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AR, Innovation, Safety

How Aggreko is Reinventing its Global Workforce with AR

November 04, 2021 / by Walter Davis, David Nedohin

Walter Davis

Global Head of Talent & Learning Technology, Aggreko

David Nedohin

Chief Customer Officer, Scope AR

Develop a deeper understanding of how core concepts of learning and training are enhanced through AR technologies.


00:00:20,067 –> 00:01:04,601
-Laura: Hi, everyone. I’m Laura Chadwick. I will be today’s moderator with our friends from Aggreko and Scope AR. I was really excited about having this session
join the Limitless Feature Conference. I feel like we’ve talked a lot about virtual reality, bu

00:00:20,067 –> 00:01:04,601
-Laura: Hi, everyone. I’m Laura Chadwick. I will be today’s moderator with our friends from Aggreko and Scope AR. I was really excited about having this session
join the Limitless Feature Conference. I feel like we’ve talked a lot about virtual reality, but we know that AR is a huge and up and coming technology,
so we’re so excited to have Walter and David talk to us about AR. So I’m going to turn it over to David and Walter. I am here to encourage everyone to ask questions,
put them in the chat. I’ll be back when Walter and David are done discussing, and we’ll pose those questions. But keep them coming. We’re really interested.
Thanks so much. Over to you, David and Walter.

00:01:04,601 –> 00:01:13,60
-Walter: Great. Yeah, and I guess, David, I guess maybe you could, if you quickly introduce yourself and maybe Scope AR. I’ll move on into the Scope AR screen.

00:01:13,601 –> 00:02:47,667
-David: Yeah. Thanks, Walter. So my name is David Nedohin. I’m the Chief Customer Officer and one of the founders of Scope AR. So we’re a software company.
We develop software, augmented reality software that companies like Walter, industrial companies and various industries, aerospace and defense, manufacturing
and industrial equipment use really just to socialize and democratize kind of expertise and knowledge, so being able to create content very easily and distribute
that content to the people when and where they need it. It’s really what it’s all about, and then connecting that to, you know, that expertise. Or sometimes, it’s actually
an expert to those workers and then being able to analyze that data. And so that’s what we’re all about is just making sure that everybody has that expertise in their hands sort of when and where they need it, whether it’s existing content or just sharing expertise. Walter, if you can show the next slide, this gives an example of the ways
that our software work link can be used in organizations like Walter and Aggreko use. So, you know, certainly one way is through predefined instructions, so step-by-step
animated content. Somebody can hold up their phone or tablet, or put on something like the HoloLens and overlay that, just like the person on the left is in front
of the Orion shuttle. Or, and maybe “and: when they need help, they can connect with an expert who’s somewhere else and have that person be able to show them
what to do using annotations, or potentially loading in those 3D-enabled work constructions. So, yeah. That’s what Scope does, and you know, and I help our customers in sort
of moving through that journey and seeing success and value from it.

