At Kinetics we are working in an industry where future is made. Our customers are creating leading edge solutions at a staggering pace for markets such as autonomous driving, 21st century computing, wireless data transfer and virtual and augmented reality to name a few.
Kinetics is keeping up with this pace and leveraging those technologies to not only make our products and services more safe, efficient and user friendly, but our customers’ processes as well. The easiest way to figure out where the holes in any process are is to ask the people involved in those processes directly. Kinetics is unique in this regard because we are in the perfect position to tap on our pool of over 500 facility management employees around the globe to figure out these issues.
Kinetics performed a survey among all our FM employees and even some of our largest customers to find out where the biggest problems in the fab facilities are. The results of our survey were staggeringly unanimous… The biggest issue in almost every single facility we were involved with were the HMI touch screens, and safety issues revolving around them.
While working around dangerous chemistries, technicians must wear protective gloves at all times, but while wearing these cumbersome safety gloves touch screens are less responsive, if they respond at all. This can lead to possible safety issues when technicians decide to ignore certain safety protocols to save time; the removal of safety gloves to use the screens or in most cases the use of pen like objects to access the HMI screens can lead to broken or damaged screens as well.
After the realization of this glaring issue Kinetics put its best and brightest minds together to come up with a solution. No-Touch HMI. We simply thought if touch screen HMIs are the issue, why not just remove the need for your hands to access the equipment entirely. Voice control has been an emerging technology in the world for a while, but at the start of 2018 Kinetics started to integrate this technology into our equipment. We are proud to announce these options will be available in all of our equipment by the start of Q2 2019.
Kinetics hasn’t stopped there though, as mentioned before, technology is constantly evolving and so must we, so we have taken our No-Touch HMI to the next level with the integration of technologies we are currently using in other areas of the Kinetics business.
On the construction side of Kinetics, we currently utilize laser scanning technology to map out facilities and overlay BIM models through augmented reality with the use of our Microsoft HoloLens. This technology has allowed us to increase our QA/QC and allow for extremely accurate prefabrication techniques through visualization of complex installations before construction even starts, saving our customers time and money.
So, we thought how can we integrate this into our No-Touch HMI? We simply combine the two technologies into the Microsoft HoloLens. With the use of augmented reality, we have effectively improved hands-free operation and given technicians real-time audio/visual feedback without the need of a controller screen. This marks a milestone for operator safety in hazardous chemical handling equipment, maintenance personnel can now work in complete PPE safety gear and still have full control of the tools. The augmented reality also allows technicians to access any information regarding a specific tool from manuals to drawings to spare parts lists by simply looking at the tools interface. Techs are able to contact a 24/7 support hotline through the Microsoft HoloLens, the lenses are capable of streaming live video to our service support team allowing for accurate real-time walkthrough fixes. Here is a short video showcasing some of Kinetics’ No-Touch HMI capabilities.
Augmented reality is the next logical step in human machine interface, and Kinetics is proudly on the forefront of this technology. As mentioned before we are proud to announce our No-Touch HMI option will roll out, in all our product lines, by Q2 of 2019.