NCMS Project #: 142092
Problem: The increasing worker retirement rate across all industrial market segments threatens our national supply base. Both public and government operations face similar challenges as more experienced workers leave after years of gaining knowledge and skills. The industry-wide issues resulting from the retirement of a large portion of the industrial workforce are well known, as is the timing to address knowledge retention. The situation is dire and requires immediate attention so organizations’ maintenance and sustainment operations can retain the valuable knowledge they need for their future workforces to continue effectively. A system specifically geared to capture, augment, and deliver skills-based knowledge is needed.
Benefit: This effort will use Navy infrastructure, focused on its shipyard operations and workforce, as a proxy for an eventual industry solution that satisfies an important public need. The results are expected to be easily transferable to commercial industry and positively impact knowledge retention, more efficiently deliver guidance through remotely located supervisors, and extend worker usefulness beyond retirement. The potential impacts to improvements in retaining maintenance and sustainment skills in the auto industry, aircraft manufacturers, and a myriad of other light and heavy industrial entities could be widespread.
Solution/Approach: There is a solution based on enterprise-level best-in-class digital tools, combining Augmented Reality (AR) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to address the need. Secure delivery of real-time remote assist capability using AR and operating within existing Information Technology (IT) system infrastructure is key to improving workflow. Reducing work stoppages and opening communication between the workforce on the deck plate and tech codes will save time and improve scheduling. The solution proposed is called Mixed Reality Expert Guidance (MREG) which will provide new functions that could be used by public or U.S. Navy maintenance and sustainment operations.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Increase asset and warfighter readiness
- Higher productivity of the maintainer
- Capture workforce knowledge
- Reduce risk of work stoppage
- U.S. Navy Shipyard Portsmouth
- Boston Engineering Corporation
- Repair turn-around time
- Business IT and analytics