Norwegian Agricultural Heavy Machinery Manufacturer Orkel Grows with RealWear Assisted Reality Devices

RealWear, the world’s leading provider of assisted reality solutions for frontline industrial workers, announced that Orkel, a Norwegian manufacturer of compactors and other machinery for agriculture, industry and waste management, has standardised on RealWear wearable devices across its business and dealer network.

Orkel aims to provide real-time customer and product support, eliminating wait times for in-person visits and avoiding costly downtime delays for farmers.

The company’s initial purchase of 40 units through RealWear’s Gold partner Allegra AS, will be used for remote after-sales maintenance, remote servicing and remote commissioning of all its heavy agricultural machinery products. This technology will provide technical expertise guidance during commissioning, if necessary, where Orkel staff are unable to travel to a site. Commissioning refers to the introduction and start-up process when a customer receives a compactor. The process involves assembly from container, general verification of the machine, and operational and technical training. Orkel’s research and development team tested a variety of smart glasses before standardising on RealWear’s HMT-1 head-mounted displays. According to Orkel, RealWear’s rugged form factor, safety features, noise cancellation and long battery life were deciding factors.

How the Solution Works

The innovative solution allows Orkel to connect its customers to its service technicians without the need for unnecessary travel. As part of Orkel’s after-sales support offering, each customer in need of commissioning or a technical service receives a kit consisting of the HMT-1, a branded Orkel hardhat, and mounting clips. The customer simply puts on the device, contacts the Orkel technician using voice commands and, after connecting, the technician can immediately see exactly what the customer sees through the head-mounted camera and easy to use software – VSight. The technician then solves the issue. Once resolved, the customer may then choose to purchase the RealWear device for their own use or return it to Orkel.

RealWear 2 proc

The solution solved a number of pain points for Orkel. For instance, typically its service technicians were required to make an in-person customer trip, which involves travel time and environmental costs. A delay in fixing the equipment also has the potential to impact the customers’ businesses.

“Our customers really appreciate the value of the system because we are able to provide a much faster level of support when an issue arises. All too often, our service technicians would travel for what turned out to be a quick fix. Now, with RealWear, many hours of time and CO2 emissions are saved, and most importantly customers’ machines are operational again quickly, which is imperative during the harvest season,” commented Svein Erik Syrstad, Technician, Orkel.

Headquartered in Fannrem, Norway, Orkel Group is an established supplier of compactors, round balers and transport equipment. With a presence in more than 50 countries across the globe, its biggest market currently is mainland China. As the farming and agriculture sectors are heavily dependent on the harvest season, Orkel’s customer base requires maximum uptime from their Orkel machinery, especially during the busy season.

On the device, Orkel is using RealWear partner VSight Remote, a remote service and collaboration platform powered by AR that helps manufacturing companies conduct maintenance operations remotely with Augmented Reality. It is also using a voice-optimised version of Microsoft Teams with the RealWear devices for internal communications with staff. The Orkel machine’s telemetry system ensures that details about every aspect of the machine’s operation is sent securely to the cloud, enabling Orkel’s service technicians to read the data and guide their customers to the next step in the procedure. This information enables Orkel to target the specific error more efficiently, and then guide the operator remotely to resolution.

“We really adore this technology because as a research & development engineer, I can watch the work being done,” said Magnus Nordås Lervik, Project Engineer, Orkel. “I’m quickly learning better ways to design future machinery as I’ve seen first-hand the common issues that arise, and how they are fixed.” Lervik continued, “Using this technology enables our research and development team to look ahead to how we might design products in the future from an operator’s perspective.”

Orkel and its customers are achieving a number of benefits since deploying RealWear’s technology with VSight and Microsoft Teams,” added Jon Arnold, Vice President of EMEA, RealWear Inc. “When looking at the agricultural industry as a whole, machine downtime impacts productivity and efficiency, especially in shorter and shorter harvest seasons. Remote assistance with RealWear is becoming a gamechanger for the farming and agriculture industry when every second matters.”

About RealWear

RealWear® is the world’s leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions that engage, empower, and elevate the modern frontline industrial worker to perform work tasks more safely, and with increased efficiency and precision. RealWear gives these workers real-time access to information and expertise, while keeping their hands and field of view free for work. RealWear is field proven with world-class customers, including Shell, Goodyear, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive, and BMW, who use it to improve workplace safety while delivering unprecedented ROI.

RealWear is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington in the United States, with local offices in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, and Japan, along with a new customer experience center in Dubai. RealWear’s number one position was further strengthened with triple (3X) year-over-year growth in 2020. The company has shipped wearable devices to more than 5,000 unique enterprise customers worldwide in a range of industries, including Energy, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Automotive, and Telecommunications.

About Orkel

Starting as a humble shop for friends and relatives back in 1949, Orkel began its journey as a family-run business in the midwest of Norway. Over 70 years later, Orkel has evolved into what is best described as a global trailblazer for agricultural and industrial compaction technology. Led by CEO Erlend Johan Gjønnes, grandson of Orkel’s founder Johan Gjønnes, Orkel is delivering cutting-edge technology to more than 60 countries across six continents.

Orkel is a pioneer in creating machines and solutions for better conservation and handling of agricultural and industrial materials. Our core values are what defines us, and our commitment to them is strong at every level of our company: Inclusive, Innovative and Reliable!

About VSight

VSight is the leading technology provider offering remote service and maintenance software solutions powered by AR to enterprises operating in a wide range of industries including manufacturing and machinery.

VSight is taking the concept of remote assistance further by providing to the market its product called VSight Remote. This is a complete collaboration and knowledge-sharing platform that allows remote field technicians and experts to connect with each other and collaborate on maintenance, repair, operations (MRO) via live video, audio powered by Augmented Reality technology. In addition, file sharing features such as 3D objects, PDF, or image sharing allows effective communication among users.

VSight Remote connects experts to the point of service, in order to solve problems remotely. Making use of a video- and audio-stream, collaboration using annotations on frozen images and the live video, by sharing pictures, PDFs and other documents as well as by using Augmented Reality (AR), the expert is present without being present. Even 3D models can be displayed as virtual objects in the real world. Machinery and equipment companies, related industries and their customers can use VSight on their computers, smartphones, tablets and even smart glasses. Knowledge is being transferred to the field service remotely and unnecessary travel is avoided; hence problems are solved faster and with less cost.