Burckhardt partners with PTC to develop AR technology

By Keefe Borden01 March 2022

Digital solutions allow compressors to be serviced remotely and in collaboration with the customer on site. (Photo: Burckhardt)

Burckhardt Compression announced it is working with Boston-based PTC to develop remote service solutions for customers worldwide. The two companies are also working together to further develop a type of metaverse augmented reality (AR) solution for service on reciprocating compressors.

Under the name UP! Solutions, Burckhardt Compression offers digital solutions that allow compressors to be monitored in real time and serviced remotely in cooperation with the customer on site, whether on land or offshore. The units are equipped with sensors that constantly collect data such as vibrations or temperature. This data is then analyzed and used, for example, to detect anomalies or schedule service work, the company said.

Burckhardt said its customers are aiming to digitize their processes and reap the efficiency benefits from this. The company therefore offers its customers services under the UP! Solutions product family, in which experienced service technicians can look over the customer’s shoulder virtually from their office screen using a tablet or HoloLens glasses and provide advice, explanations and tips, Burckhardt announced.

Burckhardt Compression relies to a large extent on Vuforia, the augmented reality solution from PTC. This watches an expert during a process, compiles instructions for “teaching” less experienced colleagues, and monitors the learning phase. The system detects any deviations from the standard process and provides guidance to the technician.

In developing this process, PTC is working closely with Burckhardt Compression, which as an “early adopter” can provide valuable input from the field. In addition, both companies are working on an AR solution that can map the customer’s entire work environment in the virtual representation, so that the remote service technician from Burckhardt Compression sees not only the field of view of his colleague on site, but the entire environment, Burckhardt announced.

“We put both technicians in a common metaverse and thus almost completely eliminate the ‘distance’ factor,” describes Helmut Draxler, chief digital and information officer (CDIO) at Burckhardt Compression Holding. “In addition, Burckhardt will integrate the first compressors with the PTC IIoT platform ThingWorx this year.”

“At Burckhardt, we not only have excellent compressor expertise, but we have also developed state-of-the-art digital solutions to better support our customers. We bring this knowledge to our collaboration with PTC. This is a big step forward and we are eager to generate added value for our customers with the Vuforia AR solution together with PTC,” said Marcel Pawlicek, CEO at Burckhardt Compression.

PTC is a Boston-based software company that develops augmented reality and remote monitoring technologies.

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