Burns & McDonnell is an engineering, consulting and construction firm. Its 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs support clients around the world.
Experienced workers were being stretched thin, resulting in wider knowledge gaps and slower site visitations and distribution asset documentation.
Assisted reality technology with RealWear and VisualSpection streamlines site documentation and enables Burns & McDonnell’s senior experts to virtually visit and review sites without traveling.
Burns & McDonnell has been planning, designing, permitting, constructing and managing projects worldwide since 1898. A key factor in the firm’s longevity is treating its clients’ projects as if they were its own. While this attention to detail was great for clients, the dedication was taxing. With projects all over the world, Burns & McDonnell’s high-level technical experts needed to travel to sign off on multiple phases of development at each
The firm also wanted to improve how site evaluations were completed. Traditionally, the field worker would capture asset information and document it by GPS locations on paper. They would then bring that data back to the office to sort and enter into a database.
As a leader in the utilities industry, Burns & McDonnell wanted to continue innovating.
AR Software Requirements
RealWear’s partnership with MHI’s VisualSpection was also an important factor. The VisualSpection application allowed utility workers to easily observe, collect and organize site-specific information
from systems such as substations, distribution lines, transmission lines or power plants.
“For years, these technologies have offered advantages in design accuracy, safety, and efficiency as they create multiple benefits — both individually and collectively — through each project phase,” adds John Olander, COO and president of the Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell. “It means a lot to use innovative problem solving to now provide a platform to help solve critical challenges in the critical infrastructure industries.”
“It means a lot to use innovative problem solving to now provide a platform to help solve critical challenges in the critical infrastructure industries.”
RealWear has 77 technology partners and 14 system integrations to solve unique business challenges.
The RealWear-VisualSpection Solution:
Burns & McDonnell’s digital transformation in field work was timely. Shortly after deploying RealWear, COVID-19 struck. Productivity all around the world slowed — except at Burns & McDonnell sites.
Traditionally, site walk-downs are usually completed with multiple stakeholders traveling to a client’s location. This simply wasn’t a possibility during the pandemic’s travel restrictions and social distancing rules.
RealWear helped Burns & McDonnell employees continue working while following pandemic guidelines. A single worker can host a live video conference and give remote stakeholders live tours of the site. Questions can be answered immediately by the onsite worker or a remote expert participating on the call.
“Hands-free, voice-activated wearable technology in a single solution from Burns & McDonnell can keep projects moving where site access is limited because of travel restrictions and health and safety orders,” says Olander. “Its benefits are huge amid today’s crisis, reducing the number of personnel
needed in the field and allowing remote stakeholders to review critical details of each project phase.”
“With wearables like the HMT-1 from RealWear, I expect to see no less than 50% of the industry adopt this technology,” adds Wassenberg. “Anyone who is in the field on a daily basis will be wearing this.”
“With wearables like the HMT-1 from RealWear, I expect to see no less than 50% of the industry adopt this technology. Anyone who is in the field on a daily basis will be wearing this.”
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