00:02:47,667 –> 00:13:09,601
-Walter: Great. And my name is Walter Davis. I’m the Head of Talent and Learning Technology at Aggreko. Aggreko is a temporary power supplier, so one of the largest…
Or arguably the largest in the world. We operate in around 80 countries, and we’re not really a utility organization you see necessarily in the forefront, but we’re always
behind the scenes sort of providing power where there isn’t any. So we power things like the Olympics, which we just finished doing in Japan. But then we also provide almost
a temporary utility service, if you would, for more remote locations until that utility service or you could say matured infrastructure arrives. So we power, like I said,
we power and supply heating and cooling solutions sort of across the world. And be as we…As you can see with our head count, so we don’t have a lot of people in any one place. I think that plays a role also in one of the reasons we went with augmented reality. So we have a very diverse workforce, 80 countries, but only around 6,000,
6,500 employees, so not a lot of people in any one place. We have a large field service workforce. So then what are we going to be talking about today? So I’m going to take you through a couple of our different use cases within training for augmented reality. So I think most people when you first go into augmented reality, probably like we did,
first thing you think about are sort of those self-paced on demand activities that you can create, which is exactly where we started, as well. That was the first type
of our experiences. Those were our first use cases that were looking at, and that was the first area where we saw sort of that initial ROI. Reducing travel, reducing equipment down time, I know that was actually mentioned in one of our other breakout sessions, which I really liked. Down time was a big factor for us, as well.
This equipment is costly, so when it’s in a training center or having to be allocated to a training center, one, we have challenges with just getting that equipment,
especially a new product that’s just being released, like our new energy storage solutions. But when it’s at a training center, it’s also then… That means it’s not
at a customer site. It’s not, you know, making revenue, providing power where it’s needed, etc. So there’s multiple challenges in even just equipment availability
and the cost impacts of even when it is available. And those are all things that we initially saw as augmented reality, helping to help us overcome. So I guess I should have
probably covered this from the beginning, so I guess AR is, we see that as part of our… If you still look at the bottom, the graph there, it’s something that complements
our existing learning portfolio, if you would. So we provide… We have knowledge bases and online courses that are fully digital, and then we have our physical
face-to-face training that we provide in some of our learning centers around the world. And AR sort of sits in the middle, where it’s complementing the physical world.
It’s bringing you a digital experience, but in your real world scenario. So you can combine elements of the two together, and we’ll also want to experience
that sort of wherever they are, when they need to. So I missed calling that out I think in the get go, and that’s sort of how we see it there, sort of bridging that physical
and digital space. Then on the other two activities, I talked a little bit about self-paced. So on the instructor-led side and the practical assessment side, these are activities that actually… They came from our instructors and from our business, a lot of it driven by COVID last year. So as we were starting to have to rethink how we delivered face-to-face training and convert a lot of our face-to-face training to digital, just because we simply couldn’t get those workers into learning centers anymore
and travel wasn’t an option, we started to look at how we were delivering our training differently. And as we started to deliver things, you know more sessions virtually,
that knowledge portion was a fairly straightforward I would say transition. You know, there’s a lot of content that we could convert to the knowledge, but what we were missing was that practical or hands-on, or more experiential elements that were left behind when you typically go into virtual classroom training. So one of the ideas actually that one of our instructors came up with was, you know, can we create some of the parts and components and things that are needed that they used to have
in the training center. Can we create those as 3D models and have that as a virtual instructor-led activity? So during their training now, they’ll have their knowledge-
based portion of the training, and then they’ll break out, well, break out. They’ll pause for a break and go through an instructor-led activity. So they’ll all place
whatever that activity is. In this example I have on the screenshot, that’s our alternator strapping activity, with number of different strapping sequences
depending on the load, etc., that we’re going to be putting out. But they can go through those on their own sort of in their own work space as they’re attending the training.
So it allows us to complement, not necessarily replace, but complement and enhance our digital face-to-face training, making it a lot closer to what they would have experienced had they had the opportunity to go in the classroom. And like I said, that’s been received very well. We actually have now a number of these instructor-led activities, as we call them, our virtual instructor-led activities that are done in sync. And then the third example, again something that came up during COVID,
was of our practical gas safety assessment. So we have… In order to go onto some of our gas-powered or MPG-powered gas sites, we do have a minimum safety requirement
that everyone needs to have and that they know how to troubleshoot, identify, etc., a leak when they’re working in or around our gas products. And, you know, historically that had all been done face-to-face. We had a gas safety program that was delivered face-to-face. There was knowledge. There was an assessment, and there was this
practical portion where you then had to demonstrate that you knew how to actually troubleshoot it based off the knowledge you had received. And we, you know,
before we had augmented reality, I said we had physical actually piping scenarios in the learning centers to do this. And now with AR, so what we’ve been able to do
is replicate that physical piping into digital sets of piping with multiple different simulations. So there’s different errors, so employees can go through a different scenario. We don’t have to put each of them through the same one. There’s different sets of simulations that will produce different errors, as well as different
configurations. So the piping will also look different. One you know, some may or may not have a valve that they do or don’t need to close. But they’ll all have sort of
the core gauges, etc., to check pressure. And they’ll have to use also a testing device during this session. Now on top of that, so while the students could go
through the session, that was great. But one of the other pieces that we required was that they were signed off, though, by an assessor or observer. In our case, we have some internal instructors that are authorized to sign off on these activities, but they need to be present during this session to make sure that, you know,
so they could ask them questions, watch them go through it, watch how they came to that outcome to see if they’re, you know, taking the right steps, etc.,
as well as ask some questions along the way. So that practical assessment is also streamed live. I know that David had mentioned Scope AR’s remote capabilities.
So we’re leveraging the remote capabilities to live stream that gas safety simulation to the instructor, so the instructor sees what the student sees. And that’s allowed us to have that program now signed off by our authorized bodies. It’s actually signed off by SGAS and Logic assessments in the U.K., so that’s just a little bit on that.
Hopefully I’m, you know, watching my time. I may need to move a little bit on the…a little quicker. So I gave you that example. So three different ways that
you can leverage augmented reality now in your training, I’ll touch here on a little bit of the ROI that we’ve seen. We’ve been leveraging now this technology,
we’re coming up on 2 years being live at the end of this year. So we went live luckily actually just before COVID, which was really I would say, you know,
unfortunate that COVID came, really beneficial that we were already looking at AR. We could quickly adapt and overcome a lot of the challenges they were presenting.
Had we not had this, I don’t know how we would have authorized our gas folks. I think we would have had a more serious, probably, issue in that case. Anyway, here you can see some of the savings. I can’t show the numbers, but I think the graph explains itself that, you know, the cost of face-to-face delivery versus the AR virtual delivery,
that’s including the licensing and development on that side. There’s a pretty significant difference when you compare the two, also that we’ve had that signed off by SGAS and LCL and that we we’re, you know, not just saving money, but we’re also cutting down on our carbon footprint which is really important for us. We’re constantly looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce that of our customers. So it’s important for us to be considerate and, you know, watching that metric, as well.
And then I’m going to pass it over to David. I think he’s going to take us through then a bit of the Scope AR creation side.

