. In the case of complex maintenance work, optimization activities and problems that arise, the app makes it much easier to contact us. The customer can quickly and easily gain access directly to our remote support.”

To further improve collaboration, the team is working on a solution to define points of maintenance for the customer and for ANDRITZ. The idea is to mark on the 3D model of the plant those points for which ANDRITZ provides training as a basis for maintenance by the customer, and those points that require maintenance by ANDRITZ.

Watch the new Metris eXtended Reality video

The Metris eXtended Reality app helps with:

  • Training for maintenance and servicing (in classroom and at the plant, in the future also with examinations)
  • Real-time remote support for commissioning, maintenance, and problem situations
  • Mobile, intuitive access to live data from plant sensors anywhere and anytime (condition monitoring)

With Metris eXtended Reality, we enable virtual remote support service and assistance options while providing a mobile and intuitive way for engineers to interact with sensor data, digital twins, and their physical counterparts.