00:13:09,601 –> 00:15:20,334
-David: Yeah. Thanks, Walter. That, I mean, your week obviously speaks for itself, you know, in terms of the focus and looking ahead at how you’re going to save money
and connect people in workforces, and obviously looking at the reduced emissions. The question always comes back to, you know, how is this content created. What type of tools
are out there? How easy is it for us to do that? And the easiest way for me to kind of explain it is probably just to play this 2-minute video, and then I’ll talk
a little bit more. So there’s no audio with the video, but that’s okay. Really, this is just talking about the type of software, you know, that we license, called WorkLink Create. And it’s a desktop software that really anybody can engage with and be able to access the end results from sort of any device. So WorkLink is a software.
It’s a web-based software you can use on your laptop or your desktop, that you can just simply put your models, your files, you can scan and get three models into the software. This is what it looks like. You can share that and collaborate with other workers, but it really allows sort of the average computer user, somebody without any required background in programming or anything like that, special skills to be able to create the types of instructions that you’re using for your training applications.
In some cases, it’s for making sure that service and maintenance is completed properly. We’ve got a lot of really great champions. This is Shelly Peterson from Lockheed Martin, and they have terrific results in a number of programs. Sometimes, they’re using HoloLens as an example, you know, in organizations like Aggreko. They’re using handheld devices more commonly. Another customer in the aerospace industry, Click Bond, also they’re doing that same type of thing where they’re, you know, using those work constructions to create their own content for a combination of training and sales, as well as supporting their customers and then connecting with that remote assistance, as well. Did we lose Walter, there?

00:15:20,334 –> 00:15:30,267
-Walter: I’m not sure why, but think I almost saw you.

00:15:30,267 –> 00:19:16,601
-David: Yeah, but that’s okay. Yeah, so it’s just, you know, talking about the way that that’s actually created. And it is meant that we can, you know, license that software
to, you know, most organizations who probably have people internally that can build that type of content. Or in some cases, you know,we often help out. We’ve got a creative services team that can help out, creating content for customers as they start to ramp up building out that library of work constructions. But yeah, it’s easy to start with.
I mean, Walter and his team have been, like you said, using the software for quite some time. And, you know, there’s not a lot of overhead to get started. So a little bit about how it’s created, right, and you know, Walter, we can probably just even move onto that next slide. I think that gives folks a good understanding of, you know, where that content comes from and kind of how easy it is to do. We have along with Aggreko, we have a number of great customers who have put this into place. So it’s not just simply in the stages of, like, pilots and innovation teams who are trying to prove some value, but they’re putting it into production and they’re expecting results.
And that’s really what it’s about, right? So in organizations like the medical device industry, we have companies that have been able to put this into a training
and seeing just tremendous results and increased competency, as high as like 40 percent improvements in competency there. And if you look at the next slide, this goes back
to the aerospace industry and, you know, we’re seeing organizations… these numbers are unbelievable in some ways. But they are in others. It’s, you know, the 99 percent
reduction in prework is kind of that time to information. So you can imagine in different use cases, you know, the time and practice that it takes to take paper instructions
or other instructions, understand them, overlay that into the real world, understand what it’s trying to tell you, make sure you’re doing it right and then actually
complete the task. So, you know, AR is so effective because you can literally look through your device, your hardware device, your HoloLens or your phones, your tablets and it’s all right there in front of you. So you don’t have to do that processing part in terms of that time to information in terms of what it means. You’re just seeing it
right there in front of you. So, you know, lots of times we’re seeing training times reduced by 85 percent and just incredible results in terms of the time that it takes to actually resolve issues or complete tasks. But the big one is just, like, understanding the best practices and where it’s coming from. And as Walter’s talked about,
being able to deliver those best practices to their workers from a training environment and have them just look at it. You can imagine in some cases what we’re seeing here is, you know, work that’s… Or best practices being overlaid on top of a real object. In a lot of cases… And I think, Walter, you can probably talk to this…
You don’t always have the equipment there. I mean, Aggreko’s got big equipment, and it’s not everywhere. So with the AR, you can also place that holographic view
of that content right in front of you, so maybe a worker is remote somewhere else. And you can go through those same steps and ensure that somebody’s getting the training,
or maybe they need a refresher so they go out to site, and they want to make sure they’ve done something right before they get there. They place that content on the ground
or wherever they might be, and go through those same steps before working on the equipment. So you can include, you know, competency and quizzing and assessment into those,
and really tie that back into your existing systems of record, your UPLM or LMS systems and have that, you know, that flow of information that connects to what you use.
So, you know, it’s easy to start with. It’s a long play in terms of obviously making sure that it’s going to be fully integrated with your enterprise solutions, but it’s a strategy that when deployed correctly with leadership like Walter, you can really see a lot of success in it as you kind of move through those milestones in the journey.
So, Walter, back to you.

00:19:16,601 –> 00:19:45,000
-Walter: Yeah. I think that’s it. We just ended. I mean, I will add to that. I mean, that’s a good point just to call out on the use and operations. I mean, that’s something we see, as well, those experiences that we’re creating now, our next phase is transitioning some of those on equipment onboarding, if you would, training to then in
the field performance support, help them on there, then operational journey then after.

00:19:45,000 –> 00:20:22,934
-Laura: Guys, thank you so much. That was so fantastic. We have 22 people joining us, a really great group here in the breakout session. So I would, I mean, encouraging everyone to jump in and ask a question. I, myself, in the interim while people are working on their questions hint hint, I want to ask about the certification that you guys… how hard was that to do and to get that set up? That seems like a great output of this, that now that you are able to assess people using this tool. It’s not just to train, but also to confirm that they have gained the skills that you sought to instill.

00:20:27,767 –> 00:22:16,634
-Walter: Yeah. So, I mean, I can answer that. So it took us probably about… and my little one is of course waving at me, looking for the thumbs-up that she can have whatever is in her hand hopefully, if it’s okay. So, I mean, when initially the issue arose, like, say with our gas technicians and it started getting escalated,
they could not get on site. We had no way of certifying them. They couldn’t travel to the countries they needed to go to or any of them close by, and our assessors
couldn’t go to them either. We started looking at then, you know, the options that we have. And as this was raised and proposed as an option, it probably took us about,
you know, to be honest it was maybe a month and a half or so to get from an idea to… and even shorter than that to get to actually a prototype, if you would.
The authoring makes it pretty easy to go quickly to prototype, so we had an initial prototype that we could view and just, yeah, this is going to work or not, pretty quickly.
And then, I mean, probably I guess, I would say probably within, you know, 2 months, a little back and forth SMEs involvement, as well, to get, you know, those actual simulations lined up of what we wanted to simulate, how we wanted to do it. It was probably about 2 months, and then we had a month of time, of back and forth
with SGAS and Logic in the U.K. just to demonstrate how we would be approaching it. They already signed off on the knowledge, fortunately sort of we gave them
a heads-up, so they knew this was coming. And then it was a fairly quick sign-up process. They saw then how this was, you know, demonstrating an equivalent level of assessment when you look at the level of complexities to the simulation and how realistic they were.

00:22:16,634 –> 00:22:41,067
-Laura: Great, fantastic. Well, we now have a question from the field. Janice asked, “There’s a concern about creating AR for products that tend to change
or improve at least once a year. How are clients handling this type of scenario? Do they avoid using AR for products that are on a quick change turnover?”

00:22:41,067 –> 00:23:33,300
-Walter: Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question. I mean, I think that all comes down to, like I said, the authoring capability and then simplicity of being able to change it.
Like I said, Scope, they just released their online author this year, which has really reduced the time to competency to create, I’ll put it that way, and made things a lot easier. So there’s no coding. I’ll throw that out there. I don’t know if I… I guess maybe I didn’t mention that before, but there’s no coding in the authoring we’re doing.
So I think when you consider change and using these kinds of software as a service with built-in creation tools, no code tools like Scope has, that really I think
it starts to then, you know, limit the amount of effort… I’ll put it that way… Required to maintain content.

00:23:33,300 –> 00:24:41,567
-David: Yeah, and I agree with that, Walter. I mean, that’s a really good question, and I think it comes down to understanding, you know, what is the change. What is the impact on the project? How does it… How much is actually going to change in that? You can go into the software and simply save it as a new project and make a small change,
and republish it. You could have old versions and newer versions. You could replace them all so people don’t have outdated instructions, if that’s important.
But, you know, it’s a good question. And sometimes, you may find that maybe right now this isn’t a product that we want to do it for, and we have a better way
of doing that to manage that change. I think it depends on how you’re doing it right now and how it’s going to improve that process, as well. So, you know, we’re definitely
about understanding the use case and making sure that you’re applying AR where it makes sense. And you don’t necessarily want to be putting a square peg in a round hole.
That doesn’t solve any problems for anybody, right? But yeah, we’re just making sure it aligns to a use case that’s going to be successful, for sure, but change management
in those projects themselves from our perspective is something that we do like to think is manageable within the software, for sure.

00:24:41,567 –> 00:25:04,334
-Laura: Great. Well, just a really quick final question. I’d love to hear, the people who use this, the people who are training, do you assess their feedback? What are their thoughts? It sounds like it’s such a successful project for Aggreko. What about the people on the field who are receiving this training, making use of it on a day-to-day basis? What are their thoughts about this?

00:25:04,334 –> 00:26:03,467
-Walter: Yeah. I mean, in general we’ve had very positive feedback. A lot of people will just start coming up with their own ideas of how to use it. Right now, I’d say a lot
of our challenge is keeping up with demand as a lot of people coming up with all these new ways, especially on the health and safety side. I think we started being
very product-focused knowing that we had a lot of new products coming because of the new transition. And we wanted to focus on those, but seeing there’s a huge
HSE space that we haven’t really even fully touched on enough that we could do to, you know, simulate, you know, hazardous situations without having to worry about anyone being injured, etc. So yeah, I mean, a lot of our feedback has been, like I said, positive and also, like I said, in the sense that we’re constantly sort of
getting regular feedback of, you know, new ideas, new ways to use this. Sales was another one. So the examples I gave were technical. We actually just rolled it out
for sales yesterday, actually a couple of products that we’ve…

00:26:03,467 –> 00:26:31,901
-Laura: Congrats!
-Walter: So we’ve got two products out for our sales and the rest of our employees, so it was just general so that we are all speaking the same language,
know the same things about our product. And not every employee gets a chance to go out. You know, we’ve got a lot of a desk-based workforce. They aren’t necessarily in a
depot or out by our products, so this gives them an opportunity to, like, “Oh, I can learn more about these products. I have it right in front of me,” experience it like others do, as if I had a chance to go to a depot or other location.

00:26:31,901 –> 00:26:56,834
-Laura: That’s so great. Well, I hear limitless future about the use of this technology. So to bring it on home… well, Walter and David, thank you so much for sharing.
It was so great to have you. Everyone, we are going to transition back to our networking and our expo hall. And then we’ll be back together on the main stage at 4:30
for our closing key note with Walmart. So I’ll see you back then, and thanks so much for joining us.

00:26:56,834 –> 00:26:57,934
-Walter: Great.

00:26:57,934 –> 00:26:59,767
-David: Thanks, Walter.
-Walter: Thank you. Thanks, Laura. I’ll talk to you later, David.

00:26:59,767 –> 00:27:02,834
-Laura: Bye-bye.

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